Hure Freres Memoire N.V.
“The Huré brothers François (who oversees winemaking and sales) and Pierre (who oversees viticulture) cultivate about ten hectares of vines—mainly Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier (each of which make up to 40%) plus 20% Chardonnay—in and around Ludes on the northern side of the Montage de Reims where the soils are composed of a thin layer of clay over a layer of tuff covering limestone. According to François, this results in wines with a round and fruity mid-palate followed by a dry, clean and salty finish. The vineyards are farmed sustainably and organic. The brothers work the soil and don’t use any herbicides. Each of the 45 blocks is picked, pressed and fermented separately to keep the individuality of the places. This leads to two different lines. First, there are the blends, which benefit a lot from the excellent stock of reserve wines that contribute 40% to 50% of the assemblage. The solera dates back the the 1982 harvest. Second, there are the single-vineyard wines from the “4 Elements” series, which symbolizes the four elements of making wine: the grape, the grower, the vineyard and the vintage. Each wine of this series is made from just one vineyard, one variety and one vintage interpreted by the Huré brothers. “These are wines without any compromises,” says François. It’s nothing but the vineyard expressed by the grapes and the vintage. Each wine of the “4 Elements” is fermented in 600-liter oak barrels, and they block malolactic fermentation and age the wines under natural corks for the second fermentation. The wines I tasted were all pretty discreet if not closed when I tasted them in April 2018. Only the 2013 Pinot Noir was singing, but the others needed some more time, which I unfortunately didn’t have this time.
Pierre (viticulturist, 29-years-old) and François Huré (enologist, 38) produce full-bodied yet subtle, very clear and refreshing Champagnes, with structure and complexity, in the Montagne de Reims. The brothers cultivate a total of 10.3 hectares of vines in four villages, mainly in Lude (Premier Cru), but also in Villedommange (Premier Cru), Vavray-le-Grand (Vitryat) and in the Vallée de l’Ardre. Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir each make 40% of the holdings; Chardonnay is 20% of the vineyards, which are much more in the focus today. No herbicides (but organic composts) are used and the green-covered soils are plowed to work out the terroir character of every single block, each of which is harvested (manually), pressed and fermented separately before the assemblages are created. The cuvées are kept on the lees for two to six years. The new 4 Éléments series assembles single vineyard and mono-varietal vintage Champagnes, of which readers should taste the Meunier, as it is probably one of the finest of the region.”
William Kelley, Wine Advocate (09/20)