Pehu-Simonet "Fins Lieux No. 6" Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Champagne 2012
Precise, ultra-small production, organic, and supremely unique, Pehu-Simonet's wines are the apotheosis of fine grower-producer Champagne. David Pehu took over production in 1988, the fourth generation to steward a scant 7.5 hectares of organically-farmed vines in and around the Grand Cru village of Verzenay. His "Fins Lieux" series are focused on one grape, from one site, made in one vintage. This "No.6" is 100% Chardonnay (blanc de blancs) from the "Les Basses Corettes" site, harvested in the extraordinary 2012 vintage, one which is universally revered as magnificent, rivaling 2002 and 1996 in rare excellence.
This is an "extra-brut," something you'll instinctively know from the first lively sip. Utterly quivering with nervous energy, the wine has brilliant, saline acidity and an indisputable sense of place. Salted pineapple, roasted cashew, toast, candied pear, sea spray, and perfumed white flowers with a finish of pulverized stone, like licking a salt rock. The vibrant 2012 vintage is on full display here – if you have ever struggled with finding that elusive sense of “terroir” in a wine, Pehu’s Champagnes are a crash course in the subject.
This beauty is drinking superbly now, best enjoyed in quiet meditation, and will no doubt continue to morph in bottle over the next 2-3 years. Most of the aging has already been done by David himself – this cuvée spent an astonishing 80 months on its lees before disgorging in mid-2019.
Whether it was running a two-Michelin starred restaurant in San Francisco, consulting for wine bars or retail shops, or leading educational seminars, the wines of Pehu-Simonet have been a must-have for me. This “No. 6” bottling is fresh, deeply complex, full of life, and the best price in the country. Cheers!