Sunday, May 17, 2009

Champagne Visit - David Léclapart

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.


Anonymous said...

Another great write-up, Thomas! Your blog really makes me look forward to going back to Denmark (and Petillant/Skål) like nothing else.
You didn't taste the 2004 l'Apôtre? According to Juhlin it is absolutely amazing.


Thomas said...

Hi Michael,

Thank you for positive feedback.

Pétillant/Skaal is rather addictive – isn’t it ;-)

Unfortunately we didn’t taste the 2004 l'Apôtre. The wine is just about to be released right now. I think it’s just a matter of weeks now, before we see it on the shelves.

But I have actually tasted the 2004. Had the pleasure in Nov-2008, here in Denmark with Mia & Mads and some friends. The wine is young – really, incredible pure, but also rather dramatic on the finish. I had maybe 1,5 glass or something – almost impossible to judge. I can give you 110% guarantee that there will be “official” tasting note here on MAW – soon I hope.

Anonymous said...

Eventyrligt billede af David i marken med kasket i s/h, meget David-like. Gid det var mig, der havde taget det! Har du fået købt en opspejling? Hehe. Kh M.R.

Thomas said...

Hej Mia,

Tusinde tak. Jeg er rigtig glad for, at du kan lide det billede – det er også mit favoritbillede af alle billederne på turen. Tænkte lige, da jeg tog det – nej for pokker, nu kommer hende M.R. rendende og siger, hvor er dine reflektor, så skyggen i hans ansigt ikke er der. Men hatten klarer ligesom min undskyldning (denne gang….og opspejling skal nok komme hehe). Jeg har brugt utrolig lang tid på at redigere netop det billede, fordi det er taget i højlys dag med skarp sol og billedet i sig selv har tendens til at blive udvasket. Jeg prøvede først at give det noget mere punch med farvemætningen – men kunne ikke lide resultatet – så for poleret ud. Det gode ved billedet, er at det er sindssygt skarpt. Ved at konvertere det til s/h, mister man stadig en del punch, så jeg har brugt rigtig lang tid på, at få skygger tilbage i marken (det grønne frem) ved at pille ved den funktion, som hedder ”Grayscale mix) – det har også betydet at hans halstørklæde ikke mister sin glans, selvom det er s/h.