Some of our favorites from Champagne Bérêche et Fils

Bérêche et Fils, and their cousin too! -- PLUS an in-store Champagne tasting this Wednesday with Champagne Solemme (5-7pm Wed. 9/13)

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Though the concept of a "house wine" is usually associated with the restaurant world, I often present certain wines to our customers at Chambers Street using this phrase. Our house Chinon is the Baudry Domaine, and our house Muscadet is the Pepiere "Le Pepie," for example (sorry Jo!). With Champagne, it has become a bit difficult to have anything in the house long enough to call it a house wine, due to limited harvests and diminishing supplies of reserve wines. That said, the Champagnes from Bérêche et Fils have always been near and dear to the shop, and in my mind, if there was a Chambers Street "house Champagne" (besides Beaufort or Marguet), it would be Bérêche. For me, as a fledgling in the industry, the wines were my first subjects of study for Blanc de Blancs of Chardonnay, and Blanc de Noir bottlings of 100% Pinot Noir and 100% Pinot Meunier. They became a reference, and though there is still a world to explore in Champagne now that I understand how microclimates, exposition, terroir and technique come into play, the Bérêche wines remain indelible classics. Their Brut Reserve is the perfect wine to remind us of this fact. Every time we open a bottle, we all nod in silent agreement over how undeniably balanced and delicious it is. I usually break the silence with "Damn, Bérêche is so good." I feel like the Brut Reserve is also somehow better every year, but maybe that's because the bottles we open are fewer and farther between, thus the longing and satisfaction are heightened! 

Today we offer four flagship wines from Bérêche et Fils, their Brut Reserve from 2020 base, the 100% Pinot Meunier 'Rive Gauche,' 'Beaux Regards,' a bottling of 100% Chardonnay, and the Campania Remensis Rosé. We also are including four special bottlings by Raphael and Vincent's neice, Juliette Alips, who is running a small project called Domaine Les Monts Fournois. A new estate formally, it seems that she is continuing and elaborating on the original Maison Bérêche wines from years back. Fully in charge of her own enterprise now, after working with the Bérêche brothers for several years, she has released small amounts of vintage Champagnes (that bear the same minimalist label as the Maison Bérêche wines) as a prelude to new, estate wines that she will be bottling soon. We're happy to have these unique and rare bottlings on the shelf and look forward to more releases from Juliette!

--------------- Some archived text about the Bérêche wines for extra reading! -----------

At Bérêche et Fils, the energetic brothers Raphaël and Vincent turn out a range of inspiring Champagnes, which seem to improve with every vintage.

Raphaël Bérêche

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.

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.

 

-------------- More info on Les Monts Fournois! ---------------------------

Domaine Les Monts Fournois

Please excuse our use of the full text about the domaine from the importer. This is the first time we've carried the wines so we ddin't know a lot about the project until we read this informative text!

"Born in Champagne in a grower’s family, Juliette Alips rapidly found her passion. With the mentorship of her close cousins, Raphaël and Vincent Bérêche, she discovered and learned all the ins and outs of producing champagne, from farming, to vinification, tasting and blending.

Juliette Alips

Graduated from oenology school in Beaune in 2020, Juliette already has a few vintages under her belt with acclaimed producers like Louis Latour in Bourgogne, G.D. Vajra in Piedmont, and closer to home, Louis Roederer Champagne where she spent more than a year learning from this iconic maison. Now, with the help of her two cousins, she is starting this new adventure with Domaine Les Monts Fournois. Located in the north part of the Montagne de Reims, in the sub-area called La Grande Montagne, the Premier Cru Les Monts Fournois will be the focus of the domaine. Until the first vintage releases in a few years, the Domaine is offering a very small selection of vintage Grand Cru Champagne. Using the extensive and strong family grower relationships developed by her cousins, Juliette is able to source tiny quantities of superb champagne from iconic vineyards to craft these exceptional wines." (text courtesy of Wilson Daniels)

Though I am not positive of it, these are most likely from some of the same sites that Raphael and Vincent originally cherished, giving rise to the Maison Bereche "Crus Sélectionnées" wines that were not from their family's estate fruit, but from exceptional vineyards nearby. My guess is that Juliette was working with them on this project over the years, and has now taken the reigns, giving her an opportunity to work with great sites in Crmant and Marne while developing and starting her own domaine and releasing estate wines. Whatever the story is, we're happy to have her wines and of course the domaine wines from the Bérêche brothers!

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While we're on the subject of Champagne, we will have an in-store tasting with Champagne Solemme, a new and upcoming producer that we're already quite fond of! Tasting will be 5-7pm this Wednesday, 9/13 and a representative from the winery will be in house!

 

 

No Longer Available

Bérêche NV (Base 2020 Champagne Brut Réserve

A blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier from the base vintage of 2020. Disgorged 06/23, 6g/l dosage. The current disgorgement offers a fantastic balance between ripeness and precision. The palate is broad—this is Bérêche after all—but agile, with flavors of stone fruit, graham cracker and a fine undercurrent of minerality to buoy the supple plushness of the fruit. A Chambers Street staff favorite that is delicious now, but should age effortlessly.

