Springtime in Reims is a fine time to taste Champagne.

Spring Releases from Bérêche et Fils and a pair of scintillating Blanc des Blancs

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It is a truism that as much as wines reflect their terroir, they also reflect the personality of their grower.  At Bérêche et Fils, the energetic brothers Raphaël and Vincent turn out a range of inspiring Champagnes, which seem to improve with every vintage. Since taking over the estate in 2004, they have worked organically, and have begun application of biodynamic treatments to a portion of the vines. In the cellar they have focused on fermenting in oak with native yeasts, aging under cork, and bottling with lower dosage. Additionally, the brothers have managed to acquire more 1er and grand cru parcels.

The wines from their own vines in the Montagne de Reims and Vallée de la Marne are intensely flavored, mineral, and supple, balancing ripe fruit character with terroir distinction. The use of oak, as well as aging under cork rather than capsule for the secondary fermentation of the wines lends a faintly burnished character to the wines, adding an additional layer of complexity to the nose and palate. This (sadly) small offer due to a paucity of wine thanks to frosts and slim yields in 2016, 2017, and 2021 is supplemented by a pair of dazzling, terroir-expressive blanc des blancs Champagnes from Tarlant and Larmandier-Bernier. The Reflets d'Antan from the Tarlant siblings is dervied from a single parcel of 60-70-year-old ungrafted vines grown in sandy soil, marrying stunning mineral cut with layers of beautiful fruit and autolyse notes from the nearly 15 years spent on the lees. By contrast the Larmandier-Bernier Chemins d'Avize is comprised of biodynamically-farmed Chardonnay from Chemin de Pivot and Chemin de Falvigny is a study in pure chalk electricity with vivid lemon oil and citrus blossom aromatics and a pungently mineral core and surgical focus.

John McIlwain

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Bérêche, Raphael 2016 Champagne Grand Cru Ambonnay

100% Pinot Noir.  Organically farmed. 

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  • $189.99

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Bérêche, Raphael 2016 Champagne Grand Cru Cramant Blanc de Blancs

A new addition to the grand cru lineup at Bérêche. 100% Chardonnay, organically farmed.

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  • $199.99

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Bérêche, Raphael 2016 Champagne Grand Cru Mailly

100% Pinot Noir in chalky clay. Aged in barrel and bottled under cork.

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  • $189.99

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  • $129.99

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  • $279.99

Bérêche, Pauline 2016 Champagne 1er Cru Ludes Collin

A new release from Pauline, Raphaël Bérêche's wife. The wine is comprised of 100% Pinot Noir farmed organically in Ludes. Bottled with 3.5g/l dosage. This is her inaugural bottling.

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  • $84.99

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Larmandier-Bernier 2014 Champagne Grand Cru Extra Brut Les Chemins D'Avize

100% percent biodynamically farmed Chardonnay from the Chemin de Plivot and Chemin de Flavigny parcels in Avize.  Pressed in a 2000kg press, fermented in neutral barrel and bottled with 2g/l dosage.

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  • $149.99

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Tarlant 2004 Champagne Vigne d'Antan Non-Greffée

From 80 year-old ungrafted Chardonnay vines--one of the only ungrafted vineyards in Champagne. Vinified in used barrique, no malo, very low sulfur, bottled without dosage. The current disgorgement spent 14 years and 9 months on the lees. From the sandy soils of Les Sables in Oeuilly, the 2004 Vigne d'Antan has a pale yellow gold robe with an ultrafine bead. The nose offers an array of stone fruit and citrus blossom aromas with fine notes of brioche and sea spray. The palate is ripe on the attack with a muscular mineral character and fine cut and a core of stony intensity that culminates on a bracing, mouthwatering finish. The balance of energy  and earthy depth to this Champagne is compelling and beckons sip after sip. Highly recommended. John McIlwain

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  • $299.99

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