Somehow, Laval’s ‘Cumières’ is a wine I always find genuinely exciting. This is to say its appeal extends beyond the ‘reliable’ and ‘delicious,' and spills into the realm of the utterly fascinating. This cuvée contains an unusually high percentage of Chardonnay for the village, which seems to lend a pulsing energy that melds beautifully with the richness and spice profile found in the best wines from Cumières.
The 2017 version has a punchier fruit profile than I remember previously, with suggestions of white pepper and ginger layered in. You feel the imprint of Laval’s barrel-fermented style texturally as the edges of the wine feel more folded in than is the case with most Brut Nature styles. It is a wine I would count myself lucky to drink anytime, anywhere. - Jason
George Laval’s Cumières Premier Cru is a classic example of artisanal grower champagne. All grape varieties and parcels are vinified separately with long lees aging with manual riddling without fining and filtration. This wine offers a generous but fresh fruity nose, chalky minerality, nice mid-weight and texture with great tension and focus. It’s young and vibrant with beautiful savory yeast nuance, finishing with nice rich biscuit and brioche on a very light but intense structure. - Daniel
These are cult Champagnes and rightly so. Laval's bottles are uniquely electric and while they might be well-known amongst connoisseurs of grower Champagne, I believe them still to be underappreciated. And this makes sense, the Vincent Laval farms a meagre 2ha in Cumières- miniscule by Champagne standards. That these parcels have been organically farmed since 1971 is all the more astounding. Way ahead of their time in farming but also with their inclination to limit dosage and to use a minimum of sulfur at bottling.
This is Laval’s entry level Champagne but it's also amongst the best introductions to the house style. The wine is a blend of parcels across Cumières with a high percentage of Chardonnay along with Pinots Noir and Meunier to round out as you'd expect. Vincent has bottled this cuvée from the fruit of a single year's harvest since 2013. The 2017 is a stunning rendition, really exploding with aromatics on the nose and electric vibrancy in the palate. On 3 packs, the pricing is extremely sharp- and this is the sort of bottle you'd be very happy to have by the case...