Marc Hébrart, Champagne "Special Club"
Marc Hébrart, Champagne "Special Club"

Marc Hébrart, Champagne "Special Club"

Vallée de la Marne, France 2019 (750mL)
Regular price$115.00

Marc Hébrart, Champagne "Special Club"

Throughout our many years of selling and drinking Champagne, as trends have come and gone and prices have risen, we’ve always kept a keen eye out for two labels—Special Club and Marc Hébrart. Both represent surefire sparkling wine deliciousness married to cellar-worthy seriousness, and both offer some of the very best dollar-for-dollar value in the region. Today, those parallel searches for the best sparkling wine our precious dollars can procure converge with Marc Hébrart’s mind-bending 2019 Champagne Special Club. This masterful blend from Hébrart’s most prized Premier Cru holdings encapsulates all that makes these wines so special, their signature marriage of broad and fruit-laden texture with pedigreed minerality and poise. It’s a blue chip bottle, a cellar cornerstone, that competes with the very best of Hébrart’s neighbors, names like Dom Perignon, Bollinger, and Georges Laval. Like those producers’ wines, Hébrart’s Special Club isn’t just a bottle to open on special occasions, it is the special occasion. Unlike them, it’s a smashing value in the world of collectible bubbly. Grab a bottle and join the Hébrart journey!

No less a Champagne expert than Peter Liem—the man who literally wrote the book on the region – calls Hébrart “one of the finest estates in the Grande Vallée.” No wonder; their holdings frankly boggle the mind, ranging from some of finest Pinot terroirs to what may be the most coveted Chardonnay land in Champagne.  Hébrart’s Pinot-focused holdings center on Grand Cru village of Aÿ in the Vallée de la Marne, with a handful of satellite Premier Cru holdings. These vineyards primarily face south, allowing for higher levels of ripeness and kaleidoscopic fruit character. In the Côte des Blancs, they farm holdings in the renowned Grand Cru villages Avize and Oiry, where chalky limestone soils contribute brilliant minerality and focused, laser-like structure. Current proprietor Jean-Paul Hébrart somehow vinifies each of his 85+ plots separately, allowing him an incredible array of options at the blending table. Perhaps that’s why cuvées like today’s seem to stitch nearly every great Champagne aroma and flavor into a seamless whole. 

As if the name Hébrart weren’t enough of a quality guarantee, today’s offer also bears the Special Club imprimatur. For those unfamiliar, this is the grower-producer equivalent of a grand Champagne house’s tête du cuvée. The Club de Trésors—“Club of Treasures”—is an association of 28 Champagne growers who aim to promote the farmer fizz movement by offering their members’ best wines from the best vintages. It’s a rigorous process, wherein each member’s still wines are blind tasted and selected for potential release, and then three years later blind tasted again after tirage before being chosen for release. These are some of the best values to be had in sparkling wine, not because they’re cheap per se, but because they achieve the quality of the region’s most iconic and lusted-after bottlings at a fraction of those bottlings’ prices. Hébrart’s 2019 Special Club may be the most definitive evidence of that fact that we’ve found yet.

In 2019, the Hébrart Special Club is actually a single-village bottling—65% Pinot Noir and 35% Chardonnay from the Premier-Cru-but-should-be-Grand-Cru Mareuil-sur-Aÿ. These are some of Hébrart’s oldest vines, holdings that have long contributed to his most prized cuvées, finally bottled on their own. The juice was fermented in stainless steel and then aged 36 months sur latte. It opens with an explosion of orchard and just-ripe berry fruit, creamy red apple flesh, quince paste, and white peach pit alongside red plum skin and redcurrant. Toasted brioche, roasted almond, and fresh-churned butter round out the high-toned, precise fruit. On the palate, it’s a textural marvel, mouth coating and deeply vinous with significant weight, framed by electric tension and chalky, crushed-rock minerality. It’s both kaleidoscopic, broad in its range of aroma and texture, yet brilliantly focused, hedonistic and thought-provoking. Grab a few bottles, plenty for the coming holidays and a few for years to come, and you’ll be right alongside us on the Hébrart hunt.

Marc Hébrart, Champagne "Special Club"

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