by Paige Donner
The J. De Telmont House of Champagne located in Damery, France counts itself among the major twenty champagne houses of the region. Considering the players who are on that team, this is no small accomplishment for a family-owned and still family-run Champagne House.
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J. De Telmont is currently overseen by Bertrand Lhopital, the fourth generation since his great-grandfather, Henri Lhopital, began to elaborate his own champagnes as one of the first growers of the region to gain Recoltant-Manipulant (grower-producer) status when this title was first created in the region. Bertrand is joined by his sister Pascale and his brother-in-law, Philippe, in the running of the vineyards, the vinification, the export and the myriad other tasks that are involved in the successful operations of a champagne house.
The actual brand name J. De Telmont, was established by the second generation of the family Lhopital to run the business. It was during the time when the house was expanding and purchasing strategic vineyard plots, many of which were, and are still, on Grand Cru designated terroir. The name “Lhopital,” traditionally evoked the original meaning of “hospitality” or “welcoming” but when it became synonymous with the modern day meaning of “hospital,” they decided to create a brand name more evocative of what the champagne house stood for and what their champagnes represent.
Le Grand Rosé
This NV Brut is a blend of 85% Chardonnay and 15% Pinot Noir of which 15% of that is reserve wine. The light raspberry pink color with salmon reflections is derived from partial maceration, not a blend, which lends subtlety and a long finish to this fresh and fruity exceptional rosé.
Cuvée Grand Couronnement
Only first pressing juice is used from the choicest grape selection from the Grand Cru de la Côte des Blancs, which is to say the best of the best of Chardonnay Champagne grapes. And did I mention it’s made only in the best harvest years and aged until it’s at its height of perfection. The house itself describes it thus: An exceptional vintage that “crowns” our production… It is reserved for only the most dedicated connoisseurs.