Lebeau-Batiste, R. Dumont, and Close-Out Champagnes

In This Newsletter:
 
Lebeau-Batiste: A Crowd-Pleasing Grower with History to Spare,
Champagnes on our Close-Out Sale &
R. Dumont: Champagnes In-Stock Now & Arriving Tomorrow
 


Lebeau-Batiste:

A Crowd-Pleasing Grower with History to Spare
 
The utterly charming wines of Lebeau-Batiste are crafted with great respect for the land and winemaking traditions. These are crowd-pleasing wines full of fruit and zest. Given the size of production and how supremely delicious these wines are right out of the gate, it’s no surprise these are not well known or distributed this side of the Atlantic.
 
Eric Lebeau and Anne-Marie Batiste farm and make wine for their family estate, which dates back to the 14th century. This grower estate is nestled in the heart of the Chavot-Courcourt, a village just south of Epernay in the Coteaux Sud d’Epernay. This is the region where Dom Perignon and Frere Oudart worked and it’s where Pierre Taittinger fell in love with Champagne before founding the eponymous House. It’s a region known for producing wines with “body and finesse,” per Peter Liem, from all three of Champagne’s core grape varieties.
 
We picked up Lebeau-Batiste after tasting the wines. These are supremely charming, with generous fruit and pizzazz. If you enjoy wines from Ambonnay (but not their ever-escalating pricing!) snag some bottles before our tiny allocation is gone for the year.
 
Lebeau-Batiste Wines In Stock Now:
 
Lebeau-Batiste Tradition Brut, Champagne NV 750ml $49 special, 2 bottles in stock now
Distributor note
“Pinot Meunier, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir. Bright and fresh orchard fruit (Mountain Rose apple!) layered with hazelnuts and brioche.”
 
Lebeau-Batiste Grande Reserve, Champagne NV 750ml $59 special, 8 bottles in stock now
Distributor note
“100% Chardonnay. Beautifully floral, layered, and focused.”
 
Lebeau-Batiste Tradition Rose, Champagne NV 750ml $69 special, 9 bottles in stock now
Distributor note
“Pinot Meunier, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir. Deliciously bright, tart berries and rose petals.”
 
 
Champagnes on our Close-Out Sale

Savvy Savings for your next Holiday Soiree!
 
Waris-Hubert:

This wine is a family affair. In 1997 two fourth generation growers from the Côte des Blancs, Stéphanie Hubert and Olivier Waris, were married. They merged their estates together to create the Waris-Hubert estate, with vineyards in the villages of Avize, Oger, Cramant, Chouilly and Aÿ, all classified “Grand Cru.”
 
Imported by the Seysses family (best known for Dujac in Burgundy), themselves a huge presence in the world of French wines, we are proud to present these pedigreed champagnes with a true sense of place.
 
Waris-Hubert Blanche Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Extra Brut Millesime, Champagne 2012 750ml Was $79, Now $69 special, 9 bottles in stock now
Sorting Table importer note
“To the eye, a luminous champagne, wrapped in a yellow robe with pronounced golden highlights. The first scents encompass the universe of herbal and garrigue flowers like lime blossom, eucalyptus and mint. Then, they give way to exotic fruits: pineapple, lychee and mango. On the palate the wine is tender and voluptuous. This gives it a silky, full-bodied dimension, thanks to yellow peach and apricot flavors. It is a profound wine with fine harmony and perfect balance. The heady complexity of the 2012 vintage is perfectly expressed in this 2012 Blanche Millésime Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs from Waris-Hubert.”
 
This is the only listing in the USA today!
 
Waris-Hubert Albescent Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru, Champagne NV 750ml Was $59, Now $49 special, 7 bottles in stock now
Sorting Table importer note
“It has the finesse and exceptional potential of the Chardonnay Grand Cru of Côte des Blancs. To the eye, a pale golden robe with discrete green highlights. The wine’s aromas announce its extreme purity, airy dimension and elegance. Timid at first. Then hazelnut and almond characterize the rich, creamy dimension of this cuvee. The mouthfeel is just as elegant as the aromas: one begins with lemon zest and white fruits’ aromas and tastes. Chrystalline, with barley sugar accents, it highlights our preferred grape variety, Chardonnay. An excellent dinner and aperetif wine.”
From the villages of Avize, Oger, and Cramant; 35-year-old vines on calcareous clay.
 