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
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  • no discount
  • $67.99

  • Organic

Bérêche et Fils 2019 Champagne Extra Brut Ludes 1er Cru 'Beaux Regards'

Les Beaux Regards is a blend of two parcels of Chardonnay in Ludes on the northern slope of the Montagne de Reims planted in 1964 and 1970. Grapes for the bottling come from the "Beaux Regards" vineyard planted in 1902 close to Ludes and parcels planted in 1964 and 1970. The loamy clay soils produce a Champagne more vinous in character, rather than exclusively taut and chalky. 100% Chardonnay, disgorged January '23 Extra Brut with 2g/l dosage.

  • Out of Stock
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  • no discount
  • $129.99

Bérêche et Fils 2019 Champagne Extra Brut Rive Gauche

Pinot Meunier-based Champagnes always remind us of Fall. Something about the spiciness and orchard fruit with the broader palate character from the limestone clay soils seem to lend warmth and breadth to the profile.. 100% old-vine Pinot Meunier sourced from the lieu-dit Le Misy, located in Port à Binson on the southern bank of the Marne river. Fermented with native yeasts in barrel and aged under cork, Bérêche's 'Rive Gauche' makes a convincing case for Champagnes made from the oft-underestimated Pinot Meunier grape. The old vines restrict the sometimes overly exuberant quality of the variety. 100% Pinot Meunier from 2019 vintage. Disgorged in November of 2022, 2g/l dosage.

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
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  • no discount
  • $111.99

Bérêche et Fils 2019 Extra Brut Rose Campania Remensis

Bérêche's Campania Remensis is a consistently fascinating rosé Champagne, in a category fraught with uninspiring wines. A blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier, fermented in oak, aged under cork and hand disgorged. Notes of pomegranate, wild strawberry, currant leaf, and salted plum on the nose. The palate is brisk and fresh with rosehip, wild berry, crushed herbs over a salty core, and a long, chalky finish. Disgorged in June '23, with 3g/l dosage.

  • Out of Stock
  • rosé sparkling
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  • $123.99

Monts Fournois NV Champagne 1er Cru Vallee

Notes from Domaine Les Monts Fournois: "The town of Mareuil-sur-Aÿ is a neighbor of the town of Aÿ, located at the Marne River, south of Montagne de Reims. The majority of vineyards are located on south facing slopes planted mostly to Pinot Noir. This terroir of mid-Coast de Mareuil sur Aÿ and Aÿ ensures a good development. Great elegance, with structure and fine complexity of the Pinot Noir of this sector. Fine notes of vine shoot fire, soft spice, noble pepper, and dry fruits. Beautiful testimony of Pinot Noir from a clay and chalk soil. A wine of fullness and structure, this Non-Vintage de Luxe answer to its rank as a solar Premier and Grand Cru of the Marne Valley." (70% Pinot Noir, 20% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot Meunier, disgorged September '22, with 5.5 g/l dosage)

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  • no discount
  • $134.99

Monts Fournois 2017 Champagne Grand Cru Mesnil sur Oger & Oger

Notes from Domaine Les Monts Fournois: Le Mesnil-sur-Oger is located south, southeast of Épernay. The vineyard areas cover 433.8 ha, of which the majority is planted in Chardonnay (432 ha) with very small plantings of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. This Grand Cru is located on the Côte des Blancs slope, consisting of mainly hillside vineyards. Champagnes produced from vineyards in Mesnil-sur-Oger are quite mineral driven and firm in style. They are “complete” expressions and certainly quite age-worthy. Le Mesnil-sur-Oger was promoted from Premier Cru to Grand Cru status in 1985 alongside Chouilly, Oiry, Oger, and Verzy. A fine and elegant wine that benefits from poor and chalky soil, that offers a highly intense and precise wine. The lees bring a slightly creamy texture and aromas of lemon zest, wicker, and perfume. Almost Chablis-like in style, this wine is slender and the palate is outstanding with immediate pleasure. This 2017 has great elegance, brought by the security of the Mesnil sur Oger terroir."  (Disgorged November 2022, 4.5g/l dosage)

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  • $149.99

Monts Fournois 2016 Champagne Grand Cru Cramant

Notes from Domaine les Monts Fournois: "The Cramant Grand Cru, located within the Côte des Blancs in Champagne, is located south-southeast of the town of Épernay. Champagnes grown in Cramant tend to be creamier, more concentrated, mineral driven wines, compared to those from neighboring Grand Crus with different vineyard exposures. A beautiful and intense color. A bit shy initially on the nose, with a lot of purity, nice reduction with mandarin nuance and candied lemon. On the palate, great energetic harmony and texture, prolonged by the lees aging for six years in the cellar. Notes of lemon zest, a hint of mandarin, orange blossom, brioche and zested meringue, along with the pillowy chalk that is the signature of Cote de Blancs Grand Cru."  (Disgorged September '22, 3.4g/l dosage.)

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
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  • no discount
  • $159.99

Monts Fournois 2012 Champagne Grand Cru Montagne

Notes from Domaine Les Monts Fournois: "The Verzy Grand Cru is located on the slope of the Montagne de Reims, Southeast of the town of Reims. Most of the vineyards are on north-facing slopes and are planted mainly to Pinot Noir. Verzy was promoted from Premier Cru to Grand Cru in 1985 alongside Chouilly, Oiry, Oger, and Mesnilsur-Oger."

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
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  • no discount
  • $219.99