Bereche & Fils Premier Cru Le Cran 2015 (Disg. July 2022)

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Le Cran was first made in 2004, driven by Vincent and Raphaël’s desire to bottle “a true picture of the [Ludes] terroir.” They chose two of their finest, old-vine Premier Cru parcels in Ludes, planted by their grandfather and now with an average vine age of 50 years. These sites, both rich in limestone and chalk, include the west-facing vineyard of Les Hautes Plantes, planted to Chardonnay in 1969, and the east-facing Les Vignes Saint Jean, planted to Pinot Noir in 1973. The blend is equally split between the two varietals.

Le Cran is arguably the most smouldering, mineral and powerful of the Bérêche single-vineyard wines, but it is still fresh and uplifting. The viticulture and age of the vines results in lower yields of more concentrated fruit, balanced by naturally racy acidity and intense minerality. Le Cran is vinified with indigenous yeasts in oak barrels up to 600 litres in size and spends 72 months in the cellar, most of which is on lees in the bottle under cork. Dosage for the 2015 was 3 g/L.

“The 2015 Extra-Brut Le Cran is one of the stars in this range. The blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay works so well. Apricot, yellow flowers, tropical fruit, chamomile and spice are all amplified in this large-scaled, ample Champagne. There's a tropical, exuberant quality to the 2015 that is notable. Chardonnay was picked at 10.5% and the Pinot was a bit riper, at 10.8%. Dosage is 3 grams per liter. Disgorged: July, 2022.” 96 points, Antonio Galloni,

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