Champagne Leclerc Briant, 150th Anniversary, Brut Zéro (Disgorged in 2022)

Champagne Leclerc Briant, 150th Anniversary, Brut Zéro (Disgorged in 2022)

Product: 10008153850
 
Champagne Leclerc Briant, 150th Anniversary, Brut Zéro (Disgorged in 2022)

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Description

‘When we arrived, we did not think we’d launch a cuvée for the 150th anniversary of Leclerc Briant,’ said Frédéric Zeimett, managing director of the house since its purchase by an American couple, Denise Dupré and Mark Nunelly. ‘To celebrate this birthday, we wanted to mix the past and the present.’ 

It’s a link between the work of the current team and the work of Pascal Leclerc, the former owner. For this, Hervé Jestin, the cellar master, made a singular cuvée of only 3,000 bottles, composed of the 2014 vintage (a blend of 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Pinot Meunier) with a solera from 2013 and 2011, and three vintages (2008, 2009 and 2010) sourced from the historic 2.5ha parcel of Les Chèvres Pierreuses, in the village of Cumières. 

This is the only parcel that belonged to the original estate during the Pascal Leclerc era. It is co-planted with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. Disgorged in February 2022 with a dosage of 2g/L, Leclerc Briant’s limited edition 150th Anniversary cuvée has a delicate, energetic and perfumed bouquet with lemon oil, citrus, herbs, pear, and peach aromas intertwined with hints of spices and spring flowers. 

Tense and profound, perfectly balanced with a pinpoint mousse, the palate is fresh and elegant and has an underlying crystalline sensation serving as a counterpoint to the fullness of the texture. The final is long and chalky. It will mature over the next six to eight years.

Drink 2022 - 2030

Yohan Castaing, Decanter.com (August 2022)

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Decanter95/100

‘When we arrived, we did not think we’d launch a cuvée for the 150th anniversary of Leclerc Briant,’ said Frédéric Zeimett, managing director of the house since its purchase by an American couple, Denise Dupré and Mark Nunelly. ‘To celebrate this birthday, we wanted to mix the past and the present.’ 

It’s a link between the work of the current team and the work of Pascal Leclerc, the former owner. For this, Hervé Jestin, the cellar master, made a singular cuvée of only 3,000 bottles, composed of the 2014 vintage (a blend of 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Pinot Meunier) with a solera from 2013 and 2011, and three vintages (2008, 2009 and 2010) sourced from the historic 2.5ha parcel of Les Chèvres Pierreuses, in the village of Cumières. 

This is the only parcel that belonged to the original estate during the Pascal Leclerc era. It is co-planted with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. Disgorged in February 2022 with a dosage of 2g/L, Leclerc Briant’s limited edition 150th Anniversary cuvée has a delicate, energetic and perfumed bouquet with lemon oil, citrus, herbs, pear, and peach aromas intertwined with hints of spices and spring flowers. 

Tense and profound, perfectly balanced with a pinpoint mousse, the palate is fresh and elegant and has an underlying crystalline sensation serving as a counterpoint to the fullness of the texture. The final is long and chalky. It will mature over the next six to eight years.

Drink 2022 - 2030

Yohan Castaing, Decanter.com (August 2022)

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About this WINE

Champagne Leclerc Briant

Champagne Leclerc Briant

Champagne Leclerc Briant focuses on organic and biodynamic viticulture, working in harmony with nature to produce some of the region’s most exciting wines.

Lucien Leclerc founded the estate in 1872 in the village of Cumières. In the mid-20th century, in the hands of Lucien’s great-grandson, Bertrand Leclerc, and his wife, Jacqueline Briant, the operation was moved to the beating heart of Champagne, Epernay. Here it also took a new name – Leclerc Briant. Around the same time, the house started practising biodynamic viticulture (becoming one of the first in the region to do so), eventually earning certification in the 1980s.

Since 2012, Chef du Cave Hervé Jestin, formerly of Champagne Duval-Leroy, has refined the house style here. Working with organic and biodynamic fruit, he also practises biodynamic principles in the winery. Leclerc Briant has taken on new vineyards, renovated its facilities, and has a renewed, uncompromising focus on quality.

The traditional sparkling wine method here is low dosage, vineyard-specific, and extremely interesting. The popular Abyss cuvée is aged underwater. As of the 2012 vintage, Hervé Jestin and the team are responsible for making the wine at Château d’Avize, which they bottle under the Leclerc Briant label and sell through La Place de Bordeaux.

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Champagne

Champagne

Our wine buyers leave no stone unturned in their quest to find the best Champagnes, and Berry Bros. & Rudd takes particular pride in its eclectic range of artisan Champagnes that represent a real sense of terroir, original winemaking, labour-intensive viticulture (often organic/biodynamic) and the uncompromising excellence of the end product.

Grand Marques Artisan Champagnes
 Ayala Perrier Jouët Alfred Gratien Lancelot-Pienne
 Billecart-Salmon, Pol Roger Bonnaire Lahaye
 Bollinger Pommery Cédric Bouchard R&L Legras
 Dom Perignon Louis Roederer Gaston Chiquet Marguet
 Krug Ruinart Guy Larmandier Paul Bara
 Lanson Salon Eric Rodez Pierre Péters
 Laurent-Perrier Taittinger Janisson Baradon René Geoffroy
 Moët & Chandon Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Jacquesson Vergnon
    Larmandier-Bernier Vilmart & Cie


How Champagne is made 

In 1668, in the village of Hautvillers, the monk turned cellar master, Dom Pérignon, is said to have discovered how to make sparkling wine; while the same technique is used all over the world today, the region of Champagne continues to make some of the finest.

