Awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their December 2018 edition review of Value Champagne (see blue link below).
Champagne Marc Hebrart, Selection Brut 1er Cru (Vieilles Vignes) NV - December 2018 Decanter review
Marc Hébrart and his wife started making Champagne in 1963, adding to the land little by little due to the high price of land in Champagne. In 1983, their son Jean-Paul started his own small production. In 1997, the parents and sons of Champagne Hebrart merged together, making Jean-Paul the director of the company. Their land now covers 15.5 hectares, over 68 plots spread across the two banks of the river Marne. On the right bank (Côtes des Blancs), Hébrart Grand Cru terroirs of Avize, Oiry and Chouilly are producing fine, ripe and mineral Chardonnays. On the left bank (Vallée de la Marne and Montagne de Reims), Aÿ, Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, Bisseuil and Avenay-Val-d'Or are Premier Cru villages producing juicy and structured Pinot Noirs. This diversity and owned supply allows Jean-Paul to create very precise cuvées, controlling the grape quality from growing to winemaking. In the vineyard, natural methods are used rather than insecticides. In 2014 Hébrart was quoted as being among the 100 Best Wine Producers in the World by Wine & Spirits Magazine.
The Cuvée Selection is a selection that orignates from the best vineyards belonging to Hébrart and which have benefitted from age. The Chardonnay grapes come from the Grand Cru terroirs of Avize, Oiry and Chouilly, on the right bank, or Côtes des Blancs. These Hébrart plots produce fine, ripe and mineral juice. The Pinot Noir part of this blend comes from the left bank, in the Vallée de la Marne above Mareuil-sur-Ay. Here the old vines grow on steep south facing slopes and the resulting grapes are concentrated and rich, due to the old vines and the clay layers of the soil. Mareuil-sur-Ay is a Premier Cru village (scored 99% in the echelle des crus) and is considered to be one of the very finest of Champagne's Premier Cru villages. Marc Hébrart practices sustainable viticulture. He keeps chemical treatments to a strict minimum on the vines, which have an average age of 36 years.
Pinot Noir 70%, Chardonnay 30%.
Each parcel is gently pressed and vinified separately to preserve their individual characteristics. This wine is made from the coeur de cuvée, the heart of the freerun juice. Fermentation takes place in small tanks. The wine undergoes malolactic fermentation. Dégorgement is carried out approximately six months prior to release. Lees ageing is for a minimum of three years, ie that seen by many vintage Champagnes.
An elegant, precise and mineral Champagne; hints of pear and plum are underpinned by a salty backbone and a touch of jasmine on the finish.