Produced by a talented husband and wife team, Isabelle Mathieu and Michel Jacob, the champagnes of Serge Mathieu are first-rate representations of the purity and precision of the Aube region. Founded in 1760, the house sold their grapes to negociants for two centuries, before Serge Mathieu bottled his first wines in 1970.
6 rue des Vignes, Avirey Lingey, the Aube. + 33 (0) 3 25 29 32 58
Refined over many years, the Serge Mathieu champagnes are superb representations of Aube Pinot Noir. The richness of the black grapes is expressed in wines that are polished, complex and elegant with an abundance of vibrant fruit.
Serge Mathieu Tradition Brut
100% Pinot Noir blended from three vintages, and aged for at least three years. The wine is bright, full-bodied and long, with a dosage of 8.6g/L.
Serge Mathieu Brut Prestige
67% Pinot Noir, 33% Chardonnay. This elegant, feminine wine is a blend of vintages, spends four years ageing and has a dosage of 8.6g/L.
Serge Mathieu Rose
90% Pinot Noir, 10% Chardonnay. The rose is made using the addition of still red wine made on the estate. Fruity and fresh, with a dosage of 10.4g/L.
Serge Mathieu Brut Select
80% Chardonnay, 20% Pinot Noir. Very light dosage of just 8.6g/L. This is a champagne of considerable structure and depth.
Serge Mathieu Millesime
A vintage wine made only in the best years and mainly from Pinot Noir.
The Mathieu family of growers has been tending to vines in the Aube village of Avirey-Lingey since 1760. Gradually, over the years, they increased their vineyard holdings and today own 11 hectares. Historical documents show expansion of the vineyard holdings by Jean Mathieu in the late 1700s, by Emile Mathieu a century later and by Serge’s father, Augustin ‘France’ Mathieu at the turn of the 20th century. Now in their seventh generation, Serge’s daughter Isabelle and her husband Michel Jacob are at the helm.
Serge Mathieu joined his father in the business in 1958. Until then the family’s grapes had always been sold to negociants, but noticing the rise in popularity of champagne, Serge took the decision to bottle their own wines. He produced his first cuvees in 1970, starting with an initial production of only 5,000 bottles. Within a short space of time, production increased to 40,000 bottles per year.
When Serge’s daughter Isabelle joined the company in 1987, she set out to introduce their wines to the global market. She managed to increase sales to 80,000 bottles – of which 60% were exported – an impressive figure for a small family firm.
A few years later, a vine grower by the name of Michel Jacob, from the nearby Aube village of Merrey-sur-Arce, stole Isabelle’s heart and they married in 1996. Just two years later, Michel joined the business and cultivated his skill as a winemaker under Serge’s careful and supportive tutelage.
Now Isabelle and Michel, a young, fun-loving and exceptionally talented couple, run all aspects of the company from the vineyards, to the cellars, marketing and sales. Sales now run to 100,000 bottles, of which 85% are exports.
The individual expression of the different vineyard sites is very important to Michel, and he takes care to preserve the uniqueness of each one. The vineyards of the Aube benefit from a range of soils, with large amounts of Kimmeridgian chalk in some areas, and stony limestone soils on the sloping hillsides, both of which provide good drainage for vines.
The majority of the vineyards in the Aube (89%) are planted with Pinot Noir, which is also the main grape grown by the Mathieu family. It accounts for 80%, versus 20% for Chardonnay. Their vines have an average age of around 23 years.
Michel and Isabelle have great respect for the land and the environment, and they encourage the best expression of the grapes through a healthy approach to viticulture. Due to the unpredictable weather conditions in Champagne, it is not always possible to adhere to strictly organic practices, so they use natural methods as often as possible and only resort to the use of chemicals in the most dire of situations. In their words: “As far as we are concerned, good viticulture should be transparent in its approach and its details, combining ethics and lifestyle.”
In the cellar, each plot of grapes is pressed individually using a pneumatic press. Fermentation is temperature controlled. The wines all go through malolactic fermentation, and a lengthy ageing of 3-5 years occurs on the lees in stainless steel or enamel tanks. Oak barrels are not favoured, as the influence of the wood can overwhelm the delicacy of the fruit. The aromas are also of crucial importance and therefore Michel chooses to keep the dosage levels low – usually between 8.6-10.4 grams per litre.