Characteristics: Notes on the Champagne Jean Lallement Brut Tradition bottling disgorged on November 2012 (but seemingly mislabeled 2013 on the bottle –impossible because I am writing this in September 2013 –an honest slip set straight by checking the case code that corresponds with November 2012 in the Terry Theise catalog)
Origin: France - Champagne
Hailing from the Grand Cru slopes at the very heart of the Montagne de Reims, Lallement’s Brut Tradition embodies the soul of the mountain as this is Champagne’s spiritual home for Pinot Noir which comprises 80% of the cuvée with the balance countered by Chardonnay –just the variety to counterbalance and highlight the structure, red fruit, and baritone depth for Chardonnay can lift Pinot Noir’s brooding spirit, lend its own crispy floral fruit and lofty pastry notes.
Even the first dip of the nose into smelling this glass, one finds it brimming with quince paste, plums and apricots –an engaging and fragrant burst of Montagne de Reims expressing some of its bolder character in the form of honeycomb and fragrant bruised apples in that best of ways that reminds us of an Autumn field trip to the orchard to fill our bags, our pockets and our larders with orchard keepers.
On the palate there is a little sourdough rye bread that I usually associate with Pinot Meunier and for which I love that variety so much –which must come from the Pinot Noir and its richer and rounder nature. After an exhilarating reel through lemon peels, leesy and yeasty brioche dough rising, and then chalky minerals (almost listing toward those chewable vitamins I strangely craved as a child), this then returns in a comforting gesture of texture and flavor to that membrillo quince paste that started it all and stays with us almost like a ripened cognac of a good age. In a class of non-vintage champagne all its own, this Brut Tradition is living proof that the little parcels of Jean Lallement convey Grand Cru in such compelling, coruscating clarity.
Wine review by Nicholas Livingston
“We sometimes call it “the green label,” but whatever we call it, it’s the finest and most distinctive NV in all of Champagne.
First notice its exceptional polish and detail. Then take an amazingly distinct expression of terroir, redolent and atmospheric.
It’s my personal favorite, but apart from that, its innate virtues speak well for themselves; signature flavors of apple-cellar,
mead, heirloom honey, brewer’s yeast, sometimes with lemon-balm and sorrel, other times with walnuts and herb oils.
It’s the same cuvée as last year, just more recently disgorged—November 2012 in fact. If anything it showed leesier and
chalkier than usual, and I had the sense there was more Verzy showing through. But really, this silvery crystalline being is
just absurd, one of the treasures of the wine world.
80-20 `09-`08 and 80-20 PN-CH.”
Tasting notes by Terry Theise
Ah, Montagne de Reims in a bottle! This is always 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay. Wondrous as this champagne is both in sense and in spirit, it is all the more inspiring when I think of how Jean-luc makes only 1,700 cases. Scents of pear Williams, yellow plums, and a retronasal warmth of hazelnut pastries -I am completely in awe that this doesn't see any oak. Wow! Delightful leesy autolytic notes are a pleasant surprise for its recent disgorgement -this is gripping, graceful and precocious.
Wine review by Nicholas D. Livingston, October 2012
Average Rating: 5 out of 5
|Bottle size: 750 mL|
Bottles Per Case: 12