FIRST GROWTH WINES

First Growth Wines is an Australian specialist importer and seller of
Bernard Brémont Champagnes
  By importing our excellent Grand Cru Champagnes, our prime focus at First Growth Wines is to bring to Australia wines of the best Quality, Value and Distinction.
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Bernard BRÉMONT - Grand Cru Champagne

The ageing of the Brémont champagnes takes place in the chalk cellars hand-carved by Bernard and his father. A depth of 9 metres and a constant temperature of 13°C ensure ideal conditions for a gentle maturation of the wines on lees. All of the operations in the elaboration of their champagne are entirely effected on the property where they can be strictly managed – from the initial harvest and the pressing, to the fermentation and the blending, from the tirage and the maturation, to the disgorging and the packaging.
Buy Quality and Value Grand Cru Champagne
Champagne Bernard Brémont is described as a Récoltant-Manipulant. Their labels carry the code RM which indicates a grower who makes and markets champagne produced from grapes exclusively grown on their own vineyards. In recent years I have seen a rapid expansion in the number of “grower champagnes” imported into Australia. This is not surprising given that there are approximately 16,000 growers in Champagne across 34,000 ha and nearly 4,000 of these produce and sell wine under their own label.
These champagnes can be quite unique. They are more about the terroir and the philosophy of the individual growers than those produced by the large houses who constantly promote their “consistency” and skill at “blending”. At the growers’ front gates there will often be displayed the sign “Les Champagnes de Vignerons” (Vinegrower Champagnes) to reinforce the artisanal nature of their champagnes
Unfortunately many of these vigneron champagnes can be of doubtful quality and sometimes very young and raw. This often reflects the lack of training in, and understanding of, the complicated processes in the making of champagne. These wines are generally sold direct into the French market and contribute significantly to the statistic that over 50% of champagne production is consumed in France. Then there is the philosophy of the growers to consider. Many are starting to experiment with oak and natural fermentation. While this can bring “personality” to the wines, it is often at the expense of what I would call true champagne character. Many have deviated so far that I think they more closely resemble table wines with bubbles.
Champagne Bernard Brémont, however, has the knowledge, the vineyards and the tradition to produce great artisan champagne. It has a range of 5 champagnes in a number of formats and we have chosen to bring 3 of these wines into Australia for the first time.
 
Bernard Brémont Grand Cru Brut NV.  $73.00 per bottle
 
This is a blend of 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay. The core of this non vintage champagne is from the 2013 harvest, but with the addition of significant amounts (30%) of aged reserve wines. The 2013 vintage was one of moderate yields with a cool summer resulting in a late harvest with high acidity. This wine has spent nearly 4 years on lees prior to disgorging in September 2017. It shows wonderful aromas of brioche and fresh fruits while the palate is long and fine with Pinot Noir giving depth of flavour and the Chardonnay elegance

Bernard Brémont Cuvée Prestige NV.  $91.00 per bottle
 

Although the Village of Ambonnay is most famous for its Pinot Noir, it can also give us wonderful Chardonnay. I believe the adjoining village of Trépail produces the best Chardonnay on the Montagne de Reims. This Cuvée Prestige NV is a blend of 70% Chardonnay from the 2012 vintage and 30% Pinot Noir from 2011. These were two contrasting vintages. The harvest in 2011 followed a cold, wet season marked by low maturity and high acidity. The 2012 season again started wet, but was followed by a cool and sunny summer. This allowed for perfect ripening of flavours while retaining high acidities.

Bernard Brémont Grand Cru Vintage 2011.  $98.00 per bottle
 
The grapes for this Grand Cru wine has been selected from those vineyard parcels with the best exposure. It is composed of a blend of 55% Pinot Noir and 45% Chardonnay. The 20011 season is described by many as miserable because of disease issues arising from a cloudy and moist summer. The CIVC allowed harvest to start very early with many vineyards still unripe to avoid the evolution of mould flavours.

However, there is a lot of variation amongst vineyard practices in Champagne. Those well managed vineyards that avoided any appearance of rot were able to to wait and harvest fruit with more flavour and a pure acidity. Such was the case with Bernard Brémont. One of the striking features of their  vineyards is the management by Thibault Brémont. Throughout the growing season he virtually lives amongst the vines. They had virtually no incidence of disease and a strict picking regime allowed pristine fruit to be delivered to the cellars.

This wine, after 7 years on lees, is drinking beautifully showing the wonderful ageing qualities of the Grand Cru vineyards. It is in a finer style than the 2008, but still shows a perfect balance of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.


​Bernard Bremont Grand Cru Rose NV.    $80.00 per bottle
 
​This NV wine is a blend of Pinot Noir (80%) and Chardonnay (20%). Made in a similar style to the standard Grand Cru Brut NV, it also has the addition of nearly 10% of Pinot Noir red wine. This is made by Thibault in the Brémont cellars using traditonal red wine making techniques. It is then aded to the blend prior to tirage (bottling) in a proportion that best brings harmony to the components. Since he does not blend to a recipe the wine can vary in colour from one year to the next.

​This wine carries the house style of elegance and complexity, however, as with many rosé champagnes, it has more substance than the finer Grand Cru Brut NV and is more suited to consumption with richer foods.

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