Champagne Marie Copinet, Cuvée Monsieur Léonard, Brut Millésime 2013, $57
Champagne Copinet was founded by Jacques and Brigette Copinet in 1975, in the tiny village of Montgenost in the Côte de Sézanne, which lies to the south of the Côte des Blancs almost like an extension of that region.
Like its neighbor to the north, the soil in the Côte de Sézanne is mostly cretaceous chalk, and Chardonnay is the predominant grape grown, although about 30% is planted to Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. We have featured several Champagnes from Jacques Copinet in this club in the past, but the estate has since passed into the hands of his daughter Marie-Laure and her husband Alexandre. They use no pesticides or herbicides in their vineyards, which are spread throughout a number of villages, in the Côte de Sézanne, the Côte des Bar, and in the Marne Valley. Their wines are aged on fine lees for a minimum of ten months, followed by at least three years in bottle in their cellars. They wait a further eight months after disgorgement before releasing their Champagnes.
They produce their vintage Cuvée Monsieur Léonard only in years when the quality of fruit is outstanding and the wines have great aging potential. It is 100% Chardonnay, from the chalky slopes of Montgenost. With 5 grams dosage, it is very expressive and refined, with notes of baked bread, crème fraîche, and almonds. With notes of white fruit and fresh, balancing acidity, it’s a great Champagne to pair with oysters Rockefeller, lobster with artisan butter and French bread, or triple crème Brie and a baguette.