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $64
 
Waris-Hubert ‘Lilyale’ Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Zero Dosage, Champagne NV 750ml Was $59, Now $49 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Sorting Table importer note
“Pale golden colour with intense glints of emerald green. Fine and lively effervescence; lasting beads of bubbles. The aromas are elegant and expressive with a floral and springlike tone. Notes of lime blossom, mint and freshly mown grass develop, which evolve to white fruit and fresh Mirabelle plum. The scent of Viennese pastries and brioche fill the senses. The palate is full and with a rich attack. Firm and powerful. Dense in the evolution phase with lively lemon flavors, complimented by minerality and hints of wild citrus fruits. It’s the purity, and elegance of the chardonnay grand cru of the Côte des Blancs. Elegant and expressive.”
From the village of Avize, Oger, and Cramant; 35-year-old vines on calcareous clay.
 
The average price is $65
 
 
Denis Chaput:

Located in the Côte des Bar, where the soil turns to Kimmeridgian with fossilized seashells and veins of clay, this grower Champagne creates wines of esquite tension and minerality softened by lush, dark berry notes.

Denis Chaput ‘Noir de Jade’ Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut, Champagne NV 750ml Was $45, Now $39 special, 3 bottles in stock now
Winemaker’s Notes
“Pale golden yellow colour with silvery grey highlights, this cuvée presents fine, very persistent bubbles. The nose is dominated by aromas of smoked limestone, iodine sea spray, blackcurrant, grapefruit, liquorice, blackberry, pomegranate and elderberries. On the palate, the attack is clean and fresh, with a soft, creamy effervescence. Fruity, full-bodied and crisp, the mid-palate is enhanced by a grapefruity acidity and a marly minerality that gives this champagne breadth and salinity. The finish is fresh, stony and juicy.”
 
 
Pierre Gerbais:

Becky Wasserman was known as the grand doyenne of Burgundy in the USA—a kingmaker with impeccable taste who always spotted the next big thing.  As a result, when she added a “20-something” year old winemaker from Champagne to her import portfolio towards the end of her illustrious career, cut tragically short in 2021, we took note, and so should you.
 
She described Aurélien Gerbais as “a handsome-nerdy-hipster winemaker who is unnervingly self-assured for his age, yet soft-spoken and humble” in recommending him.  That’s good enough for us, but when you hear that he’s friends (and neighbors!) with Cedric Bouchard, you start to wonder how much of this stuff you can get.
 
The wines deliver, too.  Fermented and aged in a mixture of stainless and barrel, these are rich, bold and textured. Bouchard’s influence is really felt here, especially in the pair of Pinot Blanc bottlings—an extreme rarity in Champagne. The last of our inventory is on our close-out, so if you’ve yet to partake, now is your last call.
 
Pierre Gerbais L’Originale Extra Brut, Champagne NV (2013) 750ml Was $89, Now $79 special, 2 bottles in stock now
No reviews for the 2013-base. Reviews provided for reference.
Antonio Galloni 91 point
“One of the most surprising wines in this range, the 2014 Extra Brut L’Originale is 100% Pinot Blanc from vines that mostly date back to 1904. Pinot Blanc is increasingly seen in Champagne, but very rarely on its own. Creamy and ample in feel, with striking aromatic top notes, L’Originale has so much to offer. Citrus peel, orchard fruit, mint and bright floral notes are all laced throughout. Dosage is 3-4 grams per liter. Disgorged: May, 2018.” [Disgorgement date may vary.]
Wine Enthusiast 92 points “There can’t be many, if any, other 100% Pinot Blanc Champagnes. Allowed in the appellation, the grape is only really found in this southern Aube region. It comes to the fore with Aurélien Gerbais (fourth generation), produced from vines planted in 1904. This wine is a soft, creamy and immediately drinkable, with ripe apple and pear flavors.”
Importer note “Disgorged January 2018. 100% Pinot Blanc. Vine Age: Majority planted in 1904. Terroir: Kimmeridgian, mostly from lieu-dit Les Proies. Viticulture: Certified sustainable (Ampelos) since 1996, no synthetic chemicals. Vinification: Indigenous yeasts in temperature-controlled, stainless-steel tanks, full malos, aged on fine lees. 36 months sur lattes with organic yeast. Extra-brut dosage of 3-4 g/L, about 30 mg/L total sulfur.”
 
