This year is our tenth anniversary importing the great Champagne of the Fleury family. They were the very first estate in Champagne to return to organics, converting fully by 1989 and obtaining all of their certifications by 1992. They have 20 acres of estate vineyards planted to 85% Pinot Noir, 10% Chardonnay, 3% Pinot Blanc and 2% Pinot Gris. They also contract with a few biodynamic neighbors and all of the fruit comes from the village of Courteron in the very far south of the Aube department. Jean-Sebastien Fleury runs the operation now, but his father, Jean-Pierre Fleury is still very involved with the production.
Every organic producer in Champagne has had help from the Fleury family getting started, and they are the source for the organic certified yeast that completes the secondary fermentation in the bottle for nearly everyone working this way in the region. The Fleury Champagne’s stand apart from all the other organic producers in one critical way- they are not extreme in style. While many producers working organically prize strange, oxidative, funky flavors in their Champagne, Fleury, especially with their two biggest production cuvees, prize purity, clarity and freshness. These are great wines to consider even if you are not interested in organics. The wine in the bottle justifies the slightly higher prices than the rest of our direct imports, natural methods aside.
Here is what we have:
Fleury Blanc de Noirs Brut Champagne $39.99: This 100% Pinot Noir Champagne is based on 2010 and has 30% old reserves added. These reserves come from a fractional blend started in 2006 in giant foudres, and in this bottle consist of 2006-2009. The Champagne is dosed at 8g/l. This bottle has the best texture of any non-vintage wine in this price range, with perfect streamers and elegant creaminess. The brioche, custard and meyer lemon aromatics carry through on the palate, yet the finish is all about freshness. If you haven’t tried this in a while, you should. It is one of the most impressive wines they make, and a great flagship… This is not “entry level” stuff! We also have half bottles also available at $21.99 and a very few magnums at $79.99.
Fleury Brut Rosé Champagne $49.99: This is 100% Pinot Noir, made by the maceration method. All of the skins are kept in contact with all of the juice, yielding a rose not just of great color, but of aromatic generosity and flavor. The current batch is all 2009, but they do not vintage date their rose. This is an absolute must try for any fan of rose with its salmon/ Valentines Rose color, savory black cherry nose, poised, elegant texture and dry, mineral laden finish. A wow bottle! We have a very few magnums available at $109.
Fleury "Cuveé Robert Fleury" Brut Champagne $44.99: Only three cases available. This all 2001 Champagne was meant to be vintage, but they decided to sell it as non-vintage, after hanging onto it for more than three years longer on the lees than the 2004. It is all fermented in small oak barrels, and composed of 53% Pinot Noir, 31% Chardonnay and 16% Pinot Blanc. This is rich, porcini and truffle scented brioche Champagne, and the ultimate pairing with foie gras or charcuterie. After 13 years on the lees, it only needed 6g/l of dosage to arrive at the perfect balance. For all of the weight and intense savory character, it is still snappy and focused on the back end. Too bad there is so little…
2004 Fleury "Cuveé Robert Fleury" Brut Champagne $54.99: Only three cases available. This all barrel fermented Champagne is composed of 45% Pinot Noir, 35% Pinot Blanc and 20% Chardonnay. The autumnal nose is full of brioche and cream which carries through on seamless palate. The best part of this Champagne is the finish, the richness on the mid palate carries on and on- I found it kaleidoscopic! Complexity like this is rarely married to refreshment!
Fleury Sonata 9 Opus One Extra Brut Champagne $89.99: Only 11 bottles available- sorry I had to check one to make sure that it made the trip OK! This is the only no-sulfur-added Champagne that we stock at K&L. I would not have trusted anyone else to make a bottle stable enough to pull off the trip half way around the world… And my trust in Fleury was well placed. This is the exception in their range, and definitely a totally different style than anything else that we stock. It is all 2010 harvest, and composed of 75% Pinot Noir and 25% Chardonnay. There is no dosage, but the Champagne does have 2.5g/l of natural residual sugar. This is razor blade pure in the mouth, but has some brie like cream on the nose. It has a different energy and feel from anything else I have had before!
A toast to you!