A Visit with Delphine Brulez of Champagne Louise Brison

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Delphine Brulez is one of the most engaging and intelligent growers in Champagne, and it was a great pleasure to visit her yesterday at Champagne Louise Brison. We tasted a number of her vin clairs from barrel together, as well as her new releases. While most producers were lucky enough to enjoy a full sized yield in 2018, Champagne Louise Brison was not so fortunate. On May 27th of last year, Mother’s Day, her biggest plot in Noe-les-Mallets was ravaged by hail. She lost 10 of her 15 hectares in just a few minutes of violent weather. It is not easy to be a farmer this far north.

What she has left of the 2018 is fantastic, and she has persevered by making excellent wine with the small quantity that nature has left her. I was particularly impressed with a Volnay like barrel sample of Pinot Noir from a plot planted in the late 70’s. It had the elusive, beguiling fruit and swelling peacocks tail finish that one rarely experiences in vin clair.

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After tasting in her barrel rooms, we tasted her current releases. The 2014, which will be on the way soon, was nothing short of spectacular. She says it has more ageing potential than her 2012, and I agree. This wine is like many of the 1988’s I tasted when they were young; a streamlined beauty that holds its concentration with ease. It is composed of 50% each Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, entirely from her organic estate, and is all barrel fermented. When it arrives, it will be a bargain at $34.99.

-Gary Westby

Gary Westby