France, Champagne, Vallée de la Marne
1 Star Revue du Vin de France
Franck Pascal grew up in the Chatillon area of the Vallée de la Marne, where he now runs a micro-estate of 4 hectares following biodynamic practices. After a short stint as an industrial mechanical engineer, Franck was ready to return to his agricultural roots. Naively assuming that all viticulture was void of chemicals, he was surprised by his father's conventional practices and quickly decided to study viticulture and oenology to form his own opinion on the matter. Franck decided to seek out viticultural alternatives, experimenting with conventional, organic and biodymamic practices all at the same time. Franck found that biodynamics brought unparalleled minerality to the wines and thus decided to convert the entire estate. At just 4 hectares, the estate is extremely fragmented, spanning 20 parcels over 5 villages. The soils mostly consist of clay and hard limestone. In the commune of Belval-sous-Chatillon the soil is mainly clay. Meuliere, Baslieux sous Chatillon, Cuchery, and Olizy are predominately limestone. Silex (flint) is found in all five communes mixed in the other soils. There are parcels of clay and flint, pierre melière (the stone that Cro-Magnon used to sharpen knives), marls and sandy limestone. Over 70% of the vines produce Pinot Meunier, with 20% Pinot Noir and the rest Chardonnay. Part of the estate is worked by horse, because certain parcels are too steep to use a tractor. But the horse is also very important for young plantings and newly acquired parcels because the roots are still at a very superficial layer, and the horse, with its softer impact and slower pace, assures they don't get ripped out in their early development. Yields are very low being one half to two thirds of the allowable limits. Only indigenous yeasts are used and no sulfites are added in the vinification.
|Wine||Varietals||Vine Age||Soil Type||Farming Type|
|Reliance||70% Pinot Meunier, 25% Pinot Noir, 5% Chardonnay. Base 2011.||Average 32 years||Hard chalk, silex (flint), and pierre meuilère||Biodynamic|
|Fluence Brut Nature||60% Pinot Meunier, 34% Pinot Noir, 6% Chardonnay. Base 2013||Average 32 years||Hard chalk, silex (flint), and pierre meuilère||Biodynamic|
|Tolerance||2/3 Pinot Meunier, 1/3 Chardonnay||Average 32 years||Hard chalk, silex (flint), and pierre meuilère||Biodynamic|
|Quintessence||Pinot Meunier with 6% Pinot Noir & Pinot Meunier saignée. Base 2008.||Average 32 years||Hard chalk, silex (flint), and pierre meuilère||Biodynamic|