Grower Champagne Club – October 2014

NV Le Brun Serveney, Brut Sélection Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs
The Le Brun family have been growing and producing Champagne in the small Côte des Blancs commune of Avize for generations. A marriage joined them with the Servenays, long-time growers in nearby Mancy. Today their combined holdings include vineyards in three grand cru villages, as well as some in the surrounding hills, with 80% planted to Chardonnay and 20% to Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Patrick Le Brun has been running the domaine since 1991, still adhering to the traditional practices that have been handed down from father to son over the years. Because of his past work as president of the Syndicat General de Vignerons (the union of Champagne growers that works to promote the appellation, set standards, provide technical assistance to grower-producers, and defend their collective interests) the French government awarded him the title of Knight of the National Order of Agricultural Merit, in 2008. But it is his work as a serious and fastidious winemaker that we care about. Le Brun eschews the use of oak, does not let his wines go through malolactic fermentation, and uses minimal dosage, preferring to emphasize the freshness and delicacy of the fruit. He puts it best: “Because we aim to reach perfection, our wines openly display the elegance, minerality and freshness that make them unique. They stem from both our terroir and the wine grower spirit.” This wine is 100% Chardonnay, sourced from 20- to 25-year-old vines from their grand cru vineyards. Le Brun’s meticulous practices, both in the vineyards and throughout the winemaking process, produce wines with gentle weight and remarkable complexity and finesse. This one is finely textured, with lovely, persistent bubbles. It is completely satisfying on its own, or you could pair it with oysters, shellfish, or sushi. And at $55, it is an amazing value for a grand cru Côtes des Blancs Champagne!