Review- Aurélien Lurquin

Aurélien Lurquin

Great champagne is made in the vineyard, not in the cellar. It’s something the greatest of great natural champagne producers seem to all agree on. One of them is Aurélien Lurquin, champagne producer in Romery in Valée de la Marne. When I first tasted his Blanc de Blancs 2016, I was hit by waves of lemon, grass and flowers. The complexity was almost too overwhelming. When I recovered, I stood up and opened my laptop to write this review. So below you’ll find my slightly tipsy view on Aurélien Lurquin champagne.

Like grandfather like grandson

Sometimes, passion skips a generation. Aurélien’s grandfather used to be a vineyard worker for the Lanson domaine. He grew his own grapes on 2,3 hectares for a hobby. It’s thanks to this hobby that Aurélien is now one of the “big ones” in Champagne. His oeuvre covers several spectacular natural champagnes and three coteaux champenois. At an early age, he knew he’d become a vigneron, and after studying in Beaune he left to gain some experience in Chile. He came back to France inspired, and spent some time working for Luc Pavelot in Burgundy. Pavelot introduced him to organic and biodynamic principles. This would give Aurélien Lurquin a head start when he took over the family vineyards.

Aurélien Lurquin champagne certification

From the very beginning, Aurélien Lurquin looked for ways to work as organically as possible. He got rid of herbicides and chemicals, and put all his time and effort into the vines. Just like David Léclapart, he believes that it all starts with healthy vineyards. His have a base of silty sand and a combination of limestone-rich clay and wet chalk, that tend to get quite complex. It’s why his horse Tintin ploughs the soil for months on end, to allow the soil to breathe and stay balanced.

Officially, Aurélien Lurquin champagne is certified as organic. However, Aurélien applies many of the biodynamic principles too. He uses biodynamic preparations in the vineyards, so that he can limit the use of copper and sulphur to a minimum. He grows grass to create more diversity in the soil and when the grape juice is in the tank, he uses only indigenous yeast and little amounts of liquid sulphur.

Picky pickers

What’s interesting about Aurélien Lurquin champagne is the strictness when it comes to grape picking. Aurélien briefs his pickers to be very picky about grape quality and has them select only the greatest of grapes. Before driving them to the press, Aurélien lets them check quality again, and repeats this check before the grapes disappear in the Coquard press. It’s because of these checks that Aurélien Lurquin champagne consists of high quality grapes exclusively, and it might just be the secret to his success.

Champagnes

Blanc de blancs

LocationGrape varietiesSpicy detailDosageRating
Romery100%
Chardonnay
Only 420 bottles
produced
Brut nature9/10

Blanc de Meunier

LocationGrape varietiesSpicy detailDosageRating
Romery100%
Meunier
Only 420 bottles
produced
Brut nature9.3/10