Jacques Diebolt’s family came to the Côte des Blancs from Alsace in the nineteenth century. With his wife Nadia Vallois, he owns about 19 acres of Chardonnay vines in the villages of Cramant (Grand Cru) and Cuis (Premier Cru). The crown jewel of the estate is “Les Pietons,” a small parcel of 70-year-old Chardonnay vines in Cramant. Jacques Diebolt is passionately committed to the idea that Champagne is first and foremost a wine, and that good winemaking starts in the vineyard. In the cellar, he brings a distinctly Alsatian perfectionism to craft the finest Champagne.
Most of the 7,000 case productions go to leading restaurants in France, like L’Espérance in Père-sous-Vézelay and Les Trois Marches in Versailles, which pour the Diebolt-Vallois time Blanc de Blancs by the glass. “Prestige” is blended from barrels of Diebolt’s best Cramant wines, and kept longer on the lees than his “Blanc de Blancs” bottling. The first release of this wine in 1992 earned him the Gault-Millau “Vigneron de l’Année” (Winemaker of the Year) award. Jacques Diebolt’s Tête de Cuvée is the Fleur de Passion, named for his “passion” for the kind of Champagnes made by his grandfather in the 1950s. The wine has a full, clean, toasted-brioche nose, with a rich mineral-laced middle, and an endless finish. Currently, Jacques’ “Fleur de Passion” is made from the oldest vines in “Les Pietons,” barrel-fermented in old casks and bottled unfiltered, with no malolactic fermentation.