The Pierre Morlet Champagne style is rich, harmoniously balanced, and refined. The body is round and elegant with fruity notes of raspberry and wild strawberry, intermixed with hints of violet, expressing the predominance of the Pinot Noir. The Chardonnay adds structure and finesse as well as zesty lemon flavors with classic notes of William pear and acacia. The chalky subsoil into which the vines plunge their roots, provides the wines with a strong mineral background. The Champagnes exhibit complexity and depth brought by the diversity of the terroirs, the old age of the vines, the vinification, and the élevage (barrel ageing) in French oak barrels. Finally, the superbly small size and persistence of the bubbles in the glass prove that only the highest quality techniques are applied and that the Champagnes are released only at maturity.
The origins of the Morlet family in the Champagne region of France are difficult to precisely retrace. It is certain, though, that the Morlet family has been cultivating vineyards in Avenay-Val-d'Or since the early 1800's. Although the family always made its own wine, the majority of the grape production was sold to the Grandes Maisons of Champagne. At that time, the market for selling grapes was poor. In order to supplement the family's income, Auguste Morlet, an orphan from an impoverished background, worked as a gardener. In addition, he planted, in between his own grape vines, vegetables that he sold each year at the weekly farmers market.
Morlet family, winery, and homeIt was one of Auguste's sons, Gaston Morlet, who is truly the founder of Champagne Pierre Morlet. Throughout the ups and downs of nature, wars, famines, and economical hardships, Gaston focused the activities of the family toward viticulture, becoming the family's exclusive occupation. They eventually created their own label, and began making their own wines.
Gaston's only child, Pierre, displayed a great enthusiasm and determination for the vineyards and the wines. Seeing his son's passion, Gaston decided to name the Champagnes after him. Indeed, it is Pierre Morlet who created the style of Champagne that the family is known for today.
Pierre's objective was to establish high quality vineyards in the center of the Champagne region. Even then, he understood that a variety of terroirs would lead to the highest quality of wines. While the original family vineyard parcels were situated on the hillsides of Avenay-Val-D'Or, Pierre purchased additional vineyard blocks located at even higher elevations known as Mutigny. Aided by his son, Eric Morlet, Pierre undertook the arduous tasks of clearing and leveling the land. Eric Morlet carried out a second phase of purchasing and clearing wooded parcels in the 1980's. These parcels of land were located on the opposite hillside of Mutigny (near Mareuil-sur-Ay) and on the hillsides of Aÿ.
Today, the powerful and harmonious style of Champagnes "Pierre Morlet" is continued by yet another generation. In 1992, Eric's eldest son, Luc Morlet, reinstated his grandfather's use of partially aging the wines in demi-muids barrels. When Luc moved to California to marry his American fiancée Jodie and to begin his career making wine in the United States, Eric's youngest son, Nicolas Morlet, continued to fine-tune the winemaking techniques, and as a result, the Champagnes won many prestigious awards. The middle son, Paulin Morlet oversees all vineyard and wine operations.
After four generations, Champagne Pierre Morlet et Fils has become synonymous in France for authentic and handcrafted Champagnes. Now, wine connoisseurs around the world are discovering the unique harmony of Pierre Morlet Champagne.
Today, the Morlet family vineyards are comprised of over thirty parcels totaling forty acres in Avenay-Val-d'Or (Premier Cru), Aÿ (Grand Cru), Bisseuil (Premier Cru), and Mutigny (Premier Cru). These vineyard blocks are situated next to parcels that produce the super premium cuvées for such famous Champagne houses as Bollinger, Krug, Moet & Chandon, Mumm, Pommery, and Veuve Clicquot-Ponsardin.
All of the family's vineyards are located on hillsides with a very high density of 3600 vines per acre, allowing for a perfect balance of the vines. This results in healthy and ripe fruit, which express each terroir. Pruning, tying, suckering, shoot positioning, and harvesting are all carried out by hand.