Once in a while we are introduced to someone or something and a few years later you can’t remember exactly when and how it happened but you can’t imagine your life without it. I can’t remember when exactly or how I was introduced to Jean-Marc. I presume, like a lot of new Champagne producers, it was through mutual friends in Champagne. My first clear memory of Jean-Marc was in 2016 at one of the many tasting in Champagnes during the Le Printemps des Champagnes (the annual Champagne tasting week, in April of every year). I remember I had tasted his wines prior and was very much looking forward meeting him in person.
Jean Marc is one of the most exciting young producers of Champagne. Located in Pierry, just south of Epernay, his family has been making Champagne since Jean-Marc’s grandfather started, in 1965. Jean Marc took over the family business in 2008 after returning home from stints in the New World, from Napa Valley to Yarra Valley. He came home with lessons of “what not to do” that he saw in the New World, which was too many corrections made in the winery which in fact could be prevented from the beginning in the vineyard.
The changes he applied included plowing rows by horse, reducing yields, and organic and biodynamic applications to boost the health of the soil and the vines. And in the cellar, he applied a more gentle and slow fermentation with lower temperatures and wild yeasts. He insisted on longer ageing on the lees for all his cuvees and did away with fining and filtration. And because of these reformed farming techniques, he found more maturity in his grapes which allowed him to lower the sugar levels in his dosage.
When I met Jean Marc on that lovely spring April day in 2016, it was the beginning of a great friendship. Before anyone else in the UK had heard of Jean Marc, we started pouring his wines by the glass at bubbledogs. Him and his amazing wife, Oriane, have always been great supporters of us and even did a few producer nights at bubbledogs. Great memories were made including Oriane tending the bar and making cocktails at bubbledogs, to the most epic Instagram takeover we have ever done.
If there's any investment advice I can give, I’d say buy and drink Jean-Marc Seleque now before we all can’t afford it anymore in a few years time!
Shop our selection of Jean Marc's cuvees here.