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $89.99
 
Pierre Gerbais L’Unique Pinot Blanc Doux, Champagne NV (2015) 750ml Was $94, Now $89 special, 2 bottles in stock now
Dessert-style Champagne (Doux).
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 92 points
“A sweet Champagne produced from late-harvested Pinot Blanc from a parcel of ancient vines, the 2015 Doux L’Unique exhibits aromas of pear, fresh apricot and white flowers, followed by a medium to full-bodied, rich and fleshy palate that’s sweet but lively. Youthful and expressive, this would make for a beautiful dessert wine.”
Importer note “2015. 100% Pinot Blanc. Vine Age: Majority planted in 1904. Terroir: Kimmeridgian, mostly from lieu-dit Les Proies (marl and limestone soils, 10,000 vines per hectare plantation density). Viticulture: Certified sustainable (Ampelos) since 1996. 62 g/L dosage, 3 years on the lees.”
 
 
Charles Ellner:

Considering the market dominance formerly held by the Grand Marques, there is much to be said about smaller negociants. Often combining their family’s holdings with purchased fruit from other vineyards, negociant champagne represents the juxtaposition of art and science that is assemblage. You’d be hard pressed to find a better example of this expertise than the Charles Ellner portfolio. Originally working as a riddler for the other houses, Charles Ellner decided to hold back some of his family’s production for his own project, and the rest is history.
 
Charles Ellner’s origin as a passion project is clearly evident even to this day: the wines spend double the required time on the lees yet never undergo malolactic fermentation to keep the wine bright and fresh. The resulting wines capture the beauty of autolysis and the freshness of a current vintage along with the juxtaposing toast, fruit and mineral character.
 
Charles Ellner Seduction Brut Millesime, Champagne 2007 750ml Was $69, Now $59 special, 24 bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 92 points
“A toasty hint of grilled nut adds savory richness to this bright, light-footed Champagne. The firm acidity is well-meshed to notes of yellow plum, candied ginger and lemon curd. Not a powerhouse, but fresh and balanced. Drink now through 2027.”
 
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
 
Charles Ellner Cuvee de Reserve Brut, Champagne NV 375ml Was $28, Now $24 special, 20 half-bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 90 points
“Refined in texture, with persimmon, lemon meringue pie, pickled ginger and almond paste flavors focused by tang of saline minerality and well-cut acidity. Offers a fresh, open-knit finish.”
 
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
 
Charles Ellner Brut Rose, Champagne NV 375ml Was $28, Now $24 special, 22 half-bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 91 points
“A finely balanced, mouthwatering rosé Champagne, with firm acidity backing flavors of tangy cherry, candied strawberry, toast, smoke and spiced plum. Bright and lively, with a clean mineral finish.”
 
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
 
R. Dumont Champagnes:

In-Stock Now & Arriving Tomorrow
 
The Dumont family grows their wines in the Aube. This is a small sub-region of Champagne is known for its Kimmeridgian soils and for being the home of dozens of up-and-coming to rock-star producers (such as Vouette e Sorbee and Marie Courtin). Producers in the regions of Champagne that surround Epernay often snubbed the Aube for not being “true” Champagne while buying grapes from the region to fill their winemaking vats. Champagne insiders know better, and look here for innovation and value.
 
A note from Wine Traditions, importer of R. Dumont Champagnes for the USA: “The Champagne house of the Dumont family is situated in Champignol-lez-Mondeville, a village in the southern Champagne region of the Aube, some 90 miles southeast of Reims and Epernay. Characterized by forested hills, streams and vineyards, it is a natural and reflective environment that has attracted people such as Saint Bernard (Clairvaux) and Renoir (Essoyes). The Dumonts have owned vineyards in this area for over two hundred years and today three Dumont brothers work together to produce champagne exclusively from their own 22 hectares. The soils are a geological extension of those in Chablis, namely kimmeridgian chalky clay. The vineyard is planted with 90% Pinot Noir and 10% Chardonnay. Bernard Dumont’s comments are insightful. ‘We grow grapes on the same soils as the vine growers in the Chablis region. There, they produce white wine from white grapes and here we produce white wine from red grapes.'”
 
