Grand Tasting : 2015 Cuvée Fins Lieux No.5 Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut, 2015 Verzenay Les Pisse Renards Cuvée Fins Lieux No.6 Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut, 2014 Vezenay Les Perthois Cuvée Fins Lieux No.1 Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut, 2014 Vezenay Les Crayères de la Voie de Reims Cuvée Fins Lieux No.2 Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut, 2012 Maily Les Poules Cuvée Fins Lieux No.3 Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut
Gala Dinner : 2013 Villers Marmery Les Chouettes Fins Lieux No.7 Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut Magnum, 2013 Vezenay Les Perthois Fins Lieux No.1 Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut Magnum, 2009 Vezenay Les Perthois Fins Lieux No.1 Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut Magnum
David Pehu is the fourth generation of his family to produce estate-bottled champagnes, and in his house you can see old Veuve Pehu labels from the early 20th century. His grandfather sold champagne under the Antonin Pehu label, and in the early 1970s his parents created Pehu-Simonet, with the introduction of vines from his mother’s side of the family. Pehu has been involved in the winemaking here since 1988, apart from a year in the army in 1989 and 1990, and he has been solely responsible for the cellar since 1995.
Of Pehu-Simonet’s 7.5 hectares of vines, six are in grand cru villages, and these are the ones used for making estate-bottled champagnes—in addition to 3.5 hectares of vines in Verzenay, Pehu has holdings in Verzy, Sillery, Mailly and Bouzy in the Montagne de Reims. The rest of the estate’s harvest is sold to the négoce, including, historically, the fruit from a parcel of old vines in Villers-Marmery that Pehu says produces exceptional wine. “It’s a pity it’s premier cru,” he used to say. “If I could call it grand cru, I’d happily use it.” However, in 2012 he bottled this separately for the first time, and has released this as his only premier cru champagne. Pehu began organic conversion of his vineyards in 2008, and as of 2012, his wines have all been certified organic.
Vinification is either in tank or in barrel, depending on the particular wine. Pehu, who studied oenology in Burgundy, has been using barrels since 1988, and while most of his barrels are purchased second-hand from Burgundy, he’s experimenting more and more with local oak from Verzy, coopered by the Tonnellerie de Champagne in nearby Cauroy-les-Hermonville. Pehu strictly avoids the malolactic for all of his wines, including the red wines used for making rosé, as he believes that blocking the malo better preserves the finesse and expression of fruit in the long run.