The Great Rebirth of an Estate: from Father to Son
– Yields were cut
– Dosage was lowered tremendously
– Single plot Champagnes were bottled
– They age the wines on the lees for much longer (18 months for the regular cuvees)
– They made a (brilliant) Pinot Blanc
– Intransigeance Was Vinous / Neal Martin’s Top Sparkling Wine of the Year
– Most of the wines are now allocated
An Important Note on Allocations
– All of the Single Vineyard Wines Are Allocated
– The Single Vineyard Wines Are Elite Champagnes
– And Significantly Underpriced
– My Single Vineyard Allocations Are Determined by Selling the Entry Level Bottlings
– Your Single Vineyard Allocations Will Be Determined by Selling the Entry Level Bottlings
NV Marie Demets Couer de Saignee
– The Most Beautiful, Nimble, Angular and Elegant Rose for the Money I Have Ever Had
– Nose: Crazy Intensity and Complexity
– So Deep with Red Licorice and Raspberry
– Such Lovely Vivid Fruit
– Very Mineral with Wonderful Clarity
– Palate: Very Fine and Elegant Bubbles
– Amazing Mouthfeel and Texture
– Salty and Dry
– So Juicy
The Look of Recognition
As most of you know, I am fortunate to have Sven Enderle as my driver on my trip to France. He is one of the kindest people I have ever met. The 16 hour days on these trips can be a tad stressful. Sven keeps me on an even keel.
We were having dinner one night in Beaune after a long day and I saw a bottle of 2010 Roses de Jeanne Blanc de Noirs “Cote de Bechalin” on the menu for a reasonable price (no 3 tier system in France) so I ordered it and it was fantastic.
Flash forward a week and we are tasting at the New Marie Demets. The wines are shockingly great. And I’m looking at Sven … and Sven is looking at me and I know what he’s thinking and he knows what I’m thinking.
Are these wines better than the Cedric Bouchard we shared the other week?
And the answer is yes.
The Great Rebirth
As most of you know, Marie Demets Intransigeance was Vinous’ (Neal Martin) sparkling wine of the year in 2022. Well – there’s a reason. Well – there’s a reason.
Usually when a winery makes a significant improvement from one year to the next we call it The Leap. Stefan Steinmetz from 2018 to 2019. Francois Buffet from 2018 to 2019 and Laurent Boussey from 2018 to 2019.
But what if a winery makes such a change that The Leap is not adequate to describe the changes at the winery? It’s not a leap. It’s a rebirth.
Well that day is here and the winery is in fact a Fass Selections old favorite, Champagne Marie Demets. It feels more like this is a new and completely different winery. I’ve never had this happen in my career. It’s an overhaul change in philosophy. I was more blown away at this visit than at any other visit on my entire visit to France and maybe ever. Nothing could prepare me for what I was to experience at Champagne Marie Demets. But first a bit of history.
When we first started with Marie Demets, who has been with us since we opened up, the wines were Champagnes that were “vins de plaisir.” Delicious wines that were not that complex, had wonderful fruit and balance and provided many clients with wonderful and affordable Champagne. They were great when one had a hard day at work and needed a glass of bubbles that could give one unbridled joy. They have been ordered for customer weddings, parties and all sorts of occasions like that. For what they were, they were wonderful Champagnes at the best pricing one can imagine and provided great joy to many many customers for over a decade.
Those days are now over.
History Part 1: The Father
Previously, the father of Pierre Demets, the winemaker, did things his own way and his philosophy was behind the very well made old style Marie Demets Champagnes. He blended from all the vats and never separated any particular parcels. What he was doing worked and there was no reason to change it. It worked and what wasn’t broke doesn’t need to be fixed. He sold the wine out every year. He made a lot of wine drinkers very happy. He raised a very lovely family. These are the accomplishments that matter over the course of a lifetime.
History Part 2: The Son
Pierre Demets when I met him I could tell was somewhat frustrated with the sameness of the wines. This was a man who asked questions and wanted to improve quality but there was the interia of the success of the old style. In 2017 they hired a consulting oenologist and the changes started to happen at a rapid pace.
– Yields were cut
– dosage was lowered tremendously
– single plot Champagnes were bottled
– newer, modern labels were created
– they age the wines on the lees for much longer (18 months for the regular cuvees)
– they made a (brilliant Pinot Blanc)
– most of the wines are now allocated
We Are Ahead of the Recnognition Curve and Prices Reflect the Previous Regime
The Marie Demets glow up has now happened and the only thing that remains from those salad days is they remain incredibly affordable. Not just affordable but I would argue, the among the greatest values in all of Champange.
I only have a little bit of this wine but I may be able to get more so I need to start with that caveat. But you will want these wines as they are stunning wines and perfectly illustrate the new direction that Marie Demets is going in.
I’m selling the new iteration of the Rose which is called the NV Marie Demets Couer de Saignee for $39.99 a bottle NET. This is just the most beautiful, nimble, angular and elegant rose for the money I have ever had. The old version was almost like an alcoholic soda and was very good for what it is but this new version is all class. It is super dry and has so much acid and complexity one cannot believe it. And look at that new spiffy label. I gave this a 9.5 on Delectable and never gave the old one anything higher than a 9.2.
Nose is so deep with red licorice and raspberry. It smells like a dessert but a dry-ish dessert. Most of the fruit is from 2019. There is such lovely vivid fruit on the nose and it is very mineral with wonderful clarity. But the difference in the new Demets and the old Demets always comes down to the bubbles.
The bubbles are so fine and elegant and the palate is so juicy and ultra clean. So dry and citrusy with just a psycho mousse that is so fine, so refined and elegant. Nose is so airy and mineral after some time in the glass. Because the bubbles are so small and fine there is an amazing mouthfeel and texture. It is salty and dry and so juicy. The mineral intensity and the mousse are just top top notch. Mind blown. I was so shocked how amazing this was. For $39.99 this is the no brainer to end all no brainers. My note is short so as not to be too excited if I cannot get more. In all likelihood I will be able to get more eventually but I won’t know until September.