This true Demi-Sec is balanced and harmonious
R. Dumont & Fils Douce Cuvee Demi-Sec, Champagne NV 750ml $39 special, 1 bottle in stock now
Winery note
“The dosage is the Champagne term used to designate the action of incorporating a sugared liqueur at the moment of the disgorgement. The quantity of sugar added determines the Brut, Nature, Extra Brut name… Douce Cuvée is a Demi-Sec Champagne, therefore it is very sweet, dosed with a secret liqueur from the Domain. It is a champagne that is now rare but which used to be very much in demand for the finale of the meals.”
 
This is the only listing in the USA today!
 
Bright and mineral, with a lovely complexity
R. Dumont & Fils Solera Reserve Blanc de Blancs, Champagne NV 750ml $49 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Importer note
“Dumont is one of the very few Champagne producers who produces a champagne using the solera method. Bernard Dumont has dedicated one stainless steel tank to the project which was first filled in 1991. He works exclusively with chardonnay for this cuvée and has been adding to the tank every year, making it at present, a blend of approximately 20 vintages. This solera system produced its first release in 2010. One of the most striking features of this champagne is the different effect created by producing a champagne from aged wine (the aging occurs after the first fermentation) followed by the typical duration of two years “sur lattes” as contrasted with a champagne produced from relatively young wines which are aged for a long time after the secondary fermentation and thus remain in contact with the lees “sur lattes” for an extended period. The dosage is 6 grams. Production is about 400 cases annually.”
 
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
 
A stunning vintage at a stunning value!

R. Dumont & Fils Extra Brut Millesime, Champagne 2012 750ml $59 special, 14 bottles in stock now
Importer note
“The vintage wines, which are a blend of 65% Pinot Noir and 45% Chardonnay, are assembled and then matured “sur lattes” for five to six years before being disgorged. According to the characteristics of the vintage the dosage varies.”
 
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $57
 
Arriving Friday, December 15th:
 
R. Dumont & Fils Cuvee Brut Nature Blanc de Noirs, Champagne NV 750ml $41.90 pre-arrival special, 12 bottles available
Importer note
“Dumont’s Brut Nature is produced without a dosage or “liqueur d’expédition”. It is therefore without cover-up and must succeed quite naturally on its own qualities. In order to produce such a champagne, Dumont chooses wines that are perfectly balanced and pristine. The wine is a blend of 100% Pinot Noir from 3 vintages. The Brut Nature is matured 4+ years “sur lattes” before being disgorged. This serves to soften the acidity and enrich the palate. This cuvee wonderfully expresses the special terroir of the Dumont vineyard.”
VertdeVin “The nose is fruity and quite gourmand. It reveals notes of lemon associated with a touch of lime, flowers, red fruit (discreet) and white fruit. The palate is fruity, mineral, harmonious, suave and offers freshness and a chalky minerality. The effervescence is very fine and well conducted. In the mouth this Champagne expresses notes of lemon, apple and slight notes of lime associated with a touch of exotic fruit, pear as well as slight touches of limestone / saline minerality on the finish. Good length.”
 
Full-bodied and generous, one of the best values in Champagne that we offer
R. Dumont & Fils Tradition Brut, Champagne, France NV 750ml $33 pre-arrival special, 36+ bottles available
R. Dumont & Fils Tradition Brut, Champagne, France NV 375ml $21.90 pre-arrival special, 16 half-bottles available
Importer note
“The Dumont Brut NV is a blend of 90% Pinot Noir and 10% Chardonnay. The grapes from their vineyard have qualities that seem less aggressive and more sumptuous than those from the northern districts. In addition, vinification of whole berries at low temperatures enhances this quality of soft elegance. The NV is a blend of vintages typically between two and five years old. It is aged for two years on the lees before disgorgement. Dosage is 7 grams.”
 
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price is $44
 
For lovers of a rich and bold style with generous fruit!
R. Dumont & Fils Cuvee Rose Brut, Champagne NV 750ml $39 pre-arrival special, 33 bottles available
Importer note
“The Dumont Brut Rosé is made exclusively from Pinot Noir. A selection is made in the vineyard from parcels that are particularly ripe and from bunches with deeply colored skins. Fermentation proceeds as with red wines but the wine is drawn off the skins after a day or so with the Dumonts looking carefully at the balance of extraction, color and tannin. This method, known as “saignée”, is a tricky art but one that can produce the most natural and delicately complex style of Rosé champagne. The Brut Rosé NV is aged for two years on the lees before disgorgement and dosage is 10 grams.”
 
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $46



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