Wine writing by Stas Medvedev

Champagne Pierre Peters Les Chetillons Retrospective

Champagne Pierre Peters is definitely among the most famous RMs (Recoltant-Manipulant) or simply grower. House is well known for its terroir expressive wines. It is family business of 6 generations. Domaine is located in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger (Cote des Blancs) and operates about 20ha of Chardonnay only. They use Selection Massale method in their vineyards which helps to keep it in perfect symbiosis with ever changing weather and microclimate.

Current winemaker is Rodolphe Peters who took over from his father in 2007.

Les Chetillons cuvee is always a single vintage. Grapes come from 3 different parcels within this famous lieu-dit in East facing Grand Cru village of Le Mesnil-sur-Oger. Each parcel is vinified separately to be later blended with others to reach perfect balance. So it is not a single vineyard, but always a blend.

Ideal location for Chardonnay where it obtains balanced maturity. Very thin top soil (about 10–20cm) and chalk bedrock which is the sediment of ancient ocean.

Rodolphe likes to refer to 4 GC villages as to the seasons. So Le Mesnil is like Winter for him. Austere and cold in character, based on very stone and not friendly minerality, sharp. That’s why Peters prefer to add some low dosage to make their wines less sharp and more friendly.
The 1st vintage was in 1971.

Champagne Pierre Peters Les Chetillons 2008
Champagne Pierre Peters Les Chetillons 2008

2008 (🏅95) — Signature flinty and chalky mineral. Lots of fruits. Apple pie. Still tight. Perfect vintage! I do regret how many bottles of 08 we have already consumed in the past few years instead of keeping them for another decade. Please save some for the future!

Champagne Pierre Peters Les Chetillons 2005 vs 1995
Champagne Pierre Peters Les Chetillons 2005 vs 1995

2005 Magnum (🏅93) — Full of ripeness and at its peak maturity now. Lovely bitterness on the mid-palate. The one I tasted from regular bottle a while ago seemed to be even more developed, which shows the potential for ‘05.

1995 Magnum (🏅91) — Intense yellow gold. Quite developed already. Buttery texture which reminds white Burgundy. Funky Coke aroma.

Champagne Pierre Peters Les Chetillons 1994
Champagne Pierre Peters Les Chetillons 1994

1994 (🏅NR) — Unfortunately corked, but you could still sense oxidised aromas of mocha. Palate kept the sweetness of fruits. Not a great vintage.

Champagne Pierre Peters Les Chetillons 1989 vs 1988
Champagne Pierre Peters Les Chetillons 1989 vs 1988

1989 (🏅91) — Pure, clean. Oxidised champagne with age. Pleasant mellowness on the palate.

1988 (🏅92) — Aged, but legendary vintage does speak through. Tangerine, lively. It has the complexity which stands out from the younger ‘89.
Tres Vieille fine de la Marne for digestif. Distilled 40% Alc. liquor. — Nose similar to Cognac — woodsy and vanilla oaky.

In conclusion I must admit that the provenance is the key! Knowing great vintages of ’95 and ’88, they just didn’t shine today and it is the poor provenance what I blame it for.
Champagne Winemaker Tasting Terroir
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