We first tasted the wines of Liébart Régnier at a trade show in San Francisco, where they stood out from the pack as elegant, mineral driven, on the dry side, and authentic. A visit to the domaine several months later cemented our opinions and the relationship, and we are now happy to represent these lovely Champagnes in California!
Liébart Régnier is located in Baslieux-sous-Chatillon in the famed Vallée de la Marne, about 12 miles northwest of Epernay. The domaine was created in 1960 with the marriage of Lucien Liébart from Baslieux-sous-Chatillon to Georgette Régnier from the nearby village of Vauciennes. They combined their holdings from these two villages to make up about 10 hectares. Baslieux-sous-Chatillon has more clay in the soil and particularly favors Meunier, as well as Pinot Noir, whereas Vauciennes is sandier and is better for Chardonnay. In addition to these three classic varietals, the family farms a small bit of the ancient Champagne varietals of Petit Meslier, Arbanne, Pinot Blanc, and Pinot Gris. (We'll see the first cuvée based on these varietals in the next year or two!) In addition to their own 5,000 case annual production, they sell grapes to several négoce, including Ayala, Perrier Joüet, and Nicolas Feuillatte.
The Liébarts are farmers first and foremost, and are certified as "H.V.E." The Haute Valeur Environnementale certification is given to producers that show respect for natural habitats, protect biodiversity, and use natural treatments for pests. All grapes are hand harvested, of course. They make their own liqueur for the dosage; they never buy must concentrate. Malolactic is done on all the cuvees. Nearly all the wine is fermented in stainless steel tanks, though there are a few barrels used for their top-end cuvees. These are Champagnes with lovely fruit expression and minerality.