August 5, 2015

Brimoncourt: France’s new Champagne House has its roots in history

brimoncourt2-wmloSince their first release in 2013, Brimoncourt Champagne has been steadily capturing hearts in their domestic market and nearby neighbours. Now, the team behind the newly imagined Brimoncourt Champagne house has their eyes set on US and Australian shores. In 2008, Alexandre Cornot, a Champagne region local and a man of many diverse talents and quirky sense of style it seems from his bio, set out to reinvigorate a historic but derelict Champagne brand. A gutsy move at the time considering the economic situation.

At the moment, Brimoncourt fits into the negotiant category rather than a ‘grower’ champagne, however this will change as the house invests in its own vineyards in the future. With this growth, Brimoncourt will also move more of the winemaking into their newly renovated domaine. Just as the abandoned brand was ripe for renovation, so too was the historic printing factory that serves as their new home.

Currently, there is four non-vintage cuvees in the Brimoncourt stable. The Brut Regence as the first release in 2013, followed closely the following year by the Rose and a Blanc de Blancs and most recently, an Extra Brut. There are plans afoot in the future to release a vintage, a millesime, as well. Each of the bottles are clad in classically simple labels. However, Alexandre’s artistic past is reflected in each of the unique designs on the gift boxes.

Particularly the quirky artwork for the Brut Regence which sports a giraffe in a military uniform. Upon further investigation, the giraffe was chosen because it is an animal that does not drink alone. It also represents the long reaching vision of the brand with no other animal having the long view afforded to the giraffe thanks to its lengthy neck. The military apparel represents the discipline the winemaking team has in only choosing the best grapes for the cuvees.

brimoncourt1wmlo

The final touch, adding a stamp of permanence to the new Champagne House, is the coat of arms that is Alexandre’s ancestral heraldic symbol adorns each bottle and box. The artistic detail continues with the luxurious touch of the coat of arms on the red background on the inside of the neck foil. This flash evokes thoughts of other luxury brands that use that same glimpse of distinctive red.

The Brimoncourt Brut Regence NV has an elegant profile. With the bulk of the grapes coming from the 2010 vintage and a selection of reserve wines from other vintages, the Brut Regence is a blend of 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir. Fermented in stainless steel to focus on the pristine fruit, the wines have spent four years on lees adding an extra depth and dimension to the blend. Aromas of lightly toasted buttery brioche, apple and citrus is shown to advantage by smoky spices, almond nougat and eggshell.

The fruit tells the mid palate story in this Champagne with a dosage of around 8 g/L of residual sugar just adding roundness and balance and the creamy bubbles you expect from a fine Champagne. Fresh soft acid drives the length which finishes on a more savoury lime juice and egg shell note making this a good choice as an aperitif to share with friends or to enjoy with some light appertizers and seafood. (€30 and expected to retail AUD$65+)

The other wines are made in a similar fashion, stainless steel, malolactic fermentation and four years on lees. The Blanc de Blancs has a similar dosage and is produced from only Cote des Blancs Chardonnay most of which comes from Grand Cru vineyards. Similarly, the Extra Brut is made with 20% Chardonnay and 80% Pinot Noir from Grand Cru vineyards: Aÿ, Ambonnay, Bouzy, Cramant, Mesnil and Oger, with a lower dosage of 2 g/L.

Currently, Brimoncourt is sold in France, Denmark, Nederlands, Italy and Switzerland. The coming year will see the wines gain deeper distribution in the USA and will come on line in  Australia and Brazil. The brand aims to be the choice of celebration of everyday, every person’s luxury. You will soon begin to see Brimoncourt on the shelves in fine wine retailers and making its debut on fine wine lists.

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