From: Champagne, France
Varietal: Pinot Meunier
Taste: This champagne received critical acclaim from wine expert Roger Voss, who awarded it 92 points in October 2021. Voss highlighted its brisk dryness, balanced by a fruity sweetness, a light spiciness, and invigorating acidity. Initially, its profile features an array of white fruits - most notably, Asian pear, accented by cheerful notes of citrus, fresh strawberry and hint of bing cherry. A thread of minerality showcases a linear nature that balances Pinot Meunier’s fruity tendencies. This is evident on the nose and on the on the palate; it’s reminiscent of the invigorating freshness of a seaside visit. Subtle hints of baking spice, mushroom, savory and sweet herbs make the champagne an excellent partner for food pairings.
Pairing: The “Sur le Grand Marais” Meunier Brut Nature pairs exquisitely with a half-cooked foie gras terrine with figs, pork fillet with wild mushrooms, and aged Comté cheese. Other delightful pairings include cod fillet and citrus butter cream, lobster, crab, savory won tons/dumplings, rock mullet with sautéed spring vegetables, roasted chicken (check out the recipe below for a five star, one-pan option), grilled pork, and mushroom stroganoff.
One-Pan Crispy Chicken and Chickpeas
By Yossy Arefi
About. The Vallée de la Marne Rive-Droite in Champagne, France, has been the cherished home of the Liébart and Régnier families for seven generations. These humble, country folks have worked the land with unwavering dedication, nurturing their vineyards with an intimate knowledge passed down through the years.
In 1960, Lucien Liébart and Georgette Régnier established Maison Liébart-Régnier, an independent winegrower from the outset. Today, the torch is held high by Laurent, Valérie and their daughters Alexandra and Marion, who take great pride in making the family estate’s Champagnes.
Their domain stretches over 11 hectares of verdant vineyards in the heart of the Vallée de la Marne, an inheritance from their predecessors. These lands span both banks of the Marne, in the communes of Vauciennes, the Liébart family's stronghold on the Left Bank, and Baslieux sous Châtillon, the Right Bank terrain bequeathed by the Régnier family.
The Liébart-Régnier vineyards are a stunning mosaic of 35 parcels. Here, the vines thrive in a blend of clay and limestone, mainly brown earth soils. They grow all seven Champagne grape varieties: Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and the lesser-known ancestral varieties of Arbane, Petit Meslier, Pinot Blanc, and Pinot Gris, which are still authorized in the Champagne appellation.
Among these, the NV Champagne Liébart-Régnier “Sur le Grand Marais” Meunier Brut Nature is a standout. This exquisite champagne is crafted from Pinot Meunier grapes sourced from a single parcel, Sur le Grand Marais, located in the village of Baslieux sous Chatillon. The vineyard covers a select 1.16 hectares of Liébart-Régnier's estate and is proudly featured on the bottle's label.
Baslieux-sous-Châtillon, located on the right bank of the Marne river, is nestled in a curved side valley shaped by the Ru de Belval stream. The commune's vineyards are predominantly situated in the northern part, on gentle south- to southeast-facing slopes, with a smaller part in the southern region on mild north- to northwest-facing slopes.
Here, Pinot Meunier dominates the vineyards, accounting for 73% of all plantings.
The Sur le Grand Marais plot enjoys a mild southeast-facing aspect on the lower part of the hillside, bordering Le Grand Marais to the northeast. The soil is a rich mix of marl and clay-limestone, perfect for the cultivation of the Pinot Meunier grape.
The NV Champagne Liébart-Régnier “Sur le Grand Marais” Meunier Brut Nature is a blend of the 2019 vintage (80%, harvested Sept 15th) and the 2018 vintage (20%, harvested Sept 6th). The wine undergoes fermentation in stainless steel tanks and is subject to malolactic fermentation, followed by three years of aging sur latte. With a dosage of 0g/L, this Brut Nature is bone dry, exuding a vibrant spectrum of aromas best appreciated at cellar temperature.
Liébart-Régnier is deeply committed to environmental stewardship. They firmly believe in the principle of borrowing the land from future generations, making it their duty to respect and protect it. This belief led them to adopt an eco-friendly approach years ago. In recognition of their efforts, they achieved Level 3 of the French High Environmental Value (HVE) certification in 2015. This certification acknowledges farmers and winegrowers who promote biodiversity and manage their fertiliser use to achieve self-sufficiency and protect the soil, water, and air. In 2018, they also received the Champagne region’s Sustainable Viticulture (VDC) certification, which recognizes environmental efforts in three key areas: biodiversity footprint, carbon footprint, and water footprint.
Liébart-Régnier's facility allows them to vinify individual parcels in thermoregulated vats and oak casks, with the guidance of an independent wine advisor. This traditional method, combined with minimal additives, ensures the purity and authenticity of their champagnes.
Their NV Champagne Liébart-Régnier “Sur le Grand Marais” Meunier Brut Nature is a testament to this. This champagne, hailing from a select 1.16 hectare plot, is bone dry and ideally suited to the table. It pairs beautifully with a delicate foie gras or a robust wild mushroom risotto. The wine’s vibrant aromas unfurl elegantly when served just cellar chilled.
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