The Charpentier’s have been winemakers since 1920, when Pierre Charpentier began growing grapes. Before Champagne was glamorous, winemakers in the Champagne region essentially sold the grapes they produced to negotiators or to a local clientele if the economy was challenging. Pierre also produced red wine, but often the barrels used to store this wine were more valuable than the wine itself!
It was Pierre’s son, Marcellin, who first produced Charpentier Champagne in 1954. Four years later, Marcellin died suddenly and his wife, Solange, was left to run the business while rearing three children. While no doubt a difficult time for Solange, her son Jacky began making wine at the age of 11, showing prodigious ability.
Over the next few years, through hard work, diligence and passion, Jacky Charpentier managed to save and, indeed improve, the family business, achieving the recognition and respect that is now associated with the J Charpentier label.
Jacky’s son Jean-Marc now runs the winemaking at Charpentier. With 38 plots of vineyards and three different varieties of grapes grown, there is a lot to be discovered among the Charpentier range. The grapes from different plots are pressed separately so as Champagne can be made to represent each terroir, not just grape varieties or blends.
"Richness, softness, subtle caramel and nutty notes can emerge in even the most ordinary NV (non vintage). With a complex Cuvée Prestige such as this the impacts are often more profound. At present, the wine has a superb profile - fleshy apricot, mild honeysuckle and subltle toasty, buttery notes...A small, family-owned Champagne run by Jacky Charpentier and his son Jean-Marc, this is not quite a garagiste Champagne, but it is certainly an artisan charmer with years of potential ahead." Tomás Clancy, Sunday Business Post.
"Costing just a few euro more than the Brut Reserve from committed independent producer Jacky Charpentier is a big step up in quality (and the Brut Reserve isn't half bad). This is classy, mouth filling stuff, combining ripe fruit and buttery richness with reviving freshness." John Wilson, Irish Times Magazine.
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