Ruppert-Leroy "Papillon" Brut Nature Champagne MV

Pinot Noir|Champagne

Ruppert-Leroy is a tiny family estate in Essoyes, Champagne, run by Bénédicte and Emmanuel Leroy. The bucolic village of Essoyes, population 745, on the banks of the Ource river, is as famous for its Champagnes as for the House of Renoir, where the artist lived until 1907.

The couple's approach is that the simplest, least amount of manipulation leads to the best wines. To that end they apply biodynamic principles in the vineyard (soon to be certified), ferment the wine naturally in large demi-muid barrels over the fall and winter, and age the Champagne for an average 18-20 months before release.

This cuvée Papillon comes from a single vineyard of Pinot Noir and a single vintage; although it is labeled as a "multi-vintage" (MV) it does in fact hail entirely from the 2015 vintage. You can tell immediately that it's very much a living wine and still evolving – it exudes fierce terroir with red apple, lemon meringue, and roasted cashew. Its "Brut Nature" status ensures ripping minerality and bright salted lemon in its dry finish. A full bodied Champagne, totally unique, and rightly described as incredibly "Burgundian."

Only 4000 bottles produced of this cuvée; this is natural wine at its finest and a wonderful addition to the growing ranks of small grower Champagnes!

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