In 1973, Alexandre Grimée’s grandparents planted 0.6 hectares in a little known village called Bonneil in the western portion of the Marne Valley. They planted Meunier in an ideal position mid-slope between the forest above and the river below. Five decades later the vines are still producing some of the best Meunier in the region. Alexandre began making his winemaking career in 2014 at the age of eighteen and has rather quickly rose in prominence and prowess.
Alexandre makes one wine, from one plot, in one village and it is always single vintage. He has been able to increase his vineyard holdings to 1ha and produces about 2,000 bottles a year. The amount of wine to go around is minuscule yet he has already begun to create a devoted following around the champagne loving world.
The vineyard is certified Organic and planted in calcareous clay soil on a steep southern facing slope. These favorable vineyard conditions give the Meunier tremendous potential for maturity during the growing season. Alexandre is the only person responsible for the vineyard and winemaking and his approach is to be present in the cellar but discreet in his influence on the final wine. Only the heart of the press is used for the wine. The wine is fermented and aged in a single large stainless steel tank and there is no assemblage necessary. The decision to allow the wine to undergo malolactic fermentation is made on a year to year basis. For example in 2018 malo was halted to retain the freshness of the wine. In 2015 malo was completed due to different conditions in the vineyard that year.
There are no rules when it comes to making “Sous Les Trous.” Nothing is taken for granted and nature dictates the plan for that year which Alexandre states, “is never its clone from one year to the next, but driven by the desire to find methods that will make the vine evolve in an ever more complete environment.” Each year is a challenge, one Alexandre has shown he is up for time and time again.