Spring is officially here and we're celebrating all the new releases as summer approaches!
Note: Saber Club provides selections every other month.
Laherte Frères "Les Empreintes" Extra Brut
Jean-Baptiste Laherte set up the family estate in 1889, planting most of the vines in the village of Chavost, which was to become Chavot.
The estate gradually grew over generations, and covers today over 11 hectares through the Champagne region. The sixth and seventh generations are now working together to create wines that are just like them - pure, sincere and authentic. They share their experience and combine their efforts to make the most of this beautiful heritage.
Since 2005, Aurélien Laherte - the seventh generation - has been giving a new dimension to the estate, while following in the footsteps of his father Thierry and his uncle Christian, the Laherte brothers. Passionately, they promote the family’s values and continue to bring the best out of the terroir.
"... super fresh and racy..."
Very focused indeed; presumably because there is no malo and the Pinot is grown on limestone. Very marked acidity and crystalline structure. Super fresh and racy – a sort of Saar style of Champagne.
From the Sea
Benoît Dehu "Cuvee Initiation"
Déhu Père et Fils
The Champagne house of Déhu Père et Fils was founded in 1787, two years before the French Revolution. The passionate and pensive Benoit Déhu represents the eighth generation of vignerons at this historic, but under the radar estate located on the far western edge of the Vallée de la Marne. After a fruitful stint at Bollinger, Benoit returned to the family domaine with a strong vision for the future.
Because the family Champagne house is well established, Benoit has the unique opportunity to both manage the estate and explore his passion for naturally farmed, handmade, artisanal Champagnes under his own label, Champagne Benoît Déhu. In 2011, he peeled off 1.70 hectares of choice vines that he farms biodynamically, 0.40ha of which are worked with a horse. From these vines he crafts a single-vineyard, single-vintage, single-variety Champagne called “La Rue des Noyers”, named for the parcel that was once bordered by hazelnut trees (Noyers). The wine is fermented and aged in oak barrels, many of which are made from trees in the nearby forest of Fossoy. From this same parcel, Benoit also produces a Coteaux Champenois white and red. All three wines are made from 100% Meunier. This extremely focused micro-project allows Benoit to gain a better understanding of the Meunier grape via three distinct expressions of Meunier from the same terroir.
In the 2015 vintage, Benoit introduced two new Champagnes to his arsenal: "Initiation" and "L'Orme". Initiation is a blend of Meunier from La Rue des Noyers, and Pinot Noir from a small parcel dominated by clay and sand at the bottom of the hill, which Benoit planted using massale selection Pommard clone from Burgundy. The second addition, L'Orme, is made of 100% Pinot Noir from a tiny parcel previously planted with elm trees (Orme), and captures the attributes of complexity, personality and class that make Déhu Champagnes so alluring.
The style of Benoit’s low- and zero-dosage wines is intense, urgent and energetic, with beautiful tension and fine minerality. Though production is miniscule – less than 4,000 bottles – fellow vignerons and wine professionals are taking note of Benoit's work, earning him an enthusiastic underground following. He has quickly established himself as a vigneron to watch in one of France’s most dynamic and progressive wine growing regions.
"... zippy and round with a persistent finish..."
Cuvée Initiation is the newest addition to the Déhu lineup. Made from Pinot Noir and his signature variety Pinot Meunier, which Benoît planted using massale selection of Pommard clone from Burgundy. Oak vinification and ageing, unfined and unfiltered, low dosage. The wine is zippy and round with a persistent finish.
Fresh & Cheesy
Saint Angel Brie and fresh strawberries
Hattingley Valley "Classic Reserve" Brut
Hattingley Valley was founded in 2008 by Simon and Nicola Robinson in Hampshire, England with its chalky soils and climate ideally suited for sparkling wines. They planted their first 7.3 hectares on a south-facing site with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier using laser-guided planting technology. Today, the team manages over 24 hectares (60 acres) of vines across two well-situated sites. Led by winemaker Emma Rice, Hattingley sparkling wines are all made in the traditional method with the highest quality standards – leading the charge for the English Sparkling wine movement.
"... a hint of autolysis with subtle oak character..."
The Classic Reserve is pale gold with a well-developed nose showing a hint of autolysis with subtle oak character. It is well-balanced on the palate showing crisp acidity and fine mousse. It has delicate toasty characteristics from the ageing on lees whilst the gentle oak flavour adds complexity.
