Leclerc Briant Brut Rosé, Champagne
Established by Lucien Leclerc in Épernay 1872, the House of Leclerc Briant was taken over in 2012 by American couple Mark Nunnelly and Denise Dupré after the death of Pascal Leclerc Briant. Today Leclerc Briant has joined the ranks of the bio-chic house (with the likes of Louis Roederer) and is one of the biggest biodynamic producers in Champagne. Winemaker Hervé Jestin (formerly of Duval Leroy) prefers to take a hands-off approach and, like all makers at the best house, endeavours to first make a great wine, not just a great Champagne.
The Leclerc Briant Rosé is Chardonnay dominant with just enough Pinot Noir to warrant a mention. You can expect a nose of lemons, apples and wild strawberry with a chalky note as well as some pepper. The bead is fine, very fine and persistent. On the palate, those strawberries become raspberries running on rails of racy acidity. Yes, it’s a Champagne but don’t be afraid to let it breathe and develop its flavours. First and foremost, before it is a Champagne, the Leclerc Briant a great Rosé. Patience will be rewarded.
"Medium salmon-pink colour. The bouquet is sweet and fruity and smelling of quince paste, toast and strawberry with some attractive bottle and less-developed complexity. A rich, powerful, full-bodied Champagne with seemingly a touch of barrel influence and an apparently low-dosage finish which is very dry, firm and lingering. It could take some age well."
95 points, Huon Hooke.
Located 150 km east of Paris, Champagne is the French wine region renowned for producing the finest, most rich and complex sparkling wines in the world. The elegance, longevity and racy acidity of these wines are attributed to the influence of the chalky soils of the region and the cool, marginal continental climate. The region spans an area of 35,000 ha and has 4 main growing areas, each favouring one of the three noble Champagne varieties; Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier. Champagne has a vineyard quality hierarchy based on the soils, aspect and overall quality of the grapes. Like Burgundy, these quality designations are allocated to the vineyards of the village. Of the 319 villages of Champagne, 17 have Grand Cru status and 44 villages are designated Premier Cru. All Champagne is produced by Traditional Method. The vast majority of Champagne is a blend of the three varieties and may also be a blend of several vintages producing the popular Non Vintage (NV) house styles. Top quality blends from exceptional years are sold as Vintage (Millésime) Champagne.