REVIEWS

Brut Réserve delivers the depth and fruitiness expected of a Champagne made from 80% black grapes with the underlying flavors of brioche and almond from nearly three years aging on its lees. 20% Chardonnay brings an underpinning of lemony acidity giving an impression of lightness and freshness. The finish is firmly dry with lingering notes of chervil and coriander. 


92 Points: This is soft and creamy in texture, with a subtle, mouthwatering quality that enlivens rich notes of saffron, baked quince, chalky mineral and pickled ginger. Well-knit and elegant, with a lingering, spiced finish.
--Wine Spectator


Bready, round and off dry. Lots of bite, pretty frothy and very drying on the end.
-- Jancis Robinson


The Brut Réserve, a blend of 40% Pinot Noir, 40% Meunier and 20% Chardonnay, offers engaging aromas of lemon zest, white peach, apple and pastry cream, and has beautiful freshness and excellent complexity, along with impeccable harmony and refreshing acidity. This is an Extra Brut (although not labeled as such), yet it is not exceedingly dry: its appealing drinkability will satisfy a wide range of tastes, from beginners to veteran Champagne drinkers; meanwhile, the pricing is extremely fair, making it an excellent value. -- Forbes

WHY WE LOVE IT
  • BLEND
    40% Pinot Noir, 40% Pinot Meunier, 20% Chardonnay
  • APPELLATION
    Champagne, France
  • ALCOHOL
    12.00%
  • SIZE
    750ml
  • FERMENTATION
    Stainless steel tanks
  • PRODUCTION
    12.0

Leclerc Briant is a trailblazing Champagne house producing wines of singular energy and nerve. Lucien Leclerc founded the winery with four hectares of vineyards in Cumières in 1872. The business moved to Épernay in 1955 when Bertrand Leclerc married Jacqueline Briant and formed the négociant firm which still carries their name. Leclerc Briant was an early adopter of organic practices beginning in the 1960’s and was one of the first to bottle single-vineyard Champagnes starting in the 1970’s. In the late 1980’s, Bertrand and Jacqueline’s son, Pascal, began integrating biodynamic principles and part of the production has been Demeter certified since 2003. Today, enologist Hervé Jestin continues the legacy of this visionary house.

La Croisette is the home vineyard of Leclerc Briant, a 0.6 -hectare plot adjacent to the winery in Épernay, planted in 1966 to Chardonnay. Remarkably, this vineyard has never been treated with herbicides or pesticides. The remaining 9.6 hectares of vineyard are spread 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 in the Grand Cru villages of Cramant and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger in the Côte des Blancs. A small amount of Pinot Noir is sourced from the Aube. Leclerc Briant also holds long term contracts with another 8 hectares of biodynamically farmed vineyards.

THE STORY TO KNOW

Leclerc Briant was an early adopter of organic practices beginning in the 1960’s and pioneered the concept of single-vineyard Champagne beginning in the 1970’s. Fifth generation vigneron, Pascal Leclerc began following biodynamic principles in 1988. Today, enologist Hervé Jestin continues the legacy of this visionary house.

24.7 acres of vineyard are spread 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 in the Grand Cru village of Le Mesnil Sur Oger in the Côte des Blancs. Leclerc Briant also holds long term contracts with another 19.7 acres of organically farmed vineyards.

Brut Réserve is produced from 40% Pinot Noir; 40% Pinot Meunier; 20% Chardonnay. Malolactic fermentation is allowed to happen naturally and sulfite levels are kept between 20 and 30 milligrams per liter. The wine spends 9 to 11 months in stainless steel tanks with 20% in oak barrels and more than 2 years on the lees in the bottle (sur lattes). Dosage is kept below 4 grams per liter and the wine is bottled unfined and unfiltered.

PERFECT PAIRINGS

Gastronomic Champagne is the goal of Leclerc Briant and all their wines are intended to accompany fine cuisine. The dryness and weight of Brut Réserve can accompany a sautéed filet of fish seasoned with coriander and lemon or slow cooked pork flavored with ginger and lemongrass.