War loomed large in the lives of Reine and Rene Le Brun, whose relationship began around the same time as World War II, which made for interesting times in the world's most famous sparkling wine region, Champagne.
New wine launched
This year, their son, Daniel Le Brun, and his family here in New Zealand, have launched a new sparkling wine to honour Reine. It is called, simply, Reine and it pays homage to the Champagne region, the history of the Le Brun family in the region and to Reine herself. The Le Brun family can trace its winemaking history in Champagne back to 1684, which was the year their descendants planted their first vines in Champagne, producing their first wines in 1791. This date is carved into the family's champagne press.
No 1 Family Estate wines at Regional
We will be celebrating No 1 Family Estate here at Regional Wines & Spirits over the looming festive season and we are thrilled to have the family's newest sparkling wine in store for the upcoming festivities. Here are my notes on the new sparkling wine, which was launched in Marlborough in the last week of October this year.
Buy No 1 Family Estate sparkling wines here
No 1 Reine Cuvée Reserve RRP $63
Reine Vautrelle Le Brun loved flowers, which is echoed on the label of this bottle, which is a delicate but full bodied blend of 50% Chardonnay, 43% Pinot Noir and 7% Pinot Meunier, given extended lees ageing of four years giving it the weight and balance to stand up to the low dosage of 2.8 grams per litre. This is bone dry sparkling wine with finesse and a long finish. While it can age superbly for two to three years, it drinks beautifully now - fresh and zingy, paying homage to a woman who lived through World War II; years that represented some of the Champagne region's toughest times.
No 1 Family Estate's history in New Zealand
Daniel Le Brun made his first sparkling wine in Marlborough in 1980 and launched his second venture, No 1 Family Estate, in 1999, on 14 July - Bastille Day. No 1 Family Estate is a family owned and run operation with all family members involved, including Daniel and Adele le Brun and their children, Virginie and Remy.