Understated Excellence from Georges Laval

Tom Baxter | August 4, 2022

Discreet, but quietly brilliant; such is the summary of many when describing Champagne Georges Laval. The discretion of this domaine lies in its mere 2.5 hectares of vines, the minimalist but distinctive labels that adorn its bottles, or simply its unobtrusive exterior in the Premier Cru village of Cumières where it is found.

Its brilliance can nevertheless be chalked up to various factors. Ever since Georges Laval initiated estate bottling in the early 1970s, there has been an uncompromising commitment to organic viticulture here. Now directed by Vincent Laval, vineyard holdings have often been consolidated to facilitate this sustainable approach to growing. A traditional vertical press is used in the winery, along with barrels for fermentation with native yeasts. An aversion to fining, filtration or chaptalization allows the terroir to talk.

Cumières NV is a detailed, understated Brut Nature from a 2019 base and is a fine introduction to the house style. Les Chênes 2018 is a single-vineyard Blanc de Blancs with saline mineral inflections. Les Hautes Chèvres 2017 comes from old-vine Meunier providing vinous depth of flavour.

Be sure not to miss these jewels in the crown of the Sotheby’s Wine grower Champagne offering.