Marc Hebrart Brut Premier Cru Selection MAGNUM
A seductive style, full of charm yet carrying a beautiful structure and craft.
|Critics Top Rating
Non Vintage (NV)
Casual Entertainment, Formal Entertainment
NEW, Large Formats
Jean-Paul Hébrart took over the operations of Marc Hébrart Champagne in the Vallée de la Marne from his father Marc in 1997. This estate is not exactly new: Jean-Paul’s father has been producing champagne under the Marc Hébrart name since 1964 and has been a member of the Special Club since 1985. Hébrart farms 14 hectares of vines on 65 different sites in 6 villages: the 1er cru vineyards of Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, Avenay, Val d’Or and Bisseuil and the grand crus villages of Aÿ as well as Chouilly and Oiry in the Côte des Blancs. Each parcel is always vinified separately in glass lined stainless steel and ceramic tanks. He is slowly phasing out the ceramic as it is more difficult to control the temperature. Hébrart is also experimenting barrel fermentation and indigenous yeast fermentation for some of his older vine parcels.
Using these new techniques Jean-Paul has made an alternative Téte de Cuvee (2004 vintage dated) called Rive Gauche-Rive Droite, named for the sites on both sides of the Marne that comprise of the blend. These old vine parcels are fermented and aged in 205 liter four year old barrique (without battonage) before being bottled sur latté. Jean-Paul hand selects grapes, uses a Bucher press, and is experimenting with fermentation in petite cuvee. Hébrart doesn’t block malolactic fermentation and does all remuage by hand.
Peter Liem writes of Champagne Hébrart on Champgneguide.net: “Hébrart’s wines have a broad appeal: if you like to think about your wines, they’re intellectually engaging enough to satisfy you; on the other hand, if you’re just looking to drink, they’re simply delicious. The wines are full and generous without being weighty, complex and soil-driven without being demanding. Overall, the entire range is of consistently high quality, and represents excellent value for the money.”
Blend – 70% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay
Vintages – 50% 2016, 50% 2015
Villages – Old vines (40+ years old) from Mareuil-sur-Aÿ 1er Cru, Avenay Val d’Or 1er Cru and Bisseuil 1er Cru
Malolatic fermentation – Yes
élevage – Stainless steel
Aging 48 months
Lightly chalky in texture, this firm Champagne has mouthwatering acidity and flavors of apricot, yellow plum, star anise, shortbread biscuit and candied lemon zest. Deftly balanced, with a long, vibrant finish
Robert Parker Wine Advocate – 92 points
The latest rendition of Hébrart’s NV Brut Premier Cru Sélection, disgorged earlier this year, is derived largely from Mareuil-sur-Ay, supplemented by some 13% from Chouilly. Offering up aromas of citrus oil, white flowers and fresh pastry, it’s medium to full-bodied, with good concentration and structure in a charming format, concluding with an elegantly chalky finish.
The softly spoken and unassuming Marc Hébrart purchased his first vines at the age of 17 and took over the reins at his father’s small Mareuil-sur-Aÿ domaine in 1998. Members of the Special Club since 1985, the Hébrart family have long been serious growers, but Marc has taken the estate to new heights. He works the soils and employs synthetic products only at flowering to protect the crop. “I need to have a good crop so I have enough grapes to make choices in the cellar,” he explains. He uses only organic fertilizers and debuds to limit yields. And he’s trying to build up his stocks so he can offer older vintages for sale, thinking that their reserves constitute one of the important advantages of the grandes marques. The Hébrart style is supremely—even deceptively—charming, emphasizing pretty fruit tones and structured around succulent acids. Yet the wines reward contemplation, too, and age very well indeed. All the releases here come warmly recommended.
Decanter – 90 points – Part of Champagne panel tasting: Bottles to look for under £40
A good all-round style with some complexity of yeasty, bready notes, in combination with a satisfying freshness and nicely integrated yet persistent bubbles