Le Dû’s Official New Year’s Champagne: Labruyere Prologue
Champagne J.M. Labruyere was founded when the Labruyere family, which has winemaking roots in Beaujolais and Burgundy, including the highly esteemed Burgundian house Jacques Prieure, purchased two vineyards in the Grand Cru village of Verzenay which had been previously used as a key component in Dom Perignon.
“Rich notes of caramel apples, cinnamon pear, a freshly backed brioche play against a backdrop of rosemary, black pepper, and wet grey stone. The palate is vinous and almost chewy with equal parts cream and tart apple skin. The effervescence is balanced perfectly with the full and luxurious weight. The Prologue seems to be living in the best of both worlds, with just the right amount of bubbles to make it undeniably Champagne but not so much that it becomes aggressively taut and chokes out the potent flavors. A rare Champagne which is both interesting AND crowd pleasing.”
Labruyere represents a middle path between the two poles of modern Champagne, with the Grower movement on one side and the Big Houses on the other. Like the Growers, Labruyere is 100% estate. They control their production from vine to bottle. However, stylistically Labruyere has much more in common with luxury brands such as Ruinart, Bollinger, and, for obvious reasons, Dom Perignon. Whereas the Grower movement has tended to emphasize taut austerity in an attempt to emphasize their terroir and differentiate themselves from the larger brands, Labruyere is comfortably round and rich, eschewing the intellectual for luxurious. This is the first release in the United States and it will be interesting to see if Labruyere represents the beginning of a new compromise in Champagne or is simply an outlier.
In the meantime, we get to enjoy what has to be one of the finest Champagne debuts in recent memory. Want a taste for yourself? We’ll have a bottle of Labruyere open at all times through the end of 2018!