"Uncompromisingly Individual" -Peter Liem
2010 David Léclapart L'Amateur
Incredibly Sharp Pricing - Over 25% Below Lowest Price
There are few Champagnes as singular as Léclapart. You have to look to Selosse and Vouette et Sorbée.
If Léclapart has less of a profile than the other two, it's due (at least in part) to the size of the domaine. It's a mere 3ha.
Not to mince words, pricing also plays its part. Leclapart runs a small operation and he is ultra-dedicated in the vineyard. All of this impacts the price. The Champagnes are mesmerizing, but the pricing doesn't allow for most people to experiment.
I really can't emphasize the value enough. Beyond being over 25% below the lowest price, the pricing compares to an ocean of comparatively generic non-vintage Champagnes. From Léclapart, you get one of the most memorable, lovingly made Champagne experiences around. Without a doubt, Léclapart leaves a deep impression.
Trépail is a Premier Cru village just north of Ambonnay and Bouzy. But unlike those villages (which specialize in Pinot Noir) Trépail is all about Chardonnay. Trépail is famed for its saline cut and many Grandes Marques rely on Trépail to add an incisive punch to their blends.
Léclapart takes Trépail's steely verve and imbues it with a tremendous amount of depth and soulfulness. Wrapped around an electric core of chalky and saline minerality is an always building, haunting richness that really unwinds with a few years of bottle aging. The fact that Léclapart is able to work without dosage in Trépail is a testament to his tight work in the vineyard.
The 2010 L'Amateur is a very good introduction to Léclapart. There's a layer of rich stone fruits that's makes it more approachable in its youth than is usually the case. Around that signature core of complex minerality, chalk, smoke and saline notes in dramatic interplay, there's subtle apricot and peach fruit complemented by floral and spice top notes. The overall impression is of completeness and wild complexity.
This is one of the most utterly intriguing and unique Champagnes (and wines) around. When you taste these wines, you immediately take notice and realize you're faced with an immensely dedicated winemaker with vision and courage. At this price, I strongly suggest that you check it out.
To order, reply to firstname.lastname@example.org or call the store at (212) 980-9463.
Director, Fine & Rare Wine
Crush Wine & Spirits
Peter Liem: "With its broad, low-sulfur nose, this is highly identifiable as a so-called "Natural" wine, feeling vaguely waxy and smoky in aroma. It has more personality on the palate, showing sweet notes of preserved citrus, melon and apricot that are complemented by a supple texture and a vibrant spine of acidity. Trépail was hit hard by botrytis in 2010, and while Léclapart took great pains to triage his bunches, the effects of this still linger, not as an overt botrytis character, but rather like an echo or memory, expressed by the wine’s concentrated fruit character and impression of sweetness. This isn’t a bad thing, and the extra richness that it imparts is pleasantly contrasted by saline, chalky minerality on the finish, bringing additional tension and focus to the wine. As always with this cuvée, it needs plenty of post-disgorgement age to knit all of its components together—this bottle was disgorged in December of 2013, and I expect it will begin to show real harmony and completeness around the middle of 2015 or so."