Jérôme Prévost and his estate of Champagne La Closerie is part of a small but powerful coalition of tiny producers making intense, terroir-transparent, vinous Champagnes. Rather than follow the traditional Champagne model of blending grapes, vintages, and vineyards to produce a "standardized" product, Prevost and fellow "Champagne Renegades" produce single-vineyard, single-vintage, single-varietal wines. In his case, this means 100% Pinot Meunier from his two hectares vineyard of Les Beguines in the Vallée de la Marne village of Gueux.
Prévost started on the path to winemaking after inheriting these two hectares of vines from his grandmother. She had previously rented out the vines for others to tend, until 1987, when Jérôme took over and began to sell grapes directly to négociants. In the mid-1990's, he began working at Jacques Selosse. Soon thereafter, in 1998, with the help of his mentor Anselme Selosse, Prévost began producing tiny quantities of his own wine in Selosse's cellars in Avize. He continued to produce his wine there until 2001, when he built a cellar near his vineyard in Gueux.
Prevost was most certainly influenced by some of the unique techniques of Anselme Selosse, including a fastidious attention to detail in the vineyard, with extremely low yields (about half the legal limit!) and no chemical additives used in his farming. Les Beguines is located about 10 km west of Reims. It was planted in the late 1950's, fortunately prior to the age of "super clones", so with original massale selection cuttings. Jérôme harvests all grapes by hand, and ferments with indigenous yeasts using a mix of used barriques and 600L demi-muids. The champagnes are disgorged about 16 months after bottling, and finished with no dosage and very little sulfur so as to preserve the sanctity and purity of the wine underneath.
Prévost's miniscule production is magnified by his cult-y following. While the technical details can't be eliminated from the conversation, Jérôme's Champagnes should be viewed through the lens of his generous, artistic spirit. Part philosopher, part comedian, Jérome farms vines and produces wines with the deep desire to bring people together in the name of deliciousness.