Blend: 48% Chardonnay, 33% Pinot Noir, 17% Pinot Meunier & 2% Pinot Gris
Fried Chicken….and more fried chicken
Renardat-Fâche Cerdon du Bugey
The Bugey, halfway between Lyons and Geneva is one of the tiniest and most obscure wine areas in France. Although the altitude is modest, the terrain is very mountainous, the roads are steep and winding as in the Alps and the villages are built for cold winters – the houses made of gray/white limestones all bunched together on narrow streets.
The vineyards are hard to detect, little patches here and there on steep slopes looking southeast or southwest, lost in the midst of fields with grazing cows and dense forests. The total surface of vineyards in the Bugey covers about 170 hectares and the varietals are borrowed from all the surrounding areas:
- Gamay, Poulsard (a grape from Northern Jura), Roussette,
- Mondeuse (both from Savoie) and Chardonnay.
- Many still wines are produced, but the region's star wine is the Cerdon
- Méthode Ancestrale,a demi-sec, pink bubbly made by spontaneous but incomplete fermentation.
Alain Renardat is a respected vigneron in Cerdon, and was a long-time supplier of Alain Chapel's restaurant in the Dombes.The Dombes, which, like the Bugey is in the Ain department, is an area of ponds and marshes, known for its fish and small birds. Alain Chapel, who died several years ago, was a chef beloved among chefs, and famous for his love of wine and winemakers. A vigneron selected by Chapel was guaranteed to have great personality and wines. And while the restaurant is now closed after a long run under the helm of Chapel's widow and sons, the winemakers he'd bring together annually to treat them to dinner remain great friends.
Alain, though technically retired for years, is active as ever. Along with his son Elie, they make their Cerdon from Gamay and Poulsard and follow the technique of méthode ancestrale (as opposed to Méthode Champenoise plain old carbonation, the preferred method used for supermarket wines). The grapes are picked by hand, pressed and fermented in cold vats until the alcohol reaches about six degrees of alcohol. After a light filtration that leaves most of the active yeast in the unfinished wine, it is bottled and continues its fermentation in the bottle, reaching about 7.5 or 8 degrees of alcohol and retaining a fair quantity of its original sugar. It is more vinous (with grapey primary aromas) than most Champagne, since there is neither dosage nor addition of yeast before the second fermentation. Cerdon is to be consumed throughout the year following the vintage.It is fragile and requires excellent cellaring and transporting conditions. Renardat's is delicate, berry-scented, refreshing, and makes a delicious aperitif or dessert wine (even chocolate goes well with it).
"... sweet flowers and inviting red fruit..."
Fragrant notes of sweet flowers and inviting red fruit show on the bouquet. This low alcohol sparkler is fruit forward, yet balanced with a great textured mouthfeel. Yum
An apple a day...
Apple pastry of your choice
Who's Making These Great Selections?
Clare Gillette joined Classic in 2017 as our Director of Wine Sales to manage and grow the wine merchants operations for all three of our Classic locations. Before moving to Texas, Clare spent a significant time in the wine importing and distribution side of the business working with some of the most sought out, collector-worthy wineries and portfolios from all over the world. It was during college that she caught the wine bug, leading her to graduate with a Viticulture & Enology degree and to pursue Sommelier studies.
From Willamette to Burgundy, the Rhone Valley to Napa, or Piedmont to Champagne, Clare has travelled to meet winemakers and visit iconic vineyards as a forever student of the vine. Her expertise and relationships in the wine industry have been integral in elevating our Classic wine community and providing a higher level of value and service to you as our client.
Chester brings over 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry. Chester has worked in Fort Worth since 2003 where he spent 11 years as a sommelier at Del Frisco’s. That experience and level of customer service led Chester to spend the next handful of years creating experiences and finding hard-to-get wines for clients at Kent & Co. Wines and Ellerbe Fine Foods. During this time he also started a cellar management business that allowed him to organize, manage and stock cellars from 200 to 90,000 bottles.
As his consecutive, five-time award of "Fort Worth’s Best Wine Expert" by Fort Worth Magazine can attest to, Chester's level of expertise combined with years of concierge style customer service will help elevate your experience as a client with us.