Grower Champagne Club – June 2014

NV Marc Hébrart, Brut Sélection
We’re excited to finally put a Hébrart Champagne in the club. As you know by now, we have the utmost respect for importer Terry Thiese, who is in no small part responsible for the recent growth in the appreciation and availability of grower Champagne in this country and whose portfolio includes some of the best. And, unlike some wine writers, we have utter faith in his evaluations. So when he writes that he finds Hébrart’s wines almost without peer, not only in his own portfolio but anywhere in Champagne, we take note. The Hébrart estate, now run by son Jean-Paul, has vineyard holdings in six different villages, both premier cru and grand cru, and in both the Valley of the Marne, and the Côte des Blancs. This bottling is 65% old vine Pinot Noir from Mareuil (Marne) and 35% Chardonnay from Oiry and Chouilly (Côte des Blancs). It has all the toasty, brioche flavors and aromas we love in Champagne, while at the same time being very focused and high-toned—a wine equally suited to serious contemplation, or just sitting down and enjoying. Terry Thiese says that it is the best bottling of this wine he can recall and, at $55, one of the very best values in his portfolio (this in all caps and followed by triple exclamation marks.) At the risk of too much quoting, we let Terry have the final say in describing this stunning wine: “It’s suberb, a paradigm of Champagne at its most elegant and seductive. Long, lacy finish of talc, chalk power, jasmine and cox-orange.” Nothing more we can add but, “Santé!”