No. 1 Family Estate ‘No. 1’ Assemblé, Cuvée, Rosé and Reserve

02-Nov-2018

With three decades of winemaking, Daniel and Adele Le Brun are the founders of Marlborough sparkling wine, and they arguably remain the best makers of method traditionnelle in the region, if not the country. It is the diversity of style of their wines, and the consistent degree of autolytic complexity in their most sophisticated wines that in my opinion gives them this title. The Le Bruns have a motto: ‘Hearts in Marlborough since 1980, roots in Champagne since 1684” the latter par referring to Daniel’s family’s heritage of winemaking in the Champagne region of France.

Of course, when Daniel came to New Zealand with New Zealand wife Adele, looking for new winemaking pastures (or should that be vineyards?), his family were doubtful of how successful he would be, but with their help and Daniel’s experience, he became an instant star. The original wines were somewhat inconsistent, but critics and knowledgeable consumers recognised the potential character and quality. ‘Daniel Le Brun’ quickly became synonymous with excellent sparkling wines, such that Daniel and Adele eventually sold their company and his name with it.

Daniel and Adele re-invented themselves establishing ‘No. 1 Family Estate’ in 1999 with vineyards and winery on Rapaura Road. They have just over 4 ha of vines, approx. two-thirds Chardonnay, one-third Pinot Noir and, of course, a little Pinot Meunier. This is supplemented by contracted fruit, but the Le Bruns are in the process of expanding their holdings. Since the start-up, the quality and strength of the wines have grown in stature, reflecting strong family values, with children Virginie and Remy part of the business, and the personal involvement with the winemaking. Daniel’s right-hand man in the winery, Lee Dobson has been with the Le Bruns for over 15 years. The consistent style of the ranges plus the depth of complexity they achieve are the highlights of No. 1 Family Estate. Here, I review the ‘Cuvée No. 1’ range. www.no1familyestate.co.nz


FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW

  • No. 1 Family Estate ‘Cuvee No. 1 Assemblé’ Marlborough Methode Traditionnelle NV
  • No. 1 Family Estate ‘Cuvee No. 1’ Methode Tradittionnelle NV
  • No. 1 Family Estate ‘Reserve’ ‘Cuvee No. 1’ Marlborough Methode Traditionnelle NV

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