Perhaps the most globally recognized ‘grower champagne’ producer, the house is now run by
the gregarious, eternally grinning Rodolphe Peters, but has been producing wine since 1919
out of Mesnil. The trademark here is pristine - but not sharp - examples of Chardonnay. Rodolphe has a masterful touch with the grape, and is open to experimentation, an example being his willingness to remove some of his very best barrels over the years to create a new project in which he blended a single vintage of Chetillons with a solera of the very same, a style which has only worked for very few, namely Anselme Selosse, but Rodolphe pulled it off without creating a wine of any noticeable oxidation, rather just perfect balance of maturity and youthful zest. The solera originated as a solution for a tough vintage, and became a backbone of the house’s success. Furthermore, the solera is stored in three different types of vessel - stainless, concrete egg, and a large cask. Peters owns vineyards in several small parcels throughout the Côte des Blancs villages of Mesnil, Oger, Avize and Cramant, with a small Pinot Noir vineyard in the Aube that he leases out - he admits he has more talent with Chardonnay than the black grapes.
Cuvée de Reserve is the flagship of the house, a combination of a single vintage with half the wine originating from the perpetual reserve/solera. Classic Mesnil precision at first opening, with the aid of Oger, Cramant and Avize fruit that help comprise the blend aiding in a rich, broad feel as the wine unfurls. Large format versions of CDR are comprised of a single vintage and can be transcendent. L'Esprit is produced in great vintages - a similar blend of villages to the CDR but a single vintage without the aid of the reserve wine. Oubliée is essentially the Cuvée de Reserve, but aged in barrel longer at Terry Theise’s suggestion, to allow a bit more development. Rosé for Albane is based on a single vintage of Chardonnay, with around 45% of saignée rosé (PN/PM) from Geoffroy added to the blend for color and depth; Albane is Rodolphe’s daughter.
On to the big boys, Les Chetillons it blend of 3 very old parcels in the eponymous section of Mesnil-sur-Oger, and is one of the greatest Blanc-de-Blanc wines in Champagne, even in tough vintages like 2005 and 2006. The three parcels are vinified separately then blended to the best combination possible. This can be taut, but spectacular within even a few seconds in the glass - yet rewards the patient who can age it. Rodolphe has started an Oenotheque program to release older vintages he feels are superb at the moment. Further, L'Etonnant Monsieur Victor is a newer experiment, wherein Rodolphe takes half of the best cask of Chetillons from the current vintage and blends it with a different solera comprised solely of Chetillons from vintages past. The labels are drawn by his son Victor as somewhat an homage to different famous artist he found inspiration in. Les Montjolys is a terroir inside of Mesnil-sur-Oger that has deeper, more clay-based soils than the rest of the village, resulting in a deeper flavor, fuller texture and more profound aromatics.