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Only three hectares of vineyards is owned by David Léclapart, and his champagnes - always from a single vintage and zero dosage - have cult status.
Although the Léclapart family has been producing champagne for 4 generations, it was unclear for a long time whether David Léclapart would follow the same career path. He attended agricultural school in Beaujeu, worked at Léclerc-Briant in Épernay, and eventually took over the family vineyard after his father's death, founding his small domaine in 1998. David immediately switched to biodynamic farming methods. In 1999, the first three cuvées were released in small quantities, immediately attracting the attention of champagne connoisseurs around the world. Since the 2000 vintage, the winery run by David and his wife Carole has been certified for biodynamic cultivation according to Demeter as well as Ecocert.
Léclapart's three hectares of vines are located in Trépail, spread over 22 plots. Although Trépail belongs to the Pinot-heavy Montagne de Reims, Chardonnay dominates here by 90 percent. The Léclaparts also have very little Pinot Noir, so their Champagnes are almost exclusively Blanc des Blancs.
Trépail is a very cool and damp terroir. David Léclapart confirms that organic viticulture in Champagne is complicated: "The weather is difficult, especially in terms of mildew. There is a constant risk of losing the grapes." However, he is convinced that the quality achieved in the vineyards in this way has an extreme effect on the quality in the bottle. In the cellar, he also works largely without additives in the spirit of natural wine.
Léclapart does not use reserve wines; his wines all come from a specific vintage, which is named on the label. First fermentation takes place only with natural yeasts. L'Amateur and half of L'Artiste are aged in enameled steel tanks, while the remaining wines are aged in oak barrels. To stabilize the wines and avoid the use of sulfur, all undergo malolactic fermentation. The wines remain on their lees until just before the harvest of the next vintage and are bottled without fining, filtration or cold stabilization. All champagnes are zero dosage.
Léclapart's wines are of extremely high quality, but also uncompromisingly individual. They are strikingly purist and finessed, expressing the character of Trépail. The wines go on sale relatively young, as Léclaparts lack storage space. Ideally, the champagnes age in the cellar for a few years before being enjoyed. If opened young, it is recommended that the champagnes be decanted, as they can be somewhat inaccessible when young.
Facts: R.M., Trépail, Montagne de Reims, 3 ha., 10,000 b./yr.
Organic certification: David Leclapart - Control number: 51/7561/694405 - FR-BIO-01