Leclerc Briant was an early adopter of organic practices beginning in the 1960’s and pioneered the concept of single-vineyard Champagne starting in the 1970’s. Fifth generation vigneron, Pascal Leclerc began to follow biodynamic principles in 1988, with part of the production Demeter certified since 2003. Today, enologist Hervé Jestin continues the legacy of this visionary house.
Ten hectares are divided between the Premier Cru villages of Cumières, Hautvillers, Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, Bisseuil in the Vallée de la Marne, Villers-Allerand and Rilly la Montagne in Montagne de Reims and the Grand Cru village of Le Mesnil Sur Oger in the Côte des Blancs. Leclerc Briant also holds long-term contracts with another 8 hectares of biodynamically farmed vineyards.
Vintage 2010 is produced from 40% Chardonnay; 40% Pinot Noir and 20% Pinot Meunier from the Premier Cru village of Cumières. Fermentation and aging for 7-8 months in stainless steel and cement tanks followed by 80-100 months aging in bottle sur lattes. The wine received a low dosage and is bone dry with just 4 grams per liter of residual sugar.
This wine shows surprising richness for an Extra Brut thanks to 80-100 months aging on its lees before disgorgement and the ripe character that comes with a declared vintage. An expansive nose of lemon curd, white flowers, and bread notes leads to a palate that shows a mouth-coating richness and a lingering saltiness on the finish.
Gastronomic Champagne is the goal of Leclerc Briant, and all of their wines are intended to accompany fine cuisine. This Champagne is superb with full-flavored dishes of considerable weight such as lobster or crayfish served with toasted brioche or sautéed turbot with puréed root vegetables. A classic rabbit with a mustard sauce or roasted chicken would both match the weight of this texturally rich Champagne.