Champagne Hervé Brisson, “Les Aulnes”
Champagne Hervé Brisson, “Les Aulnes”

Champagne Hervé Brisson, “Les Aulnes”

Champagne, France MV (750mL)
Regular price$65.00
Your cart is empty.
  • In stock, ready to ship
  • Inventory on the way

Champagne Hervé Brisson, “Les Aulnes”

Here’s exactly the kind of debut we can get behind: Hervé Brisson is a hands-on vigneron in Champagne, farming just three hectares of vines according to the most rigorous, Certified Organic standards. His website, still under construction, is dominated by photos of his vineyards, and his presence in the US market owes at least in part to a recommendation from Vincent Couche, another passionate récoltant-manipulant whose own Champagnes have become SommSelect favorites.

“Les Aulnes” is a Burgundy-style vineyard designation for a 100% Chardonnay of exceptional purity and persistence, a wine that had me summoning that odd word sometimes applied to Champagne: vinosity. Sure it’s “vinous,” you might say—it’s wine! But certain Champagnes assert their wine-ness (their vinosity) more vividly. You wouldn’t expect a wine with a barely-there dosage of four grams/liter to have such depth and texture, but then again, that’s where the farming and old vines come in. Welcome to America, Hervé—we’re so glad you’re here!

Brisson’s farm (and isn’t it great to use the word “farm” in the land of big “houses”) is in Vert-Toulon, in Champagne’s Val du Petit Morin, a continuation of sorts of the iconic Côte des Blancs. His vineyards, almost all of which contain Chardonnay, are family heirlooms, some of which were planted by his grandfather in 1952. Average vine age in his three-ish hectares is 30 years, and he’s been farming organically since 2016 (certified in 2019). This year marks the first year of wines with “Hervé Brisson” on the label.

For his Les Aulnes cuvée, Brisson ages his “base” wine in barrels and sandstone tanks for 12 months. After bottling and secondary fermentation, the wine rests for about 15 months on its lees (spent yeasts) before disgorgement. A mere 500 cases were produced in total, so we consider ourselves fortunate to have secured a few for the SommSelect faithful.

Designated Extra-Brut, the wine is nevertheless textured and readily identifiable as Chardonnay, with a real “Burgundy with bubbles” quality: Notes of yellow apple, lemon pith, cream, brioche dough, dried white flowers, and a pile of crushed rocks rise from the glass and coat the palate in luxurious style. The purity of fruit is just astounding, making it a great candidate for drinking in a larger, non-flute stem: don’t be afraid to swirl it and let the carbonation dissipate, as it only improves the experience! Enjoy it alongside some classic gougères or maybe a saucy, lemony fillet of halibut. It is main-course material for sure, great as it may be as an apéritif. You can’t go wrong either way! Enjoy!

Champagne Hervé Brisson, “Les Aulnes”




Enjoying the greatest wines of Beaujolais starts, as it usually does, with the lay of the land. In Beaujolais, 10 localities have been given their own AOC (Appellation of Controlled Origin) designation. They are: Saint Amour; Juliénas; Chénas; Moulin-à Vent; Fleurie; Chiroubles; Morgon; Régnié; Côte de Brouilly; and Brouilly.

Southwestern France


Bordeaux surrounds two rivers, the Dordogne and Garonne, which intersect north of the city of Bordeaux to form the Gironde Estuary, which empties into the Atlantic Ocean. The region is at the 45th parallel (California’s Napa Valley is at the38th), with a mild, Atlantic-influenced climate enabling the maturation of late-ripening varieties.

Central France

Loire Valley

The Loire is France’s longest river (634 miles), originating in the southerly Cévennes Mountains, flowing north towards Paris, then curving westward and emptying into the Atlantic Ocean near Nantes. The Loire and its tributaries cover a huge swath of central France, with most of the wine appellations on an east-west stretch at47 degrees north (the same latitude as Burgundy).

Northeastern France


Alsace, in Northeastern France, is one of the most geologically diverse wine regions in the world, with vineyards running from the foothills of theVosges Mountains down to the Rhine River Valley below.

Others We Love