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Leclerc Briant Abyss Brut Zero 2013

Mix 12
£186.00
Mix 6
£188.00
Per Bottle
£192.00
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Description & Technical Information
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There have been five successive generations of Leclerc's, beginning with Lucien Leclerc in 1872 in the village of Cumiéres. In 1955, the house moved to the current premises it still occupies today in Épernay. In 2012, Leclerc Briant was saved from extinction when it was acquired by American couple Mark Nunelly and Denise Dupré, who fell in love with the nonconformist character of the House. They quickly appointed Hervé Jestin as Chief Winemaker and Frédéric Zeimatt as General Manager, two individuals with extensive experience in the industry. Leclerc Briant are renown winemaking pioneers, having been one of the first producers to stop using chemical fertilisers and to experiment with biodynamic vine cultivation back in the 1970s, and being one of the first houses to introduce single vineyards champagnes in the early 1990s. Today the entire vineyard is certified as organic and biodynamic. In addition, all the champagnes released onto the market are certified as vegan. The Maison own 14 hectares and buy grapes from another 15 hectares, both of which are farmed organic or biodynamic.

“Abyss” was specially created from the 2012 harvest for underwater ageing by Leclerc Briant, in association with Amphoris, a company specializing in undersea projects. The grapes that make up this cuvée were harvested from select Champagne villages, renowned for their specific limestone subsoil; carefully chosen terroirs that are in perfect resonance with the marine sediment located in the Bay of Stiff, at the eastern tip of the “Ile d’Ouessant” off the coast of France in Brittany. Disgorged after 3 years of lees ageing, Abyss then spends a further 12-15 months ageing 60 metres down in the Atlantic. Abyss 2013 was bottled in July 2014, disgorged in March 2017, submerged in the ocean in June 2017, and brought up from the depths in June 2018. Pretty scarce as only 3000 bottles were submerged of the 2013 champagne.

Cuvée Abyss is a champagne with a resolutely maritime character which has benefited from being matured at the bottom of the sea. To taste it is to discover and appreciate the same mineral qualities that one finds in the chalky and sandy soils of the Champagne terroir where it had its origins.

Weather: 2013 will always be compared to the great 2012 vintage, however a cool spring lead to some uneven ripening, the summer was unpredictable with hot spells but also some hail causing damage to some grapes. Overall the latter summer months were good.

Technical Information:
Vineyards: 100% Premier Cru | Chardonnay: Bisseuil |Pinot Noir: Avenay-Val-d'Or | Meunier: Vrigny
Grape Varieties: 34% Pinot Noir, 33% Chardonnay, 33% Meunier
Ageing: 3 years on the lees
Disgorged: March 2017
Dosage: 0 g/l
Drink: Now for 3-4 years

Tasting Note: On the nose, the first notes are of brioche and honeysuckle with cherry, blackcurrant and plum adding a hint of fruitiness. A nice, clean start on the palate with a soft, creamy effervescence followed by a mounting sensation of fleshy fruit under-pinned with good acidity reminiscent of pomelo and pineapple. The mid-palate is orchestrated around a marked chalky minerality that brings a touch of salinity and finesse on the tongue.

Read our article on how Abyss is made here.
Champagne Leclerc Briant Overview
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Expert Reviews
17.5/20
Jancis Robinson MW
“This is the second vintage of this very particular wine aged under the sea on island off Brittany. The 2014 is coming back from the deep soon and they have just sunk the 2015. The bottles are sold complete with the barnacles – even in Japan. ‘They like the fact that each bottle is different.’ Winemaker Hervé Jestin, a Breton who is pretty New Age, claims, ‘we wanted the wines to be in living world’. The MD Frederic Zeimett echoed, ‘living world’.
Deep straw. Broad and toasty nose. Very broad-beamed wine. Real texture – almost as though it had been aged in terracotta. Savoury and very settled, somehow.”
News Articles
  1. Leclerc Briant: Champagne Range Tasting and Bioenergetic Innovations

    Leclerc Briant: Champagne Range Tasting and Bioenergetic Innovations

    July 23, 2019

    We recently visited Leclerc Briant with Jancis Robinson MW. General manager Frédéric Zeimett and winemaker Hervé Jestin discussed the winemaking innovations happening at Leclerc Briant and we tasted a range of champagnes, including Hervé's personal project.
  2. Bioenergetic Winemaking at Leclerc Briant

    Bioenergetic Winemaking at Leclerc Briant

    April 26, 2019

    Leclerc Briant winemaker Hervé Jestin is paving the way in bioenergetic winemaking. Utilising techniques such as underwater ageing and vinification in gold-lined barrels, Jestin produces wines with a high level of positive energy. We visited the house in Épernay to find out more.
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