Hautvillers may be famous for its Abbey and a certain wine loving monk, but it is also an especially diverse corner of Champagne to the north of Epernay where the Montagne de Reims ends and the Vallée de la Marne begins, offering a complex mix of clay-limestone and chalk soils with a variety of expositions. Growers here often have a range of different terroirs and varieties to work with, giving them a broad palate of wines to make and blend. Laure and Clement represent the fourth generation to produce wine at Champagne Louis Nicaise which was founded just after World War One. Inspired by Clement’s work at Champagne Jacques Selosse and the increasing movement from younger vignerons towards more sustainable viticulture, the couple have overseen a rapid improvement in the quality of the wines at the estate. Since 2014 when Laure and Clement took over fully from Laure’s parents, farming has switched away from herbicides and pesticides, becoming more manual and engaged, improving the quality of harvest and therefore the concentration of the wines, consequently allowing them to lower dosage levels and let the fruit speak more clearly. Fermentations are in a combination of barrel and tank and Clement likes to maximise the lees contact after first fermentations before wines go to bottle for tirage. The resulting Champagnes from Louis Nicaise are traditional in style and massively over deliver on purity, balance and concentration at their price point.