A friend of mine is something of an expert in Champagne. I fancy myself as knowing quite a bit but on our selection of bubbly I have deferred to his good counsel.
The champagne he recommends is by Marc Hébrart, a small but exciting producer who produces pinot-noir dominated Champagnes from the firm’s own high-quality vineyards in Mareuil sur Aÿ.
Having researched a bit more we found that Hébrart is a small family run house founded by Marc in 1964, but now run by his son Jean Paul. Only a small percentage of the wine is exported, with most of production entirely swallowed up by the French themselves. They used to solely provide grapes to some of the big Champagne houses before more recently choosing to bottle their own produce under their own name.
So what’s so good about that, you ask?
Well growers champagnes usually hope to express their own terroir - often from a single vineyard or from a small patch of land– much more than the large Champagne Houses. The latter by necessity are made from a blend of many vineyards and areas– often 50 or more wines are blended into the typical non-vintage négociant Champagne. How could any Champagne produced in this manner reflect its terroir?
This champagne by Marc Hébrart was a Sunday Times Wine Club hit and picked up commendations at the recent Masters of Wine Champagne event. In various reviews it was described as “full flavoured with excellent balance and length”, “simply delicious” and rather strangely described in one review as “intellectually engaging” . This last sound bite sounds more like House of Cards review than something I would drink but there you go.
We are delighted to be able to offer a small allocation of the Marc Hébrart Non Vintage Champagne.