Bérêche et Fils, Vieilles Vignes, Brut Réserve NV
Disgorged in 2019 | Received in Original Carton
Raphaël and Vincent Bérêche have been farming with their father, Jean-Pierre, since 2004 at their nine hectare estate in Champagne. Most of the estate's vineyards are on the left bank of the Vallée de la Marne, in Ludes, Craon de Ludes, Ormes in the Petite Montagne and the area around Mareuil-le-Port. They also have a small parcel in Trépail in the eastern Montagne de Reims. The vineyards — planted to roughly equal amounts of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier — all utilize cover crops and have been converted to biodynamics since 2007. In 2012, they acquired their first Grand Cru vineyard, a .4-hectare plot called "Les Chalois" within the Grand Cru appellation of Mailly-Champagne on northern end of Montagne de Reims — vines are an average age of 60+ years. The Bereche wines are vinified mostly with natural yeasts, with about 75% of the wines fermented in barrel. There is no malolactic fermentation in any of the wines, and an increasing portion of the secondary fermentation is done under cork. Bérêche's wines are firm in strucutre with ample body and firm, mineral-driven acidity. They are amongst the most sought-after and coveted growers, rightfully considered to be one of the elite producers in Champagne.
Bérêche's Brut Reserve is a clear expression of the entire Bérêche domaine; a blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier sourced from their home village of Ludes on the chalky Montagne de Reims, the sandy soil of Ormes in the Petite Montagne de Reims and from the clay-limestone soil of Mareuil le Port in the western Vallée de la Marne. The Brut Reserve, with 35% reserve wine, soars from the glass with aromas of citrus oil, green apple and a touch of brioche. The palate is medium-bodied with a great combination of savory notes and fresh fruit with a vibrant, mineral finish.
92 points John Gilman, View From the Cellar)
The new release of the Bérêche et Fils non-vintage “Brut Réserve” is from the base year of 2019 and was disgorged in March of 2022. It is composed from its customary cépages of thirty five percent each of chardonnay and pinot meunier, coupled with thirty percent of pinot noir. As has been customary for several years now, one-third of the cuvée is made of reserve wines from the solera Raphaël and Vincent Bérêche have created for this bottling. It was finished with seven grams per liter of dosage. The nose really shows the influence of the pinot meunier in the blend this year, offering up scents of apple, white peach, beautiful meunier floral tones, brioche, chalky soil tones, almond and a hint of oak. On the palate the wine is bright, full-bodied and still quite youthful, with a fine core, lovely soil undertow, brisk acids, elegant mousse and fine length and grip on the complex and well balanced finish. This is tasty today, but will be even better if given a few years’ worth of cellaring. Lovely non-vintage Brut. 2023-2045+. (May/Jun 2023)