RP 92 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Hebrart’s NV Brut Blanc de Blancs Disg. 3/2013 showcases fruit from vintage 2009 with 20% of its volume split between 2008 and 2007. Iris and peony, almond and hazelnut dominate the nose, with intimations arising of the oyster liquor and soy that go on to lend mouthwateringly saline savor as well as the apple and winter pear that serve up luscious fruit on a buoyant and polished palate. Given my description thus far, it won’t surprise you to learn that this cuvee’s finish is superbly long and savory. I imagine that it will be worth following for at least several years. Not only does this bottling represent exceptional value by standards of its appellation, it is remarkable for costing so little more than Hebrart's corresponding (far from) “basic” Brut. (By my convention governing suggested retail price quotations, the difference simply gets rounded off!)
WS 92 Wine Spectator
A creamy, harmonious version, with a lovely skein of fragrant spice unwinding through flavors of apple, chopped hazelnut and poached peach. Hints of honey and lemon curd linger on the rich, mouthwatering finish. Disgorged October 2014. Drink through 2020. 60 cases imported.
W&S 90 Wine & Spirits
Mostly from the grands crus of Oiry and Chouilly in the Côte des Blancs, this is a bright chardonnay, simple and precise. While there’s some creaminess from malolactic fermentation, this is fresh and brisk. A great way to greet friends.
Jean-Paul Hébrart took over the operations of Marc Hébrart Champagne in the Vallée de la Marne from his father Marc in 1997. This estate is not exactly new: Jean-Paul’s father has been producing champagne under the Marc Hébrart name since 1964 and has been a member of the Special Club since 1985. Hébrart farms 14 hectares of vines on 65 different sites in 6 villages: the 1er cru vineyards of Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, Avenay, Val d’Or and Bisseuil and the grand crus villages of Aÿ as well as Chouilly and Oiry in the Côte des Blancs. Each parcel is always vinified separately in glass lined stainless steel and ceramic tanks. He is slowly phasing out the ceramic as it is more difficult to control the temperature. Hébrart is also experimenting barrel fermentation and indigenous yeast fermentation for some of his older vine parcels.
Using these new techniques Jean-Paul has made an alternative Téte de Cuvee (2004 vintage dated) called Rive Gauche-Rive Droite, named for the sites on both sides of the Marne that comprise of the blend. These old vine parcels are fermented and aged in 205 liter four year old barrique (without battonage) before being bottled sur latté. Jean-Paul hand selects grapes, uses a Bucher press, and is experimenting with fermentation in petite cuvee. Hébrart doesn’t block malolactic fermentation and does all remuage by hand.
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