Working closely with Amphoris, a company specialising in under water exploration, Leclerc Briant has created Abyss, a champagne from the 2014 harvest, specifically adapted to ageing under the sea.
The grapes used for this champagne are specially selected from vineyards well-known for their chalk sub-soil at, or very close to, the surface, so they are perfectly suited to the conditions on the seabed in the Bay of Stiff
just off the island of Ushant, in Brittany.
A brilliant and intense pale yellow colour with flashes of bright straw yellow deep in the glass. A lively stream of tiny bubbles produces a persistent crown of mousse and the overall appearance promises a wine that is
both rich and complex. The first impression on the nose has a distinct hint of the sea mixed with notes of fresh almonds, peaches, kumquat, blackcurrant, hawthorn blossom and warm apple. As the champagne breathes, it reveals aromas of lemon, mandarin, iodine and chalk, plum, raspberry, acacia honey, apricot, mango, pineapple, fresh butter and quince jam with a lively sensation of sea breeze that is ever-present.
The champagne is immediately fresh and supple in the mouth with a soft, creamy effervescence. It soon develops a pulpy and crunchy fruitiness underlined by a nice, tight acidity reminiscent of lemon and fleshy fruit. The mid-palate is orchestrated around a predominantly chalky minerality that lends a touch of salinity and a typical tactile sensation on the tongue, together with good length and directness. The balance with the fruity substance of the wine reinforces the maritime sensation, which persists through to an intensely flavourful finish when a recurring touch of umami plunges us, literally, back into the heart of the sea as we
too are immersed in the wine.
Abyss Vintage 2014 plunges us into a world where earth, sky and sea merge into one: a veritable synthesis of all that is vibrant and alive. In order to appreciate this champagne at its best we recommend serving between 90C and 140 C in a tall, yet well-rounded glass.
As regards food matching, try dishes with a hint of saltiness and with full, deep flavours. Here are a few suggestions:
- Tartare of razor clams with passion fruit, chopped coriander and sesame
- Special Gillardeau N°3 oysters
- Rosette of scallop carpaccio with lemon and caviar, drizzled with basil flavoured olive oil
- Clam linguini with champagne sauce and lemon zest
- Roast lobster with garden vegetables, yuzu sabayon and moules marinées
- Wild turbot with celery purée
- Roast turbot, royale of parsnip and green apples, langoustine tartare in a herb emulsion
- Roast sea bass, shellfish served with demi-sel butter
- Cuttlefish salad, garden vegetables wild herbs and elderberry oil