Every detail counts when it comes to creating sincere and authentic Champagnes. Champagne Boizel’s artisan approach goes hand and hand with its constant quest for excellence and progress. The Boizel House places the emphasis on high standards during every stage of the winemaking process, from the vineyards right through to the cellars. Compromise is simply never an option. Every day Florent and Lionel Roques-Boizel strive to create the highest quality wines possible and make the right decisions for the future of this family Champagne House which will soon be marking its 200th anniversary.
The winegrower’s role is to listen to nature and guide it so that it may be reflected beautifully in every single one of the wines. Florent and Lionel Roques-Boizel believe in the importance of treating all of their grapes, crus and plots with the same attention and respect in order to preserve their natural characteristics.
Over the generations, the Boizel family has acquired an in-depth understanding of the Champagne terroirs. The Boizel vineyards cover 7 hectares of land in the finest crus of Champagne, including Avize and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, the origins of the Boizel family. The House also receives grapes from its partner winegrowers: Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grown in the Grand and Premiers Crus of the Côte des Blancs and Montagne de Reims as well as Meunier grapes from the finest Vallée de la Marne vineyards. The savoir-faire accrued over the years is constantly being refined and perfected by the sixth generation of the family. They continue to explore Champagne’s finest terroirs to reveal its best expression through their wines.
Remaining true to nature and keeping interventions to a minimum: during the vinification the most natural techniques are chosen, those that best preserve the aromas. Each plot and cru is vinified separately in small vats to create a broad and precise palette of aromas for the composition of the future blends. Malolactic fermentation ensures a smoother texture which is later joined by notes of biscuit and brioche.
Vinification is the ideal time for testing and experimenting new techniques, but without ever compromising the quality. Florent and Lionel Roques-Boizel have therefore chosen to complement their vinification in temperature-controlled stainless-steel vats with the addition of barrels and tuns to enable them to further hone the wines’ distinctive characters.
It is thanks to this hand-crafted approach, combined with the desire to remain as faithful as possible to the personality of each cru and plot, that Boizel is able to produce wines with such remarkable precision and individuality whilst offering the most accurate picture of the identity of each terroir. The complex and multi-faceted nuances of the palette are then blended together to create authentic, sincere and generous Champagnes.
Blending tastings are one of the most important moment of the Boizel winemaking process. Every year, from January to April, Florent and Lionel Roques-Boizel are joined by their parents Christophe and Evelyne to taste all of the current year’s wines. These tastings are also an opportunity to taste the reserve wines from previous years which have been conserved individually, year after year, to be used as part of the blend for the non-vintage wines.
The blends of the different cuvees will be decided based on the individual characteristics of each of these wines. The varietals, crus, vintages and winemaking choices not only give rise to the expression of a particular style or a particular year but also contribute to the ultimate quest for perfect balance.
The work involved is a collective effort, a work of technical understanding, starting each year with a blank page then tasting, discussing, practising, starting over and finally making decisions. However, it is also a vision, a craft in which experience and intuition are instrumental in achieving the elegance and finesse that have come to define the Boizel style. To create a blend is to take part in a creative process, the objective and purpose of which are the sharing of an emotion.
The notion of time has a very special meaning when a Champagne House can boast almost two hundred years of history. Not just time in terms of history, the seasons and the production process, but the time afforded to ageing the wines to allow them to develop in all their complexity. Time is fundamental in making each champagne unique as it is thanks to time that the wine is able to develop the wide array of aromas that will remain engrained in the memories of those who taste them.
It is in the heart of the house, in the freshness, calm and darkness of the cellars that Boizel Champagnes age. The duration of ageing varies from one champagne to the next depending on its profile. Whilst the minimum is 3 years, certain champagnes are left to rest for much longer including the Joyau de France which is aged for up to 15 years and the Trésor Collection aged for several decades. Allowing the wines to age in contact with their lees helps them to develop the true finesse, character and elegance of an outstanding champagne.
Being able to afford the wines the time they need to reveal their true character is a luxury and one that Florent and Lionel Roques-Boizel never compromise upon. It is also a family tradition as each generation has understood the importance of waiting for just the right moment before releasing the wines from the cellars, waiting for the precise moment in time when the wines are offering the complexity, depth and gorgeous texture sought by champagne lovers.
Unique in Champagne the Trésor Boizel is the witness of the history of the Boizel House and family. It holds together the greatest vintages of the 19th and 20th centuries, including the mythical 1834, the oldest. Nestled in the heart of the house cellars, the “Trésor” cellar has stood the test of time: each generation has strived to reserve the best bottles for each exceptional vintage, taking care to protect this real treasure from the vagaries of history. These precious “liquid archives” bear witness to the work of the family: they embody the memory of the house.
Tasting the Trésor Champagnes is a rare occurrence as the family has always wanted to preserve these precious wines so that they may be passed on to future generations. The Champagne House created the Trésor Collection with the intent of making available just a small number of bottles from recently disgorged vintages from the late 20th century to be shared with wine lovers and collectors of rare wines.
During these rare tastings of the Trésor Collection, the world’s most recognized wine critics have praised the distinctive personalities of these wines as well as their unrivalled complexity and subtle nuances, even referring to certain vintages as ‘timeless champagnes’. In addition to these qualities, it is the history of each growing year, the unique personality of each wine, and the embodiment of the past that make these wines so special.