Working closely with Amphoris, a company specialising in underwater exploration, Leclerc Briant has created Abyss, a champagne from the 2015 harvest, adapted to ageing under the sea. The grapes used for this champagne are selected specially from vineyards well-known for their chalk sub-soil. The wine is hence suited to the conditions in the Bay of the Stiff. Exclusively from the 2015 harvest, the wine was bottled in July 2016, disgorged in July 2019, submerged in the ocean in September of the same year and brought up from the depths in September 2020.
An intense pale yellow colour, with flashes of bright straw, a lively stream of tiny bubbles produces a persistent crown of mousse. 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, acacia honey, apricot, mango, pineapple, fresh butter and quince jam with a lively sense of the 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 crunchy fruitiness underlined by tight acidity reminiscent of lemon and fleshy fruit. The mid-palate has 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 influences, which persists through to an intensely flavourful finish when a recurring touch of umami plunges us, literally, back into the heart of the sea.