Pierre Péters, one of Champagne’s most renowned growers, owns 82 plots over nearly 20 hectares of vineyard, all of which are managed sustainably. Sixteen hectares lie within the Côte des Blancs, mainly in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, where the domaine is based, as well as the other prized villages of Avize, Cramant, Oger and Vertus. Despite the short distances separating these villages, where the soils are rich in chalk, the plots display clear differences – from limestone to argile à silex (a specific mix of clay with flint) – which create very different styles of wines. The domaine also owns three hectares of vineyards near Sézanne and one in the Côte des Bars. The domaine produces exclusively Blanc de Blancs champagnes, which are generally rated as being among the finest produced in the region.
The estate is now run by Rodolphe Péters, a sixth-generation grower who studied oenology and business before taking over the domaine in 2007. His father had involved him in the assemblage since 2000, so he could learn about the complexity of dealing with so many base wines. The fame of the domaine has been derived from Rodolphe’s desire to build upon what he learned from his father in both the winery and the vineyards. Everything Rodolphe does in the vineyards is aimed at letting the grapes and the place of origin speak for themselves, while he accepts, as a winemaker, a ‘supporting role’.
Rodolphe uses his education and experience to apply a light touch (or ‘minimal intervention’) in the winery. For example, he employs the gentle pressure and steady flow from a pneumatic press to filter naturally as much solid matter as possible from the must. True to his belief that “a good winemaker must listen to his raw materials”, Rodolphe trusts the exceptional soils of the Côte des Blancs and specifically of Le Mesnil-sur-Oger to bring tension in his wines.
The Extra Brut is made with base wines from Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, Oger, Cramant and Avize (75-80% of the blend) and a selection of the best reserve wines (20-25% of the blend). Displaying a floral character, this is a purer style of blanc de blancs.
Pierre Peters Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut NV Champagne