After we have had a great outdoor/nature lunch, overlooking the Côte des Blancs landscape with freshly cut hams and cheeses from the local market (and not to forget a splendid 2005 Ulysse Collin BdB), we headed for David Léclapart in Trépail.
I had high expectation before this visit. The wines from David Léclapart have indeed moved me. 2002 "l'Apôtre" maybe one of the finest and most complex Champagnes I have tasted and his entry-level wine; "Amateur" and it's sister "Artiste" are both insanely fresh, energetic and pure Champagnes.
David is the sort of person you immediately like. Friendly, warm, dedicated and so relax and humble. We started in one of his vineyards/parcels - more specifically the Vineyard "Pierre Saint Martin" where l'Apôtre is made from. The vines are planted in 1946 and since David took over, as his father passed away in 1996, he has transformed everything into biodynamic winemaking. Take a closer look at the picture of the vineyard. Look how green and fresh it is. Flowers, herbs, grass and kinds of life of; ants, beetles, insects are there. Both parcels beside this vineyard, which doesn't belong to David - looked like instant death. Chemicals had killed any living organism there - certainly gives you something to think about, right?
David production facilities are very spartan and the same goes for his cellars. But for some reason I found this rather appealing. His personality is so authentic - and so are his wines, so the facilities are just "David" - if you know what I mean?
We tasted all the cuvée's from vins clairs - 2008 vintage, which already have a high intensity, but man we have to wait 4-5 years for those. We also tasted his red wine - "Eden". Very floral and delicate wine - the absolute best example I have tasted so far of this cuvée.
David took us back to his house, where he poured the 2005 Artiste. Great stuff - follows the path of the 2004 with immensely energizing apple fruit and with frozen seawater particles flying round the palate. The 2005 "l'Apôtre” was next. Still young, but already showing several layers of complexity. My first impression about the 2005, was that it was a bit rounder - closer to the 2003 than 2002 - but I will have to taste it again. Next - 2005 Alchimiste. I really want to understand this wine - but the high level of cranberry, iron and its Sherry character is something that spooks me somewhat. I would really like to taste it with proper food someday.
The last wine was out of this world - and the first time I taste it - the 2000 "l'Apôtre". Creamy and sensual with a load of flowery spectrum and a brilliant note of freshly churned butter. Again the layers of complexity is breathtaking and I think by now it was not only me around the table which realized that "l'Apotre" is in a league of it’s own.
Indeed a very memorable visit - I have the feeling I will come back someday.
Next was Anselme Selosse.