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N.V. Benoit Déhu Cuvee La Rue Des Noyers

Removed from a professional wine storage facility

Ends Sunday, 7pm Pacific

PRODUCER

Benoit Déhu

Benoit Déhu is an eighth generation Champagne vigneron on the western edge of the Vallée de la Marne. He is part of the Déhu family, Champagne makers who trace their roots to 1787 when the Champagne house Déhu Père et Fils was founded. Benoit worked at Bollinger before coming back to the family estate, where he sectioned off a parcel of about 4 acres to farm biodynamically. From this small plot he crafts a single-vineyard, single vintage Champagne called Cuvée La Rue des Noyers. He also makes red and white Coteaux Champenois from the parcel. All are made from 100% Pinot Meunier. Starting in 2015 Benoit also started making Champagne Initiation, a blend of Meunier and Pinot Noir. Benoit makes just 2,400 bottles annually under his own label.

REGION

France, Champagne

Champagne is a small, beautiful wine growing region northeast of Paris whose famous name is misused a million times a day. As wine enthusiasts and all French people are well aware, only sparkling wines produced in Champagne from grapes grown in Champagne can be called Champagne. Sparkling wines produced anywhere else, including in other parts of France, must be called something besides Champagne. Champagne producers are justifiably protective of their wines and the prestige associated with true Champagne. Though the region was growing grapes and making wines in ancient times, it began specializing in sparkling wine in the 17th century, when a Benedictine monk named Dom Pierre Pérignon formulated a set guidelines to improve the quality of the local sparkling wines. Despite legends to the contrary, Dom Pérignon did not “invent” sparkling wine, but his rules about aggressive pruning, small yields and multiple pressings of the grapes were widely adopted, and by the 18th and 19th centuries Champagne had become the wine of choice in fashionable courts and palaces throughout Europe. Today there are 75,000 acres of vineyards in Champagne growing Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier. Champagne’s official appellation system classifies villages as Grand Cru or Premier Cru, though there are also many excellent Champagnes that simply carry the regional appellation. Along with well-known international Champagne houses there are numerous so-called “producer Champagnes,” meaning wines made by families who, usually for several or more generations, have worked their own vineyards and produced Champagne only from their own grapes.