Françoise Bedel, a single mother of two sons and a new winery found herself in a tight spot. Her oldest son was very sick and she could find no doctor or hospital that could cure him. There were many weeks and months searching for an answer. As a last desperate measure, she took him to see an older couple in a nearby village who practiced homeopathic medicine. Under their guidance, Vincent, Françoise’s son and current winemaker at the estate, was on the mend. She swore off modern medicine and within months had removed every chemical or synthetic material from her tiny winery, Françoise became a biodynamic winemaker before virtually anyone in the wine trade had ever heard of the term. Francoise & her son Vincent are in love with Pinot Meunier and this variety features heavily at this address. This is not uncommon as the Marne Valley is know for the quality of its Pinot Meunier and Françoise and Vincent only farm small amounts of Chardonnay (13%) and Pinot Noir (9%). In addition to their reliance on Pinot Meunier, Vincent and Françoise are also patient with their champagnes and it is not uncommon for a wine to spend more than 6 years on the lees, and frequently far longer. Low or zero dosage is the rule chez Bedel.
This blend of Pinot Meunier, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir is from certified Biodynamic 30-60 year old vines grown on clay limestone and rocky limestone. Vinification takes place either in barrel or in enameled steel tanks, the wines are also strongly influenced by their long lees ageing: even this non-Vintage entry level cuvée is aged for six years before disgorgement, explaining the markedly leesy character of her wines. She tries to produce less standardized wines and uses little reserve wine, so as to show the characteristics of the vintage. The Champagnes of Françoise and Vincent are wines with heft and weight with long, lingering acidity. We don’t often think ofdecanting Champagne, but these are wines that are transcendent when exposed to air – they are wines of great soul and depth.