2017 David Leclapart Champagne Premier Cru Cuvee L'Aphrodisiaque #172839931


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David Leclapart in the vineyard

About David Leclapart

David Léclapart is a trailblazing fourth-generation wine producer based in Trépail, a premier cru village of Montagne de Reims in Champagne. He took the helm of his family's 3-hectare estate, which comprises 20 distinct parcels of Pinot Meunier, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir vines, after his father's passing in 1996 and has since cultivated a reputation for crafting individualistic wines that faithfully echo their vintage and terroir.

Possessing a pioneering spirit, Léclapart received Ecocert and Demeter certification as early as 2000, standing at the vanguard of the organic wine movement in Champagne, a region traditionally dominated by industrialized processes. He places considerable emphasis on the vineyard rather than the cellar, a philosophy that contradicts the prevailing "house style" approach.

Léclapart's meticulous methods involve eschewing chemical farming, adopting natural yeasts for fermentation, utilizing enameled steel tanks and small used oak barrels for vinification, and not adding any dosage. The result is a production of only 10,000 to 15,000 bottles annually, each expressing the unique character of the single vineyard from which it was sourced.

L'Artiste is crafted from Chardonnay grapes grown in 30-50-year-old vines. The wine undergoes spontaneous fermentation in neutral oak and enameled steel tanks with indigenous yeasts. Malolactic fermentation is also a key process in its creation. This imparts a rich buttery character and helps stabilize the wine, reducing the need for additives such as sulfur.

L'Apôtre, also crafted from Chardonnay, is sourced from a more mature 74-year-old vineyard. Like L'Artiste, this cuvée undergoes spontaneous fermentation in neutral oak and malolactic fermentation. It ages sur lie for 30 months in bottle, resulting in a wine of greater complexity and depth. This extended aging period allows the wine to develop a broad spectrum of flavors, from ripe orchard fruit to fine mineral and brioche notes.

The Aphrodisiaque cuvée is a complex blend of 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir, aged in used Leflaive barrels. It exhibits a vibrant, appealing nose with aromatic notes of sweet-ripe citrus fruits, peach, and red berries, underscored by hints of roasted nuts and baked apples.

Léclapart's steadfast adherence to biodynamics, his willingness to experiment with novel techniques such as clay applications to combat mildew, and his minimal-interventionist approach in the cellar all contribute to the production of champagnes that capture the purity, elegance, and savory complexity of the Trépail terroir. With low sulfur content and no dosage, these wines deliver a striking purity with a vibrant, energetic freshness that wine connoisseurs will find worth collecting and savoring.

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