So what makes wine sparkle? Adding a solution of sugar and yeast to a white wine starts another fermentation in the bottle which results in the bubbles. Once the yeasts have done their job, a sediment known as ‘lees’ collects on the side of the bottle; contact with this deposit during maturation gives the wine its characteristic flavours of freshly-baked bread, toast and biscuit. Once this sediment is isolated (remuage) and removed (dégorgement), the Champagne is topped up with a sugar solution to make it dry or sweet

The Champagne Wine Region

Champagne is the most northerly wine region in France and is situated north-east of Paris. There are three main vineyard areas: Côte des Blancs, Vallée de la Marne and Montagne de Reims.
 
Ripeness of the grapes is often a problem, which is one reason why a blend of grape varieties is usually used: the white Chardonnay to give fruit and elegance, and two reds – Pinot Noir (particularly to provide a ‘backbone’) and Pinot Meunier.

In Champagne there are around 15,000 growers and 290 Champagne houses. Traditionally, growers have sold their grapes to the Champagne houses which account for 70 percent of production and 90 percent of exports. Recently, increasing numbers of growers are making growers’ Champagnes themselves, using their own grapes.
 
The Champagne houses used to be organized into a Syndicat des Grandes Marques, which had 28 members, not all of them of equal quality. That has now been superseded by the Club des Grandes Marques, with 24 participants: Ayala, Billecart-Salmon, Bollinger, Canard- Duchêne, Deutz, Dom Pérignon, Heidsieck & Co. Monopole, Henriot, Krug, Lanson, Laurent-Perrier, Moët & Chandon, G.H. Mumm, Perrier Jouët, Joseph Perrier, Piper-Heidsieck, Pol Roger, Pommery, Ch. & A Prieur, Louis Roederer, Ruinart, Salon, Taittinger, Veuve Clicquot-Ponsardin.
 
Champagne Styles

Vintage Champagne
Made exclusively from grapes grown in a single year, this is produced only in the best years, and is released at about six years of age.
 
Non-Vintage Champagne
Most of the Champagne produced today is Non-Vintage, comprising the blended product of grapes from multiple vintages. Typically grapes from a single-year vintage will form the base of the blend, ranging from 15 percent to up to 40 percent.

Rosé Champagne
Typically light in colour, rosé Champagne is produced either by leaving the clear juice of black grapes to macerate on its skins for a brief time (known as saigneé), or by adding a small amount of Pinot Noir red wine to the sparkling wine cuvée. The saigneé method is more elaborate and costly, requiring highly-skilled winemaking, hence only a few houses still use it – among them Laurent Perrier and Louis Roederer.

Luxury (Prestige) Cuvée
Top of the range, this is vintage-dated. Famous examples include Louis Roederer's Cristal, Laurent-Perrier's Grand Siècle, Moët & Chandon's Dom Pérignon, Duval-Leroy's Cuvée Femme and Pol Roger's Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill.

Demi-Sec (Rich) Champagne
Demi-Sec or Rich is a medium-dry to medium-sweet style which occupies the other end of the spectrum from the standard dry "Brut" style. Brut Natural or Brut Zéro contains less than three grams of sugar per litre, Extra Brut has less than six grams of sugar per litre, and Brut less than 12 grams of sugar per litre. 

Recently Disgorged Champagne
R.D. (Recently Disgorged) style was introduced for the first time by Madame Bollinger in 1961, on the 1952 Bollinger Grande Année vintage. Late disgorgement allows the Champagne to retain its freshness, vivacity and fruity expression, despite the ageing.

Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Blanc de Blancs denotes a Champagne made exclusively from Chardonnay grapes.

Blanc de Noirs Champagne
Blanc de Noir Champagnes are made exclusively from black grapes, Pinot Noir (typically) and Pinot Meunier grapes. Bollinger's prestige cuvée Vieilles Vignes Françaises is the lead example.

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Champagne blend

Champagne blend

Which grapes are included in the blend, and their proportion, is one of the key factors determining the style of most Champagnes. Three grapes are used - Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier.

26% of vineyards in Champagne are planted with Chardonnay and it performs best on the Côtes des Blancs and on the chalk slopes south of Epernay. It is relatively simple to grow, although it buds early and thus is susceptible to spring frosts. It produces lighter, fresher wines than those from Burgundy and gives finesse, fruit and elegance to the final blend. It is the sole grape in Blancs de Blancs, which are some of the richest long-lived Champagnes produced.

Pinot Noir accounts for nearly 40% of the plantings in Champagne and lies at the heart of most blends - it gives Champagne its body, structure, strength and grip. It is planted across Champagne and particularly so in the southern Aube district.

The final component is Pinot Meunier and this constitutes nearly 35% of the plantings. Its durability and resistance to spring frosts make the Marne Valley, a notorious frost pocket, its natural home. It ripens well in poor years and produces a soft, fruity style of wine that is ideal for blending with the more assertive flavours of Pinot Noir. Producers allege that Pinot Meunier lacks ageing potential, but this does not deter Krug from including around 15% of it in their final blends.


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