Get to know: Stéphane Regnault
A new producer in Le Mesnil, Oger? Fatcork owner, Bryan Maletis, was intrigued instantly.
In his experience, chardonnay from this specific area in the Côte de Blancs, is the best chardonnay in the world. Two years ago, Bryan was surprised and delighted when he first tried Stéphane Regnault’s first release. He was mesmerized by the clean, and precise representation of the best soils in Champagne—just pure, unadulterated chardonnay explicitly characteristic of the mineral rich chalky soil it comes from. Downright delicious.
Bryan immediately knew that a star had arrived. This young man is destined for success and is a true winemaker to watch. We are now one of the few lucky retailers in the country that has the honor of carrying these exceptional and coveted cuvées!
Stéphane is something of a renaissance man...Formerly an aerospace engineer in his younger days, he later transitioned to the wine world. As a sommelier, his love of wine brought him to great restaurants in Paris and London. In his spare time he is also a passionate jazz saxophone musician. Growing up, Stéphane’s family sold the grapes they produced to the larger houses. In 2007, everything was to change. Regnault decided it was time to take what he learned out in the world and combine his passions with the family business.
Once returning home, he began to apply some new ideas. First off, he decided that he would be the first in his family to make Champagne from the family vineyards. His father, Patrick, did make some co-op made bubbles, but had never vinified his own grapes. Secondly, Stéphane felt very strongly about bringing life back into the vines and began to gradually implement biodynamic and organic practices.
During our most recent visit in 2019, we arrived at his family domaine just in time to see this wine wizard squatting in a corner over a boiling pot of nettle and herb tisane, which he uses in lieu of pesticides.
The families four hectares of chardonnay are divided equally between these celebrated chalky terroirs of Grand Cru villages, Oger and Le Mesnil. He took a unique and modern approach, by choosing three specific lieu-dit parcels to craft his cuvées: Chemin de Flavigny in Oger, Moulin on the border between Oger and Le Mesnil, and Hautes-Mottes in Le Mesnil.
Each of his three cuvées are beautifully complex representations of single vineyard, multi-vintage wines that he will build on each year—much like a solera system. For instance, his Lydien No. 14 was one of his first vintages, the 2014. The following cuvée was Lydien No. 29, a blend of juice from ‘14 + ‘15 vintages and so on and so forth.
Floral. Open. Energetic.
This cuvée highlights the grapes of the specific lieu-dit of Le Chemin de Flavigny and is the fruitiest of his cuvées. This juice was aged for eight months after fermenting 75% in stainless steel tank and 25% in used Burgundy 228L barrel. Followed by an extra three years of age sur lie before disgorgement.
Complex. Balanced. Silky.
This cuvée highlights the juice coming from the specific lieu-dit of Le Moulin. This juice is aged for an additional 9 months after 60% of this is fermented in steel vats and 40% in second hand Burgundy barrels. It then ages sur lie for more than 4 years before disgorgement.
COMING TO THE FATCORK CAVE LATER THIS YEAR...
Dorien No. 29
Epic. Rich. Structured.
This cuvée highlights the juice coming from the specific lieu-dit of Hautes Mottes. ⅔ of this in steel vats and ⅓ in second hand Burgundy barrels. It is then aged sur lie for more than 4 years before disgorgement.
More details coming soon.
A blend from all three parcels this cuvée is a perpetual reserve—a collaboration is a 'chromatic' record of Stéphane's terroir.
There is an undeniable musicality to every one of his cuvées. As an homage to his love of jazz, each of his cuvées are named after jazz modes that his wines represent. His Champagne is both soulful and exquisitely precise, embodying generations of skillful tradition, while embracing new techniques. We welcome you to try the magic and hope you enjoy Stéphane’s exquisite cuvées before Bryan snags it all for his home cellar!