Jerome Dehours oversees some 14.5 hectares of vines spread over 42 (forty-two!) different vineyards in the Southern Marne. Safe to say, he's got quite the palette of flavors to play with from these varied vines which are mostly planted to clay over a limestone subsoil, generating both breadth and snappy, saline freshness. The family has grown vines since the 1930s, but Jerome made the first single-plot cuvée in 1996, starting a theme the estate became known for. He's slowly ended the family's long leases of their vineyards, and only sells 1/3 of his fruit at this point.
The hallmark of Dehours is their Meunier-based, single-vineyard wines, radiating class and powerful complexity, though the blends showcase the historical style of the domaine as well, utilizing a perpetual reserve of at least 25 vintages. The Grande Reserve is 2/3 Meunier, about 25% Chardonnay and a splash of Pinot Noir, 80-85% of which is a single vintage with the rest from the reserve. This spends about 15-24 months on the lees, so isn't overly yeasty, with the Meunier showing its breadth and complexity. Millesime 2013, a glorious vintage for Champagne, showcases the longest lees-aging of all the Dehours wines, about 6 years in this case. 2/3 Meunier with the remainder Chardonnay, this bottling utilizes the very best vineyards of the respective grapes, the Meunier fermented in stainless and the Chardonnay in barrel before bottling. Terre de Meunier is a blend of two slopes called Patis de Cerseuil and Les Vignes dans le Bois, entirely Meunier of two consecutive vintages. The grape really shows its purity here, the citrus elevated by a perfect hint of smoke and brioche. Round, soft and deliciously long and saline on the finish.
A perpetual reserve of this plot has been established for each of the single vineyard wines to avoid the huge vintage swings we would see from the cool Champagne region. Maisoncelle comes from Mareuil-sur-Port, a Pinot Noir vineyard planted to poor soils that are less limestone-dominant, with a good portion of iron, at the base of the slope. Focused orchard fruits and minerals carry the finish here. Brisefer is entirely Chardonnay from vines dating back to 1966 atop clay soils, adding a little extra creaminess to Chardonnay's natural zest. Less than 2000 bottles are made annually, with citrus curd, faint nuttiness and white flowers flowing.