March 20, 2016

I recently tasted the new releases from Champagne Brimoncourt, a small house founded as recently as 2008. These are particularly vinous Champagnes, crafted to deliver perfume, purity, texture and minerality. They’re made and packaged in a very contemporary style, but one that is entirely respectful of the history of Champagne. I count myself as a convert – these reflect the style and translucency of many of the white wines I enjoy, and each reveals surprising layers of depth and complexity.

Located in an old Champagne label printing premises in Aÿ that dates back to 1875, Brimoncourt was founded by Alexandre Cornot and Arnaud Dupuis-Testenoire, who purchased the unused brand in 2008. While the company hopes to integrate its production into this historic building ¬– which has been an institution for Champagne labeling and dressing bottles since 1883 – the wines I have tasted were made and aged in a rented facility that has previously been used by Mumm and Bollinger.

Champagne Brimoncourt Brut Régence NV ($84)

Very fine and elegant, with deep layers of flavour and texture, this savoury and near-dry Champagne has a creamy, waxy bouquet whose scents of floral notes, citrus oil and brioche reveal undertones of mushrooms and honey. It’s long and shapely, with a round, nutty core of flavour that extends long and lively towards a focused and persistent finish of freshness, shape and harmony.

18.9/20, 96/100, drink 2017-2020+

Champagne Brimoncourt Brut Rosé NV ($89)

A wonderfully complete, stylish and tightly focused accompaniment to cuisine, this pristine Champagne sports a high percentage of GC fruit. Lifted by a whiff of potpourri, its complex, creamy and faintly meaty bouquet of red cherries, raspberries and underbrush reveals undertones of orange rind and mushrooms. It’s long and crackly, with an austere but chewy palate of punchy pinot driven flavour extending long and faintly mineral over a fine, chalky spine towards a drying and savoury finish. Superb.

19.0/20, 96/100, drink 2017-2020+

Champagne Brimoncourt Blanc de Blancs NV ($99)

An exemplary aperitif-style Champagne whose toasty, floral fragrance of stonefruit, minerals and mushrooms reveals nuances of tobacco leaf and brine. It’s exceptionally long and creamy, with a restrained presence of fruit tightly wrapped in a vibrant, nervy acidity and culminating in a refreshing and mineral finish.

19.1/20, 96/100, drink 2020-2023

Champagne Brimoncourt Extra Brut NV ($115)

Smooth and creamy, this Grand Cru Champagne marries toasty complexity with freshness, texture and focus. Its rather wild, meaty bouquet of brioche, lime and lemon overlies a toasty, buttery aspect plus nuances of minerals and sherbet. It’s rich and creamy, with a long, chewy presence of fruit and a fine, crackly bead that finishes with lingering savoury and mineral aspects plus the merest hint of sweetness. Artfully made and balanced.

19.2/20, 97/100, drink 2016-2019+