Forgotten grape varieties : gamay de Bouze, ribeyrenc, persan, oeillades, gringet, ... (report in french)

My informations might be wrong :
Champagne Aubry nombre d’or Sablé Blanc des Blancs 1998 : 16/20 - 11/3/2006
Cette cuvée est donc à la fois un blanc de blancs et un assemblage (chardonnay, arbanne, petit meslier, pinot gris). L’aération affine et complexifie un vin élégant mais non dénué de fermeté, porté par des goûts sans défaillance de citron, de fleurs blanches, de minéral. Acidulé, net et apéritif.

4 white grapes …

1 Like

Well, that wine is a Blanc de Blancs, so it wouldn’t have the black varieties.

The wines I had were a blend of 6, as shown on the winery website here

But 4 or 6 they both contain the rare varieties Arbanne and Petit Meslier.

Petit Meslier implies there is or was a Gros Meslier.

Jancis et al in Wine Grapes list a Meslier Saint-Francois and a Meslier Noir (synonym of Mezy).

What got me interested in obscure Champagne varieties is that I had been taught that only three were allowed in Champagne (Chardonnay, Pinots Noir & Meunier) then decades ago on a tour of Mumm Napa they said they used the Champagne varieties but they named Pinot Blanc as one that hey used. I thought they had made a mistake. Later in Champagne I asked Champagne grower/maker Francis Boulard and he told me about the ‘heritage’ varieties still allowed and the next time I visited him he gave me a bottle of Moutard Arbanne and told me about Aubrey so I searched the wine shops in Reims to find more Arbanne and the Moutard and Aubrey blends.

Heresy I know, but I am not convinced that Chardonnay, Pinots Noir & Meunier make the best sparkling wine. I think Chenin is a contender as best allrounder, but I also enjoy Mauzac, Seyval Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc and Cava…


I don’t think that Loire (even with the excellent Foreau Vouvray Réserve) can challenge Champagne. Same opinion for the sparkling wines produced in Gaillac and Limoux. I have no great reference for Crémant in Alsace, Bordeaux or Burgundy (does it exist ?).

Recaredo, that I visited last year, produces excellent cavas with local grapes xarel-lo, parellada, maccabeu (many cavas also use chardonnay and pinot noir).
During the spanish Viniteca blind tasting competition, errors are frequent (Champagne vs Cava or Corpinnat or Conca de l Riu Anioa (Ranventos i Blanc)).

Worth tasting sparklings in England (Nyetimber), Italy (Franciacorta) and South Africa (Klein Constantia Brut Méthode Cap Classic - chardonnay).
Let’s not forget this beauty drunk during Vinexpo in a panel of great red and white italian wines : Trento DOC Giulio Ferrari Riserva del Fondatore 2001 (chardonay).
I also tasted during a dinner at the domain a very good (and rare) Dr. Loosen Riesling sekt Graacher Himmelreich 1990 (24 years). An exception ?

Fronton Viguerie de Beulaygue Terre de Négrette Les Rougets 2018 : 15,5/20 – 21/5/2021
Superbe négrette florale, fruitée, épicé, bien calibrée, très mûre, bien gourmande, avec une grande douceur (confiserie à la violette). Joli début d’évolution tertiaire, avec un agréable soupçon d’animalité et une belle finale réglissée.

Same level for the Fronton Viguerie de Beulaygue Terre de Négrette Les Boulbènes 2018 tasted last year.

Fronton La Colombière Les Frontons Flingueurs 2020 : 15/20 – 27/5/2021
Expressif, gouleyant, bien mûr, typé (négrette). Semble plus dense que le 2019 bu en début d’année.

Laherte Les 7 contains the same seven grapes as the Aubry Campaniae Veteres Vites. I’ve enjoyed it in the past going back to when it was called Les Clos, but it’s been a few years since I’ve had it.

Both Laherte and Duval-Leroy make wines from 100% Petit Meslier. Haven’t tried either yet.


If you’re interested in these forgotten grapes, here is a list of 103 cuvées made with them It includes 11 coteaux champenois, and a ratafia. Let me know your thoughts, and if I have forgotten any:


To my understanding, Jardin de la Grosse Pierre is a vineyard of 10 different varieties, not limited to the 7 allowed varieties, but also including Chasselas, Gros Plant and a variety only known as “Teinturier”, which have been grandfathered in.

You also describe Arbane as “species”, but that term is incorrect - Vitis vinifera is the species and Arbane is a variety (or, alternatively, a cultivar).

Otherwise, a solid list. Good job!