Grower Champagne Club – September 2011

NV Le Brun Serveney, Brut Selection Grand Cru
Avize is a small commune of less than 2000 people in the heart of Champagne’s Côte des Blancs region. And it is where the Le Brun family have been growing and producing Champagne for generations. Today Patrick Le Brun is at the helm, still following the traditional practices that have been handed down from father to son over the years. A serious and fastidious winemaker, Le Brun is also the former president of the Syndicat General de Vignerons, an organization that works to promote the appellation, set standards, provide technical assistance to grower-producers, and to defend their collective interests at the regional and national level. The position is determined by vote of one’s fellow producers, so being selected to serve attests to the great respect garnered by one’s peers, and skill as a vigneron.

Le Brun owns eight hectares of vineyards in three of the 17 grand cru villages, including Avize, from which this wine is sourced. Being from the Côte des Blancs, it is of course, 100% Chardonnay and is generally a blend of four top vintages. He uses minimal dosage and no malolactic fermentation, which maintains a remarkable freshness and minerality in his wines, while the age of his vines (20 to 25 years) and low yields provide a gentle weight and complexity. We loved the stone fruit flavors and long finish of this elegant wine. Le Brun didn’t export much of his wine in the past, but with his sons now attending viculture school, he is exporting more, to support the next generation of family winemakers. Here’s how you can help: enjoy this lovely wine as an aperitif, or with seafood, and toast to the future of Champagne! It is $55, an amazing value for a grand cru Côte des Blancs.