Blend: 34% Pinot Noir from Avenay-Val d'Or, 33% Pinot Meunier from Virginy and 33% Chardonnay from Bisseuil.
Dosage: 0 grams per liter and without added sulfite.
Disgorged: March 2019.
Aging: Submerged in the ocean in June 2019 and taken from the depth in June 2019.
In close collaboration with Amphoris, a company specialized in underwater exploration, Leclerc created Briant Abyss, a Champagne from the 2015 harvest, specially adapted for aging under the sea. The grapes used for this champagne have been specially selected from vineyards known for their chalk substrate on or very close to the surface, so they are perfectly suited to the seabed conditions in Stiff Bay just outside the island of Ouess, in Brittany. Equal parts of Chardonnay of Bisseuil, Pinot noir of Avenay-Val-d'Or and Pinot meunier of Vrigny are used for this extraordinary cuvée.
This Champagne Abyss has an intense, light yellow color with flashes of straw gold and green accents. A lively stream of small bubbles produces a lingering ring of mousse at the top of the glass, and the overall appearance promises a wine that is both rich and complex.
The first impression on the nose is one of both ripeness and freshness that evokes umami-like notes of shellfish paired with toasted bread, madeleines, mango, pineapple, mandarin, black currant, pomelo and peaches. While the wine breathes, it reveals notes of moist chalk, apricot, lemon, hawthorn blossom and carnations, pear, red apples, blackberries, fresh grapes, cherries and poppies.
The taste is clean and rich with a soft, creamy mousse. The Champagne quickly develops a filming and crunchy fruitiness, underlined by a beautiful, tight acidity reminiscent of lemon and pomelo. The middle palette is round with a bold, chalky minerality that gives a touch of salt and a special feeling on the tongue. The wine has a good length and directness due to the structure and aromas of the Pinot Noir that bring out a certain masterpiece. The balance is maintained by ripe fruit and by the fresh, crunchy character typical of this year, which, combined with the minerality of chalk and iodine, brings the finish to a plump, salty and incredibly precise finish.