Champagne Daniel Pétré Arrives in Valencia and Another Interesting Bottle (or Two) Come My Way!



Vincent Pétré opens the Cuvée Marie.

Champagne Daniel Pétré are a family firm based in the Cote de Bars, one of the lesser known components of champagne, and specifically in the town of Ville sur Arce, known also for the painter Renoir. The firm have their own vineyards but work with the Cooperative making them Recoltant Cooperants. Father Daniel and wife Marie are current owners of the family firm and both sons work in the business, one as a winemaker the other in marketing.

The latter, Vincent, has been in Valencia for several months and I have met him at several tastings whist he has been looking for work here. During this time we have been asking him to bring the family wines to Valencia for a tasting and finally this took place at Vins KM.0 in Russafa last night. Daniel Monsonis and Norbert Korsmeier who run this friendly little wine-merchants in Russafa hold occasional tastings and having decided to import some Champagne this gave us the opportunity to sample a potential new wine to Valencia.

The vineyards are Kimmeridgean chalk, full of old sea shells which are ideal for champagne production. Here they grow the traditional varieties of Chardonnay, and the two Pinots, Noir and Meunier. The first wine we tasted was the Cuvée Marie, named after Vincent´s mother. This is 2005, could be a `millesime´but with an unjustified modesty it is not claimed as such on the lable! A Blanc de Blancs, 100% Chardonnay and 12% ABV. To the eye, this wine has a good colour, golden-yellow, with fine persistent bubbles and a good crown. Very clear and bright. On the nose fresh fruits, apples, citric notes, peach and hints of minerals. Also nicely toasty ( the wine has spent 24 months on the lees ) giving it a fuller nose as well. In the mouth nice acidity and attack, minerals, citrus flavours, ( orange peel), as it passes the palate hints of tropical fruits as well, vanilla, and a persistent long finish . Very elegant!

Champagne Pétré.

Second wine was the 2007 Cuvée Réserve  Coupage.  12%ABV and a blend of 40% each of the two Pinots and balanced with 20% Chardonnay. This wine has won a gold medal recently at an international Sumillers competition. Fine persistent bubbles, a little more colour but a little less crown this wine appeared fresher, but still clear and bright. On the nose fresh, lighter, but still with very nice toasts, butter, white flowers, and grapefruit and sweet apples. In the mouth, the freshness is marked, the fruit flavours swirl across the palate with the bubbles added to by nuttiness  and it is beautifully balanced with a creaminess from the time on the lees. Another very nice wine!

For me both wines have benefitted greatly from the time in contact with the lees, the yeasts breaking down and adding depth to the nose and the body of the finished  wine. Both are wines to eat with food, having sufficient depth and acidity to cut through the flavours of Ibericos here, or full rich French sauces with white meat or fish. In this respect both would be a good match for top of the range cavas from Requena which also share this fuller style and are good with food. prices to be announced later but for sure a welcome addition to the wine scene here in Valencia.

Now, no tasting here is complete without an additional surprise bottle appearing and on this occasion a further four emerged. By contrast we tasted another champagne, Jean-Paul Deville Brut from Verzy and 12% ABV. From a Negociant Manipulant who buys in his wines rather than owning the vineyards, this was a younger champagne with less time in contact with the lees. In colour it was between the two Pétré wines, with good bubbles initially but which died off quite quickly.

On the nose, red fruits suggesting a bit more Pinot Noir in the balance, but quite floral as well. Much less evidence of toasty , yeasty flavours. In the mouth more acidity, brioche, and citric notes. Lighter, fresh, more of an aperitif style of champagne. Pleasant but not in the same class as the previous wines.

Castillo de Chulilla.

Surprise of the night was a white wine presented by one of the invitees and covered in tin-foil! Pale lemon clear and bright, but with long slow legs. On the nose wet wool, then apricots, and tropical fruits….this was getting interesting and Macabeo seemed to be the perceived variety that was emerging. In the mouth, full, nice acidity and minerality.

Wrong guess with the variety! It was 100% Merseguera, Castillo de Chulilla, DO Valencia Alto Turia, 2010, from Pascual Mancho Yuste and 13% ABV and sells for around 1.20€ a bottle at the local co-op which I will now have to visit! Normally I find Merseguera from the Alto Turia bone dry but floral and they are popular wines here in Valencia, fresh and easy to drink. This had something more and is worth another visit!

Final white of the night was Mariluna DO Valencia from the Utiel-Requena Sierra Norte vineyards. ( Yes, wines from Utiel-Requena can be labled DO Valencia but not the other way round!) This may be an early escapee from someone who believes that Valencia´s name sells better than Utiel-Requena. 12.5% ABV a blend of Macabeo, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc it sells for 6€ a bottle. Pale lemon, clean and bright, with good legs. On the nose quite intense floral notes and huge tropical notes. And that is where it ended…for me a reasonable depth of body and good acidity were marred by a lack of fruit and I found it a bit short on the palate. Maybe it wasn´t a good bottle and I will give it another try as generally I like wines from this bodega.

Finally for inveterate buyers of cheap reds from supermarkets a wine to avoid despite the price….70 cents on offer at Lidl. Not often I dislike a wine completely! La Mancha DO Tempranillo, Libertario 2010, from Bodegas Lopez Mercier of Manzanares. A youthful cherry red, medium density, with long slow legs. On the nose vibrant cherry and blackberry fruit, but in the mouth quite…..avoidable, rustic. It would be a shame to pollute gaseosa with this!

Dani Monsonis of VinsKM.0 , (right).

Thank you to Dani, Norbert and Vincent for another `eclectic´tasting as Norbert accurately described it.


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  • Vincent Pétré  On June 12, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Wow, a lovely comment, thanks a lot Riki.
    I’m very glad you like our small production. Like I said I’m not a rep, but I really like to share what my fathers and brother are doing there. It’s like a passion and thanks to relate a part of this moment.
    Thanks to Daniel for the welcome and the other tastings. Thanks also to the public, who I hope I didn’t tired too much by my presentation.

  • Nice Blog with Excellent information

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