Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The last bottle of the 12-pack / Emmanuel Brochet

(Emmanuel Brochet - whom I visited in April-2010

As I have just finished my last bottle out of ‘12 of the; “Le Mont Benoit” (label) from Emmanuel Brochet, I thought it would be more than appropriate to give you an update and go back to the visit I never got the time to write about.

While I was in Champagne in April this year, I drove by the tiny town of Villers-aux-Noeuds, where Emmaniel Brochet is residing. He has 2.5 hectares of land and his vineyard is named - like the cuvee; “Le Mont Benoit”. The parcel is planted with 37% Pinot Meunier, 30% Chardonnay and 23% Pinot Noir. Some vines goes back to the early 1960’s, but even in 2003 Brochet had to replant a tiny portion due to devastating frost damages.

As Emmanuel Brochet just started making wine in 1997 he has a curious approach and seems very open minded in his way of going forward. He works organically in the vineyard, “as you have to have respect of nature and find a harmony in your work”.

Before my visit I only had knowledge about the “Le Mont Benoit” cuvée, but I was about to learn, that there is 2 new (maybe 3) projects in the making. Brochet will release a BdB 2005 Vintage, when it’s ready and we tasted the wine, which indeed was very tight, but deadly promising. Also a 100% Pinot Meunier, from 2008 vintage is in the making. Even a rosé is on the drawing board.

We also tasted the latest release from of “le Mont Benoit” – both with about 5 g/l of dosage and the non-dosage. The non-dosage was far superior in my humble opinion.

(Pufff - disgorging a Champagne)

But back to the Le Mont Benoit

Blend: 45% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir and 25% Pinot Meunier
Base: 2005 vintage (with 15% reserve wine from 2004)
Dosage: 0 g/l
Glass: Spiegelau Adina “Red wine” and Zalto Champagne

It hasn't really changed that much since I popped the first bottle in May-2009. Sure a bottle of two has been slightly more oxidized, with a broader profile and oilier fruit core. But this last bottle was still utterly refreshing, with notes of melon, flowers, citrus, lime, granny smith apples and peach. It has a divine touch of grassy notes – but more in the direction of wheat and straw. It’s not only a component on the nose, but also on the palate where it intensifies the structure and the overall grip. As I have pointed out before with this Champagne, it always present itself as simple, but as you slowly drink more of it – it has much more than “simple” to offer.

Luckily there is a cure from the tragic death of the last bottle, as there is a new release on the market now.

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