Grand-cru grower Champagne makes Halliday top 100
The Labruyère family’s roots are in Moulin-à-Vent, where they make exceptional Beaujolais with a burgundian bent. It’s a newer name in Champagne – but one firmly making its mark, as attested to by its place in James Halliday’s Top 100 this year.
Halliday calls it a new kid on the block, which is fair. The base of the current NV wine is 2013, the second commercial harvest for the label. Even with all the know-how of the Labruyère family, you can’t rush a top-end traditional-method sparkling program.
Having set things up in the late noughties, the Labruyère clan have the parcels on the Verzenay grand cru beautifully set up, and obviously give the wines plenty of time to grow and evolve on lees before release.
The reviews of the current Prologue assemblage are unanimous. Ken Gargett, writing for Quill & Pad, gave it 94 points, concluding: “This was intense, balanced, and finished with a lovely touch of grapefruit and biscuit. Loved it.” And writing for The Wine Front, Curly Haslam-Coates declared: “There is a falsehood that Non-Vintage Champagne isn’t as complex or cared for; however, JM Labruyère are allowing the fruit, the location and precise winemaking techniques to show that with confidence and know-how handed down through the generations, fine Champagne can be made, vintage declared or not.”
70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay from the Verzenay Grand Cru. Based on the 2013 harvest, with 10% reserve wines from 2012. Tirage 2014 and aged on the lees for a period two times greater than appellation requirements. Disgorgement: 2018-2019 (see back label). Dosage: 1.6g/L.
A new kid on the block, from Grand Cru vineyards in Verzenay, the base wine of 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay , on tirage 2/4/14, disgorged 17/5/19. Lives up to expectations with a spicy brioche bouquet, the palate elegant and well balanced, with a particularly long finish and fresh aftertaste thanks to its micro dosage.95 points. James Halliday’s Top 100, The Australian
A crisp, taut and dry blanc de blancs that has an array of lemons and hazelnuts on the nose and a subtly nutty edge to the grapefruit and lemon peel flavours. Nice and fresh. Drink now.92 points. Nick Stock, jamessuckling.com
30% Chardonnay and 70% Pinot Noir including blending with 10% of red wine from Bouzy and the balance from Verzenay Grand Cru. Based on the 2014 harvest with 30% reserve wine, mostly from 2013. Tirage 2015 and aged on the lees for a period two times greater than appellation requirements. Disgorgement: 2018-2019 (see back label). Dosage: 4g/L. Notes of fresh red fruits and cherrystone with elegant touch of exotic fruits. Crunchy and delicate and, at the same time, round and vinous on the palate with flavours of cherry and redcurrant. Long and generous on the finish. – Nadine Gublin, Champagne Labruyère