Grower Champagne Club – May 2023

Brocard Pierre, Tradition Brut, $56

Brocard Pierre is based in the village of Celles-sur-Ource, in the Côte des Bar.

This is the southernmost region of Champagne, closer to Chablis than it is to the rest of Champagne, and the geology, culture, and sometimes even winemaking philosophy share much in common with its neighbor Burgundy, to the south. The soil consists of the same Kimmeridgian limestone as found in Chablis, as well as the slightly younger, harder Portlandian limestone. After spending five years apprenticing with winemakers in Burgundy, Thibaud Brocard returned to his family winery in 2012 and became the fifth generation to run the estate. He made a number of changes, including transitioning the vineyards to organic farming and biodynamic practices, and he is considered to be a rising star in the region.

His Tradition Brut is 80% Pinot Noir, blended with 15% Pinot Blanc and 5% Chardonnay, hand-harvested from their 11 estate parcels planted on both Kimmeridgian and Portlandian limestone. Thibaud feels that the Portlandian limestone adds a unique hint of salinity to the wines. This offering is predominantly from the 2019 vintage, with the rest coming from a multi-vintage reserve solera begun by Thibaud’s father in 1991. The wine is aged up to three years on the lees, 10% in French oak barrels and the rest in stainless steel. With four grams per liter dosage, it is a fresh, balanced Champagne, with nice red fruit notes from the Pinot Noir and a touch of toasty brioche. The importer notes that Thibaud produces “precise, gastronomic Champagnes designed for maximum pleasure at the table with friends, without pretense.” The winery suggests enjoying this one with hot oysters and salmon tempura.