Honey. Melted honey. That’s what I think about when I hear the name Thomas Perseval. I first tasted his champagne Le Village in Au Bon Manger (where else, seriously) and the world around me just disappeared. That’s usually a sign of extremely good champagne, so I took notes, bought a couple of bottles and returned home to do some research. As seems to be the case with every natural champagne producer, there was a great story there. And this time, it was all about grains.
About the domaine
To understand Thomas Perseval’s champagne, you should know he comes from a farming family. Even when his father started planting vines, he kept on working the farmland, too, which would make for the perfect combination later on. Thomas himself learned how to make biodynamic wine in Burgundy, which is the epicentre of experimental and natural winemaking.
He got inspired, went home to his family domaine in Chamery near Montagne de Reims, and started making terroir champagne. Over the years, he slowly but surely let go of herbicides and got “clean” in 2014.
Grains- the secret ingredient
In Burgundy, Thomas had learned about the importance of biodiversity in the vineyard. Back home, he dived into the world of organic farming and followed multiple courses on herbal therapy. Then he realised something that would later determine his success: the benefits of grass in the vineyards. Coming from a farming family, he knew exactly how to manage grass, so he started sowing grass seeds, adding different plants and herbs later on. Along with two colleagues (one of them being Aurélien Lurquin), he also makes his own compost, which is made out of diverse ingredients thanks to borrowed horses and the farmland he still owns.
Type of certification
Although his way of working borders biodynamic farming, Thomas Perseval champagne is certified as organic. This is nothing new, as there are many champagne producers that combine biodynamic and organic principles in a way that matches their vision. Everything about Thoma Perseval champagne is natural, though. For example, grapes are picked at full ripeness to avoid chaptalisation and the fermentation process starts spontaneously. There are no chemicals used and the soil is enriched through both natural compost and the aforementioned grasses, herbs and plants.
Thomas Perseval champagne in terms of soil
The Perseval vineyards are a true treasure, both inside and out. At the surface, there’s Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and a little bit of lesser known Arbane, Pinot Blanc and Petit Meslier. Under the surface, there’s different combinations of sand, marl, clay and limestone, making every plot unique. Being terroir-focused, you can taste the diversity in Thomas’ champagnes, along with a hint of his family’s former focus: grains!
|Location||Grape varieties||Spicy detail||Dosage||Rating|
|Melted honey||Brut nature||9.3/10|
Pay attention to the label on this bottle! A small, colourful drawing tells the story of this champagne: it shows the different Perseval vineyards (the name of the vineyard used is in yellow) and the grains that are the signature of this brand. Le Village by Thomas Perseval is an interesting, strong champagne that doesn’t need food on the side (it won’t kill it though). It’s rich yet delicate and comes with just the right amount of minerality. Oh yeah, and it tastes like melted honey.