Paul Lebrun, Blanc De Blancs Brut, L'Irremplacable, Champagne, France
Nathalie Vignier only makes Blanc-de-Blancs Champagne, but not any old Blanc-de-Blancs. As co-owner and winemaker at Champagne Paul Lebrun, she is fortunate to own some of the best Chardonnay terroir in Champagne.
Nathalie, is the sixth generation of her family to make wine in Cramant (although her family’s ties to Champagne date as far back as the 16th century). Her grandfather, Paul Lebrun, was one of the first vignerons to break away from the big négociants after the Great War and established his own brand, Champagne Paul Lebrun, in 1931. Nathalie is all about terroir. Together with her brother, she owns 16.5 hectares distributed across the Côte des Blancs and the Côte de Sézanne, including 3 Grand Cru and 2 Premier Cru villages. The jewel in the crown is Cramant, which was one of the first villages of the Côte des Blancs to be classified Grand Cru. The chalky clay soils of Cramant give richness and power to the wines. By contrast, the Côte de Sézanne (in reality an extension of the Côte des Blancs but more often referred to as one of the 5 sub-regions of Champagne) is dominated by chalk and marl. Its more southerly location and heavier soils giver riper and more fragrantly fruity wines. The soil is made up of silex stones, which collect the heat of the sun during the day, redistributing it to the vines at night. Nathalie is also about family. Her aim is to preserve and improve upon her family’s legacy in order to hand over in turn to her son Joseph. This is reflected in the range of Hérédis-Terres wines, which celebrates key winemaking figures in her family.
20% of the Chardonnay comes from the Côte des Blancs (Chouilly) and 80% from the Coteaux du Sézannais (Barbonne Fayel). The Sézanne terroir features a combination of clay, limestone, and marl soils, imparting complexity and richness to the wine. The Barbonne-Fayel sub-region is known for its chalky soils that lend a distinct minerality to the wines. The chalky soils of the Côte des Blancs contribute to the wines' crisp acidity and mineral character.
Vinification is carried out in stainless steel tanks. Ageing on lees for 3 years before disgorgement and a traditional Brut Dosage of 8gr/L.
No oak ageing
Abundant notes of almonds on the nose, mixed with fresh apple, peach and citrus. Fresh, zesty and vibrant on the palate, the mouthfeel offers lovely density with a citrus bite. The mid-palate develops ripe citrus whilst the finish has a hint of salinity but carries the almonds on from the nose.
Very much a gastronomic Champagne, and perfect with seared salmon or with cooked oysters.
6 x 75cl