Champagne Brocard Pierre Contree Noire 2015


Only 2 left!

Alcohol: 12.5%

Grape(s): 100% Pinot Noir

Localization: Côte des Bars, Champagne, France

Tasting Notes: Contrée Noire shows great complexity and definition, with an incredibly long-finish designed to elevate food pairings. The nose is dominated by red fruit, mushrooms, and brioche. To the palate, it is focused, vinous, and substantial, with no heaviness and incredible depth and minerality.

95 points Wine & Spirits: Thibaud Brocard converted his family’s estate in the Côte des Bar to organics when he took charge in 2012. He grows this pinot noir at a parcel planted in 1962 on soils that include both Kimmeridgian and Portlandian limestone, as well as clay. Working with a Coquard basket press, he lets the juice settle during a one-day cold soak in stainless steel, where the wine then ferments on ambient yeasts; he limits the use of sulfur by protecting the tanks with nitrogen. After five years of aging on the lees in bottle, the wine’s layers of limestone and clay minerality have integrated with tart berry flavors and ripe fruit depths, presenting a clean, deliciously fresh wine grounded by earthy savor.

Notes: Grapes are manually harvested and then gently pressed in a vertical Coquard press. Only the heart, or the coeur de cuvée, of the first pressing is utilized. Primary fermentation is spontaneous with native yeasts in stainless steel tanks. Malolactic fermentation is natural and spontaneous and the wines are not filtered or cold-stabilized. After secondary fermentation in bottle, the wine ages on its lees for five years before disgorgement and a final dosage of 1g/L of organic cane sugar.

The Domain: Thibaud Brocard is a rising star in Champagne’s Côte des Bar. Champagne Brocard Pierre produces handmade, terroir-focused wines with great transparency and electricity, without the aid of chemicals or the winemaking sleight-of-hand common in the world’s most recognizable wine appellation. The vibe at Brocard Pierre is a reflection of Thibaud: fresh and young; jovial, but always on-point. He delivers precise, gastronomic Champagnes designed for maximum pleasure at the table with friends, without pretense.

Vigneron Thibaud Brocard is the fifth generation of Champagne Brocard Pierre to work his family vineyards near the village of Celles-sur-Ource in the Seine river valley, known as the Barséquanais area of the Côte des Bar, the southernmost subregion of Champagne. Thibaud uses organic, biodynamic, and regenerative farming practices in the vineyards, which are integrated and in harmony with the biologically diverse, forested environment of Côte des Bar. He transitioned the Brocard Pierre vineyards to organic farming upon his return to the estate in 2012. He does not use any synthetic chemical products in the vineyard, and mildew is carefully managed with tiny doses of copper, as he is sensitive to its overuse. Brocard Pierre’s vineyards have been glyphosate-free for more than 20 years.

In the cellar, Thibaud employs a soft touch and prefers to vinify in stainless steel over oak barrels, as he feels it better preserves each parcel’s terroir and vineyard expression. Grapes are handpicked and sorted in the vineyard before being crushed very gently in a beautiful vertical Coquard press. Free-run juice goes into cement tanks for a cold soak on the gross lees for 24 hours before fermentation with native yeasts, exclusively for primary fermentation, as he feels that each yeast gives the wine the profile of the vineyard. Thibaud works non-oxidatively, and he notably utilizes nitrogen in the winery to protect his tanks and solera, which helps him keep the use of sulfur dioxide in the winery to the absolute minimum while preserving fruit and vineyard expression. This practice deserves mention and merit, as it is a tool that helps him achieve his goal of producing delicious wines for maximum enjoyment, made without faults or defects. His Champagnes have very little-to-no sulfur added, with an average of 18-32 mg/l of total SO2, depending on vintage and what his native yeasts give. Champagne Brocard Pierre is unfiltered and bottled without cold stabilization, using bentonite for a gentle fining.

Thibaud prefers long-aging on the lees in bottle (three to five years), as well as an average of nine months of post-disgorgement aging in bottle to allow his wines the proper time to integrate before release. Brocard Pierre’s entry-level and only blended-grape expression, Cuvée Tradition Brut d’Assemblage, spends three years on the lees in bottle before release, giving it one of the best quality-to-value ratios in the world of Champagne. The heart of his production is his mono-varietal, single-vintage wines from pinot noir and chardonnay, which are released after five years on the lees in bottle. The resulting wines have great complexity and definition, with incredibly long-finishes designed to elevate food pairings. The combination of these elements and more further reflect Thibaud’s deep respect for his customers and terroir, making him one of the brightest rising stars of the Champagne region.