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Le Brun de Neuville "Authentique Assemblage" Brut Champagne

SKU #1210387 93 points James Suckling

Outer quote mark This is a dense and flavorful Champagne with fantastic depth and richness. Lots of bread dough and dried fruit such as mangos and some lemon rind. Full and layered yet remains fresh and vivid. Drink now. Inner quote mark (3/2018)

92 points Wine Enthusiast

Outer quote mark The small Sézanne region of Champagne is known for its Chardonnay (as exemplified by this wine) with its crisp mineral texture. The apple-skin and green-plum flavors are given an edge by the tight acidity and dryness. It could do with another few months in bottle, so drink this bottling from 2018. (RV) Inner quote mark (12/2017)

K&L Notes

Le Brun was named Champagne Producer of the Year, 2015 International Wine & Spirit Competition. This Champagne is made in the Sézanne, a terroir within Champagne whose product is rarely seen in the U.S. It is composed of 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir and is aged for five years on the lees. This sur-lee aging is done on a cork rather that a crown cap, a process usually reserved for much more expensive wines, most famously Bollinger vintage.

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Price: $34.99

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By: Elsa Baez | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/17/2019 | Send Email
Le Brun is one of our best-selling top grower-producers at K&L and has become a staff and customer favorite. On the nose there’s this intermingling of both bright and sweet fruit - a tinge of pineapple- and creamyness. On the palate, bright acidity and green apples dance on your tongue. Rich texture, yet restrained with the acid backbone. I cannot express enough the fantastic value you get with this bottle. So good!

By: Alex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/15/2019 | Send Email
In a direct import program that boasts hundreds of stunning grower-producer Champagnes at incredible values, the “Authentic Assemblage” from Le Brun de Neuville belongs near the top of the list not just in terms of value for the price but in overall quality. It boasts a rich, decadent style that comes from aging on its lees for five years under cork instead of bottle cap, a practice still used by only a tiny percentage of producers in Champagne. This allows for micro-oxygenation, which gives the wine a rich, rounded texture that perfectly balances out the crisp chalky minerals and the rich flavors of nectarine, honeysuckle, brioche and clove. The fact that it is available for such a low price is a miracle.

By: Neal Fischer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/14/2019 | Send Email
I love this Champagne because it's rich, yet never overstated. Coming from 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir, the Authentique Assemblage exhibits power and amazing balance. It is robust with oak spice, gentle toastiness, yellow apple, and dried apricots. The palate smacks of clotted cream, nectarine, and bright fruit acidity. There's a suppleness to the texture that's kept quite lively with its very tiny bubbles. This is one big, fun sparkler.

By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/14/2019 | Send Email
I'm a fan of this cork aged style of Champagne and this is a particularly good example for a particularly good price point! As you can see by the 26 staff reviews that precede my own...this is a big time favorite here at K&L. Consistent from one release to the next, always on point and crowd pleasing. Fresh enough to drink as an aperitif; layered and rich enough to stand up to food. Just a great all-rounder. Cheers.

By: Chris DePaoli | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/10/2019 | Send Email
Sur-Lee aged for 5 years, this is a ridiculous showcase of chardonnay minerality juxtaposed over a delicate background of red fruit and light white peach from the Pinot Noir. Not surprisingly a consistent favorite here, the "Authentique Assemblage" is a steal.

By: Miles Philippe | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/8/2019 | Send Email
There is definitely an authentic presence about this wine. The fruits are uncomplicated and delicious; I mostly got notes in the ripe pear category. And the yeast notes present here reminded me of classic Brioche that was freshly baked that morning. Overall, it was like being with a friend who presents themselves openly and honestly, without all the flippantry of someone seeking your attention.

By: Jackson Lee | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/7/2019 | Send Email
This is a great wine to buy. Not only for the fact that its aged five year on the lees on cork (not bottle cap), smells of orange blossom honey and green apples, and tastes like a green apple jolly rancher (without the cloying sweetness)- but also because you're helping small producers survive among the bigger houses. If you're into good wine and fighting against, "the man," this is definitely a label you should pick up.

By: Andrew Tobin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/7/2019 | Send Email
Here at K&L we are fortunate to have several direct imports from some really fantastic producers. Le Brun is a rather large co-op that we bring in, and that means we get some amazing wine for unbelievable value! The Authentique is a make up for 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir with a wonderfully nutty round nose, notes of ginger and baking spice that translates beautifully to the palate with a hint of stone fruit.

By: John Majeski | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/28/2018 | Send Email
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Champagne imbued with both a vibrant sense of presence and authenticity, as the name implies, is almost impossible to find for under seventy-five dollars, but here it is, a beautifully focused laser beam of elegant, pure stone fruit and citrus flowers with a taut mineral texture, all held together by a skein of fine acidity. This is a remarkably sophisticated Champagne that will reward drinking throughout the holidays and beyond. Highly recommended!
Top Value!

By: Mike Parres | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/7/2018 | Send Email
It is medium-bodied Champagne that seems effortless and is very well integrated. This makes a great aperitif, but like many other Champagnes will also make a great partner with sushi.

By: Muriel Sarik | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/8/2018 | Send Email
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We have so many wonderful Champagnes to choose from, that when one stands out I just have to tell everyone about it. The first word that comes to mind when I think of this Champagne is "balance," where all the components are in the right places. This is evolution in a flute. On the nose, the freshness is bright and lovely. It gains some weight after the second sip and becomes creamy on the mid-palate, due to 5 years aging on the lees. Then it has an extra long, intense finish, with a slightly tart aftertaste—as one gets from eating tropical fruit. This was written on 2/24/2017, I still feel this way except now this wine shows more time on the lees with more depth. So yummy!
Top Value!

By: Christina Stanley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/8/2018 | Send Email
The "Authentique Assemblage" is aged on the lees five years, and is an almost even blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. This Champagne emits rich aromas of baked apple, hazelnut and white and yellow flowers, due in part to the 30 percent reserve wines added to the cuvée. The palate, however is lighter than expected: delicate, with a fine bead, and a lusciously creamy back end.

By: Ivan Diaz | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/9/2017 | Send Email
The wine in this bottle is aged on the cork, a rather uncommon method of aging Champagne that imparts unique flavors otherwise absent from other bottles that don't incorporate this technique. What comes through is round, baked apple hugged by salted, honeyed nuts, graham cracker, and shades of briny minerality that vaguely resembles dry sherry. At this price point, this grower bottling is one of the best and most unique Champagne values in the shop... or anywhere.

By: Jeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/27/2017 | Send Email
At a recent staff tasting of Champagne I thought that this product really stood out. Although all of the Champagnes were of high quality and absolutely delicious, the Le Brun Authentique stayed in my mind. It is lively and energetic with hints of minerals in a easy to drink dry Champagne. I think that it will go well alone or with lighter fish.

By: Blake Conklin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/10/2017 | Send Email
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The primary presence of chardonnay leaves this champagne with a creamy texture, bright acidity and subtle flavors of apple and pear on the finish. I absolutely love this bottle, not only is it a great value for Champagne, it's also just a genuinely good bottle as well.

By: Shaun Green | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/8/2017 | Send Email
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Fighting well above its weight class, this Champagne is a lovely example of a great find, unknown to many that is a must try for any Champagne lover. Rich and complex with classic Champagne notes of light savory and biscuit over lovely rich apple-y fruit - all at a price that makes it a 'go to' Champagne for me. One glass and you'll see the quality level available at reasonable pricing when you look beyond the grand marques of Champagne.
Top Value!

By: Morgan Laurie | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/8/2017 | Send Email
One of my favorite things about tasting Champagne, besides the fact that I absolutely love Champagne, is the wide range of styles and flavor profiles you experience. This is weighty, complex and slightly rich on the palate with a long finish and a lovely acidity. It reminded me of an apple upside down cake; roasted apples, spicy, yeasty and delicious. This is definitely one of my new favorite direct imports!

By: David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/23/2017 | Send Email
I just can't believe Gary keeps pulling these magical DI Champagnes out of god knows where! He's a magician after all. This is ultra complex for the price, savory with out being stinky or funky. A beautiful bouquet of orange marmalade, quince, slightest hint of fresh mushroom, and a touch of brioche. Wonderfully rich on the palate with a pointed structure and a beautiful long soft finish. The total PACKAGE.

By: Rachel Alcarraz | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/14/2017 | Send Email
The Chardonnay dominant champagne has the perfect amount of Pinot Noir to give weight, texture and depth of fruit to the zesty acidity. It is aged on the cork for five years which adds a creamy complexity and a long, spiced filled finish.

By: Joe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/6/2017 | Send Email
Located in the Seazanne, an area that apparently is geologically similar to the much more expensive Cote de Blancs, I suppose I am not surprised at how serious and convincing a Champagne this is! Unique aromas, with tangerines and a bracing, salty quality to them, lead to a dry and laser focused palate. Seriously delicious or deliciously serious, take your pick! Either way, this is one of my favorite new direct import Champagnes - I will certainly be buying some.

By: Diana Turk | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/28/2017 | Send Email
Bright but also mushroomy, earthy and slightly oxidative thanks to aging five years on the cork – an intensive process normally reserved for Tête de Cuvées of big houses (Bollinger Grande Année comes to mind) – this is an incredible value that encompasses (seemingly) conflicting qualities, all in the same glass. Creamy but lively with elegant acid, rounded yet crisp fruit, plus chalky undertones and a subtle nuttiness, the “Authentique Assemblage” nevertheless drinks cleanly through to the finish. This multifaceted Direct Import is a high-quality Champagne from a talented winemaker: Le Brun de Neuville was one of the biggest hits at our Los Angeles Champagne Tent Event, and after taking home a bottle, it’s easy to see why.

By: Jeff Garneau | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/25/2017 | Send Email
La Maison Le Brun de Neuville is one of the top producers in the Côte de Sézanne. This lesser known region of Champagne is sometimes dismissed as merely a southward extension of the Côte des Blancs, but to do so is to ignore the unique character and exceptional quality of these wines. The Le Brun de Neuville Authentique Assemblage is aged under cork for five years, a practice that requires manual disgorgement using a centuries old technique. The result is Champagne that is rich in style with an ultra-fine bead, opulent yet focused, creamy in texture yet very fresh and lively. Rarely available in the US. Don’t miss your chance to sample the best of this remarkable region.

By: Stephanie Vidales | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/24/2017 | Send Email
The Authentique Assemblage from Le Brun De Neuville definitely drinks well above its price. Aged 5 years on the lees, this wine expresses baked apple spice and nutty flavors with fresh acidity resulting in a very well-balanced, delicious bottle of bubbles. For champagne that is made with all estate fruit and lees aging, you can't go wrong for 35 bucks.

By: Scott Beckerley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/24/2017 | Send Email
Lovely lemon meringue nose with baked apples and caramel. Initially, a note of bright acidity in the mouth that segues into toasted nuts, ripe apples, yellow pears and butterscotch. The initial acidity brightens things up a bit and it finishes fleshy and rich and creamy. A great bargain at 35 dollars! Stand well alone or will work well with many main course dishes.

By: David Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/23/2017 | Send Email
This a fantastic new entry to our DI Champagne program that offers fresh and clean flavors balanced and buoyed by riper apple notes. It's both refreshing as an aperitif and satisfyingly full on the palate like I would expect from a fine cuvee. What's most important to note, however, is that the Neuville "Authentique" stands out from the pack of K&L selections I've grown accustomed to drinking over the years. It's snappier than the Aspasie Carte Blanche, fruitier than the Bonville Blanc de Blanc, and more complex than the Baron Fuente Grand Reserve; generally my three go-to bottles. I'm now adding the Neuville into that line-up as the fourth horseman as it's just so versatile. Also intriguing is the wine's origin from Sezanne; a part of Champagne I know nothing about, so it scratches an intellectual itch as well. A great find by Gary.

By: Andrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/23/2017 | Send Email
Another stunner in the Champagne Direct Import quiver here at K&L. This blend of 60% Chardonnay/40% Pinot Noir shows the best of both varietals. The zip and freshness of the Chard shows beautiful crisp apples and some lovely and delicate floral notes while the Pinot Noir adds red fruited notes of cranberry and wild cherries. The really remarkable this about this bottle though is that it has been aged for 5 years on the lees - under a cork. This adds richness, a slightly nutty oxidative note, and typically a substantial amount to the price (compare to the also fabulous cork aged bottle of 2005 Bollinger "Grande Année" Brut Champagne for $100). At way less than half of that price this is a magnificent bottle with a unique story to tell.

By: Cindy Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/23/2017 | Send Email
Sometimes it is impossible to separate an outstanding wine from an outstanding setting! I recently enjoyed this champagne in Point Reyes, under a huge umbrella in the pouring rain. And while slurping down the freshest oysters in the land, this champagne seemed to have as much complexity, as much vibrancy and as much freshness as my glorious surroundings.

By: Gary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/16/2015 | Send Email
This past week we ordered some paddlefish caviar from Kelly’s Katch in Tennessee. Clyde had recommended Kelly’s years ago to us, and we have enjoyed their stuff immensely. We treated ourselves to a two ounce can and paired it with this great bottle, which worked out very well indeed. I prepared some buckwheat blini in our trusty skillet and brought home a small container of crème fraiche to complete the caviar kit. This Champagne comes from Bethon, in the middle of the Sezanne department, a chalk outcrop about 30 miles south of Epernay. It is aged for five years on the lees on a cork rather than a cap, so the cork we pulled out before serving it was the 2nd that had been in the bottle. Ageing on a cork like this is a pain- none of the disgorgement lines will accommodate bottles like this, and they must all be disgorged by hand. The benefit is a better exchange with, and a bit of immunization from oxygen. The five years on the lees gave this wine a nutty creaminess that mirrored the caviar, while the pure chalk soil gave the wine the zip and minerality needed to cut the richness. It was a great way to spend a Monday night!
Top Value!

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