Notes on the Champagne Jean Lallement Brut Tradition bottling disgorged on November 2012 (but seemingly mislabeled 2013 on the bottle –impossible because I am writing this in September 2013 –an honest slip set straight by checking the case code that corresponds with November 2012 in the Terry Theise catalog)
Hailing from the Grand Cru slopes at the very heart of the Montagne de Reims, Lallement’s Brut Tradition embodies the soul of the mountain as this is Champagne’s spiritual home for Pinot Noir which comprises 80% of the cuvée with the balance countered by Chardonnay –just the variety to counterbalance and highlight the structure, red fruit, and baritone depth for Chardonnay can lift Pinot Noir’s brooding spirit, lend its own crispy floral fruit and lofty pastry notes.
Even the first dip of the nose into smelling this glass, one finds it brimming with quince paste, plums and apricots –an engaging and fragrant burst of Montagne de Reims expressing some of its bolder character in the form of honeycomb and fragrant bruised apples in that best of ways that reminds us of an Autumn field trip to the orchard to fill our bags, our pockets and our larders with orchard keepers.
On the palate there is a little sourdough rye bread that I usually associate with Pinot Meunier and for which I love that variety so much –which must come from the Pinot Noir and its richer and rounder nature. After an exhilarating reel through lemon peels, leesy and yeasty brioche dough rising, and then chalky minerals (almost listing toward those chewable vitamins I strangely craved as a child), this then returns in a comforting gesture of texture and flavor to that membrillo quince paste that started it all and stays with us almost like a ripened cognac of a good age. In a class of non-vintage champagne all its own, this Brut Tradition is living proof that the little parcels of Jean Lallement convey Grand Cru in such compelling, coruscating clarity.
Wine review by Nicholas Livingston
The followed accounts have purchased this wine in the previous twelve months. Be sure to call ahead to confirm availability.The Wine Market
South Lyndale Liquor
North Loop Wine & Spirits
Henry & Son
Lake Wine & Cheese
Andy's - Crossroads
Wayzata Wines & Spirits