Veuve Fourny & Fils is a small producer with 9 hectares of vines in Vertus, a Premier Cru village in the Côte des Blanc, famous for its Chardonnay. In fact it is planted 95% with Chardonnay, with the rest Pinot Noir. Few areas of the Côte des Blancs have any Pinot Noir as Vertus does. Although essentially a Grower-Producer, they have technically been a negociant since 1979 which allows them to purchase grapes from family as well as a few select friends with very high grower standards.
All of their grapes come solely from Vertus. Veuve Fourny & Fils has been a family house since 1856. Grandfather Albert Fourny was making eponymous Champagne since the 1930s and the house was renamed Veuve A. Fourny after his death in the 50s. Now run by 5th generation brothers Charles-Henry and Emmanuel since 1993, the house is known as Veuve Fourny & Fils.
They practice Lutte Raisonnée, which is sustainable farming, use organic fertilizer, and harvest their grapes by hand. The vines average over 40 years old. They use minimal dosage, vinify each parcel separately, partially age their base wines in oak, and generally blend wines with no malolactic fermentation with those that have gone through malolactic for "both roundness and freshness."
Non Vintage wines include:
NV Brut Blanc de Blancs - 25% of the wines have undergone malolactic fermentation, dosage is around 5 grams/litre, and it's aged 2 1/2 years in the bottle before release. Vines average 40 years old
NV Brut Blanc de Blancs Nature - Similar to the above Blanc de blancs but with zero dosage and the vines average 50 years old.. Reportedly wonderfull, although I haven't run across a bottle as of this writing.
NV Brut Grande Reserve - Produced similarly to the NV Brut Blanc de blancs except it has 20% Pinot Noir.
NV “Cuvée R” Extra Brut - Named after Roger Fourny, this is 90% Chardonnay with the rest half Pinot (Noir and maybe some Meunier), is vinified totally in old Burgundy Barrels and all base wines have undergone malolactic fermentation. Low dosage of around 3 grams/litre and it is usually a blend of two vintages.
NV Sec “Douces Vertus” - Half Chardonnay and half Pinot Noir, this is a sweet wine with about 17-20 grams of dosage/litre. On the low end of "Sec" and some houses Bruts are almost as sweet.
NV Rosé Brut - 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir from vines averaging 40 years old. Half the cuvee is aged in Burgundy barrels and dosage is around 5 to 6 grams/litre.
Vintage wines include:
Blanc de Blancs 1er Cru Millésimé - Their vintage Blanc de blancs from vines averaging 50 years old, most years the wines do not undergo malolactic fermentation, they are aged at least 5 years in the bottle, and usually have 5-6 grams of dosage/litre or less. Drinking the 2006 as I type - tasting notes below.
Extra Brut “Cuvée du Clos Faubourg Notre Dame Millésimé” - Their Tete de Cuvee from a small .23 hectare walled vineyard.100% Chardonnay, vines averaging 52 years old, wines undergoing malolactic fermentation, aged in burgundy barrels, and with very very low dosage (2 grams/litre).
Tasting Note: Veuve Fourny & Fils Vertus 1er Cru Millésimé Blanc de Blancs 2006 - April, 2013, rated B+/A-
The nose has fresh bread and a melange of citrus fruits: orange and lemon and lime. A wonderful essence of chalk. Some melon.
Touch of apple on the palate. Slight spiciness as it breathes and some warm orange emerges. Lovely and totally appropriately slightly bitter grapefruit and Chinese "bitter melon" mixed with minerals on the tail end emerge after about 45 minutes giving it additional character and complexity.
This is very fresh and very young. Improved massively as it warmed and breathed. This may be an easy A- in a few years. Tough to rate at this age, but easy to enjoy!
At about 70ish dollars, not a steal, and I'll hope to try a better vintage sometime, or perhaps this one with some more age on it.