Champagne Sanchez Le Guédard

After describing some Champagne styles in the article, The Intriguing Diversity in Champagne Styles, today we will discover more about a category of Champagne producers, the Récoltant Manipulant (RM).

Appearing relatively recently on the Champagne production scene, the wines offered by these businesses are increasingly acclaimed by critics and sought after by consumers. With a different approach to the one adopted by the Champagne houses, these winemakers independently manage every aspect of the production, using grapes exclusively from their vineyards, processing the wine in their own wineries and marketing it under their own label. The sizes of these wineries can be very different, but all of them have a common feature: their wines are able to show, in a unique way, the characteristics of the terroir of origin and the style of the individual producer.

The Winery

The winery Sanchez Le Guédard is in Cumières, in the Vallée de la Marne, is about 3.5 km from Épernay and was founded in 1954. The vineyards spread over 5 hectares and are located in the villages of Damery, Cumières (1er Cru) and Oger (Grand Cru); the grown grape varieties are Pinot Noir (60%), Meunier (20%) and Chardonnay (20%).

The Growing Environment

The climate throughout the region is cold continental with Atlantic influences. Average rainfall is about 700mm per year and it is spread throughout the year, therefore, the spread of mildew and diseases is a real threat, as well as a undesirable “dilution” of the quality of the grapes during harvest.

The grapes used to produce the wine covered by this article are found in the sub-region of the Vallée de la Marne, west of Épernay, in the villages of Damery, Cumières; the vines are cultivated on both banks of the river, on soils made of clay, marl and sand.

Vineyard and Vines

Here is a summary of the characteristics of the grapes used to produce the wines tasted: 

Meunier: this is a mutation of Pinot Noir, a late budding, early ripening black grape variety, suitable for the Vallée de la Marne because of its cold climate, often subject to spring frosts, and the cold soils that can be found there. The name of the variety originates from the fact that in the lower part of the leaf it has a sort of “fluff”, which makes it seem covered with flour: meunier in French, means miller. In Champagne blends it lends fruity notes.

Pinot Noir: this is an early budding and ripening black grape variety suitable for cool climates. If the yields are too high, the quality of the fruit may be affected. The berries have a thin skin that makes it more susceptible to disease. In Champagne blends it lends body and structure.

Biodiversity and Sostainability

The Comité Champagne, is a government overseen organisation that brings together farmers, cooperatives and négociants of Champagne, that promotes sustainable viticulture at a regional level, with the goal of having 100% of the region certified by 2030.

Techniques such as sexual confusion to reduce the use of pesticides, planting of cover crops to prevent the erosion of vineyards and increase the biodiversity have been successfully adopted, almost completely, by many producers.

Another of the prerogatives of the Comité Champagne concerns some fundamental decisions, such as the choice of the harvest dates, the amount of yields of each year and the minimum level of alcohol potential.

Sanchez – Le Guédard – Champagne – Sélection – Brut – S.A.

The wine is a cuvée of Pinot Noir and Meunier; the first fermentation takes place in controlled temperature stainless-steel vats. This is a non-vintage Champagne that makes use of reserve wines to maintain consistency over years and show the unique style established by the producer.

  • Look: pale lemon with greenish reflections on the rim of the glass.
  • Smell: medium (+) aroma intensity of jasmine, honeysuckle, lemon, and lime, followed by fruity notes of pear, quince, redcurrant, strawberry, and raspberry. There are also notes of toast, biscuit, and pastry.
  • Taste: dry, high acidity, medium alcohol, medium body, medium (+) flavour intensity, medium finish.
  • Pairing: gnocchi alla sorrentina.

For more information on the wine tasted, here is the producer’s website: Sanchez-Le Guédard

Did you like this article? Share it now!
Have you already had a chance to taste this wine? Leave a comment, let us know what you think.

posted in:
Sparkling Wine

I live in a stunning and charming land, where wine culture is a pivotal element in everyday life and has been part of the culture for centuries.
I believe that wine tasting, although requiring a certain rigor, should be fun, and above all it has to be a sensory and enriching journey.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *