« Our idea was unrealistic, there was only one thing to do, Realise it»
Pierre-Georges Latécoère French Aircraft Manufacturer (1883 - 1943) Pioneer of Airmail
Alexandre Cornot founded Champagne Brimoncourt in 2008, bringing back to life a historic but defunct Champagne brand . Brimoncourt’s headquarters are located in Aÿ, the very heart of the Champagne region, surrounded by the most sought-after Grand Cru villages. The house quickly distinguished itself by its originality, image and communication. This all blends into a subtle balance between tradition and modernity; a true reflection of its elegant, airy and fresh wines.
The spirit of Brimoncourt pays a sparkling tribute to “les Années Folles” (the crazy years) of the 18th century, also known as the French Regency period. This spirit is embedded in the style of Brimoncourt: joie de vivre and elegance.
We interviewed the Australian, export manager, Adrien Dupoirieux about the brand.
1 - It seems like Brimoncourt's philosophy is about getting back to the DNA of champagne, especially with the reference to “l’Esprit Régence”, a time when drinking champagne was not so formal but rather a light, joyful moment of the everyday life. Is that the spirit that you’d like to convey throughout the cuvees? Is there any proper way/best time to enjoy champagne?
That is exactly right. Our DNA and flagship cuvée, “Brut Régence”, are an ode to Prince Regent Phillipe d’Orléans, who reigned just after Louis XIV as the heir Louis XV was too young. Although Louis XIV was known as the ‘Sun King”, le Roi Soleil, the last years of his reign were quite bleak. The Regent felt that it was time to heal from this era and thus decided to move the Court to Paris, bringing back the French spirit of joy and life. Regent Phillipe was an epicurean and made champagne fashionable: what better than an exquisite sparkling wine to celebrate this new era? Champagne became the official wine served at the royal court.
Brimoncourt got inspired from this time, crafting light and elegant cuvées. The notion of sharing is omnipresent in our philosophy as we believe champagne should not be limited to a “special occasion wine", but rather be enjoyed with people you love, at any time.
I feel like in France, drinking wine, and especially champagne, tends to look like a ceremony as opposed to the rest of the world, where it is perfectly fine to have a glass of wine whilst cooking. The Champenois, people living in the Champagne region, can sometimes be a bit too formal and uptight. At Brimoncourt, our idea of champagne is different: it’s an anytime enjoyable drink that makes you happy.
2 - Can you share some thoughts on the terroir of Brimoncourt: Côte des blancs, Montagne de Reims, Aÿ?
We wanted to use the top Chardonnay sites of the appellation, particularly the Côte des Blancs, that would allow us to craft very fresh, elegant wines with a high percentage of Chardonnay, bringing lightness. As we are not in favour of sourness, we didn’t want our Chardonnay to be too tense, so we chose grapes from the south of the Côte des Blancs, where there is slightly more sun. Our Pinot noir is mainly sourced from the best Grand Crus villages of the Montagne de Reims, including Aÿ where our House is based and where is our cellar master François Huré's home territory.
3 - Brimoncourt range is still limited to a handful of cuvées. How do you see this as an advantage?
We are currently one of the youngest houses of Champagne since the name has been revived in 2008, so we willingly made the choice to keep a limited but very high-quality range. It was important for us to settle the best contracts and get an access to the most confidential crus first. In addition, each cuvée is the result of a very meticulous elaboration and tasting process supervised by our cellar master and tasting committee. All of our wines have a strong identity and their own style so it’s really easy to dissociate them and they are obviously all delicious!
4 - Brimoncourt cuvées are well-known for their elegance and lightness. Do you think that makes them perfect wines to pair with food, as opposed to heavier champagnes that would overtake the flavours of a dish?
Yes, we really encourage people to pair any of the Brimoncourt cuvées with food. I have a few food pairing suggestions for you:
- Brut Régence is perfect with fish tartar, smoked salmon, and pan-fried scallops. It is also excellent with parmesan, and as an aperitif wine in general.
- Our Blanc de Blancs is perfect as a distinctive aperitif wine also, but also harmonises marvellously with smoked salmon, sashimi, sushi, shellfish, and grilled fish.
- The Extra-Brut is excellent with shellfish and iodine flavours. With its 80% Pinot Noir, it will complement Asian cuisine particularly well as it will enhance spicy undertones.
- To finish, the Brut Rosé harmonises perfectly with red fruits pastries, cheese and especially with delicate meats. The perfect bottle for a fancy summer barbecue!
5 - Which Brimoncourt wine is your favourite and why. What would you pair it with?
It’s a difficult question. I’d say that it depends on my mood. I would enjoy a glass (or two) of Brut Régence at the aperitif, for the freshness, then a glass of Extra-Brut with some Pacific oysters, or a Blanc de Blancs with a nice seafood stir-fry. I always try to find new recipes to pair with my champagne.
6 - Finally, how did COVID impact your house (if it did?). What’s happening in the Brimoncourt’s vineyards these days?
The COVID crisis has had quite a big impact on the Champagne region. We all did our best to keep our team safe but, as with many other houses, that meant slowing down our activity. We can start to see a bit of improvement as restrictions are now easing, but we have to keep patient.
Once again, our youth is our strength and will help us getting though this uncertain time. It'll provide a lot of learnings for the future.
Shop the Champagne Brimmoncourt range at Emperor.