This 100% Grand Cru Chardonnay hails from chalk, marl and clay soils of Cramant, Chouilly and Oiry. The wine is vinified and aged in stainless steel before the assemblage is aged an additional 6 years en tirage.
The nose is very fresh, marked by apple and lemon with nuances of sweet peach. The feel of this wine is voluptuous and lively with very fine bubbles. The leads to a bright palate that evolves into brioche, butter and toasted aromas as well as a surprising touch of thyme and grapefruit rind on the finish. Wonderful.
The Vignier family history in Champagne dates to 1530, the time of Nicolas Vignier of Bars sur Seine. Nicolas was a physician, lawyer, theologian, and court historian for Henry III. His descendant, Nathalie Vignier, is now the tenth generation to pursue viticulture and winemaking in Champagne, and the sixth generation to do so in the grand cru village of Cramant, in the Côte des Blancs.
In the early 20th century, Nathalie’s grandfather, Paul LeBrun, had two hectares, taken over from his father, Henri LeBrun. Paul resolved to become an independent vigneron by separating himself from the big négociants after World War I and was among the first to do so in the Côte des Blancs. He established Champagne Paul LeBrun in the 1930s.
Nathalie and her brother, Jean, took over the domaine from their parents 12 years ago, with Jean on the business side and Nathalie in the vineyards and cellar. Nathalie’s husband Hubert Soreau is the winemaker at Le Clos l’Abbé in Epernay. Through him, Nathalie and close family friend Sebastian Nickel made the connections that enabled them to realize a shared vision and dream — one with roots in Nathalie’s father’s profound understanding of the land.
The Vignier family motto is “La bonté de l’esprit et la grandeur de courage,” which means “the goodness in spirit, and the courage to greatness.” At the domaine, greatness comes from a singular focus on unique vineyard sites rendered patiently and with great care and understanding. The outcome of this practice and philosophy are wines of exceptional depth and pleasure, joyously ephemeral yet timeless.