You can make out the village of Verzenay as you thunder south of Reims on the Autoroute des Anglais towards the Autoroute du Soleil. It nestles below the tree line on the Montagne de Reims (which is more of a gentle incline than a mountain) – the village with a windmill to its west and a lighthouse to its east. Why is there a lighthouse this far from the sea? It was built by a grower called Joseph Goulet to remind his homesick wife of Brittany and is now a wine museum.
Godme is a small family domaine run until recently by two sisters, Sabine and Dominique, and Jean-Marie Guillaume, Sabine’s husband. They have been farming organically since 2004 and certified in 2013. There has been a small reorganization recently as the two sisters have divided their domaine in readiness for the next generation. We noticed recently that the label has also undergone some radical change. Sabine’s daughter Marie is now involved – she’s fresh out of college and keen to bring some of her fresh perspective on “Le Marketing”. Whichever labels you might prefer there is no doubting the sheer quality of their Champagnes.
Brut Reserve is the Godmes’ calling card, a blend of 70% Chardonnay, 15% Pinot Noir and 15% Pinot Meunier from 20 parcels of 1er Cru vines. The quality is always extremely high, thanks in part to the inclusion of 50% of Reserve wine from earlier vintages. Dosage is 7g.
The Blanc de Noirs is round, fragrant, fruits of the forest nose, deep, mouth-filling and very long. We adore this very stylish Champagne made with 100% Pinot Noir from Grand Cru vineyards in Verzenay and the neighbouring village of Verzy. 40% was kept in oak, which, in Champagne can provide an extra broadness and just a tiny twist of spice and hazelnut. Dosage is 6g.
The beautiful, fresh, classy Blanc de Blancs is from Chardonnay vines in Villers-Marmery the next village clockwise around the Montagne from Verzy. Dosage is 7g.
Sabine’s vintage bottlings tend to be 60% Pinot Noir/40% Chardonnay with dosage around 5g. Always ripe, always balanced.
The Grand Cru Extra Brut, now labelled “Terre de Verzenay”, is sensational. High class, intense, expressive, yet not showy. Effortless. 60% Pinot Noir/40% Chardonnay, dosage 4g.
They have been collaborating with several other growers on a shared bottling called 17 Cuvee. It’s a blend of all 17 Grand Crus from the 2017 vintage and should be available between 2022-2024.