Stéphane Herbert’s Champagne house is located at the heart of Rilly-la-Montagne, a nice small village. This 4.5-hectare vineyard produces around 35.000 bottles a year. Here, wine-growing is done sustainably, which implies that weeding is left undone on most of the plots. Production is sold essentially to a wide French client base, but also restaurant-owners and wineries. A smaller proportion is exported to Italy, Japan or Austria.
As for his 14.000 bottles of Brut – representing a third of the total production – Stéphane Herbert works with the Rilly farming cooperative. Nonetheless, he blends his Brut wines. All the other types of Champagne are pressed, poured in open tanks and matured on the estate.
This house produces Champagne wines that have a low dosage, with a cane sugar based expedition liqueur in the amount of around 6 grammes per litre.
The tasting room is very nice and neat, modernly and colorfully decorated.We would specifically like to underline the warm welcome of the owners, who invite and pamper their guests before letting make their choice.
Details on the different cuvées you’ll find :
– Brut – 40 % Chardonnay, 30 % Pinot noir, 30 % Meunier. Winegrowing is done in open tanks. Brut wines are blended with the grapes of two year’s harvest. It has matured for 20 months in bottles before being avalaible for sale.
– Réserve – 50 % Chardonnay, 50 % Pinot noir. Grown in barrels for 10 months. Production : 5.000 bottles a year. This is a great Champagne that we particularly enjoy. We love opening a bottle with friends or offering one because we’ve always heard the nicest comments on it. The wooded notes are a bonus, yet subtle. Finest quality and great value for money.
– Blanc de blancs Excellence – 100 % Chardonnay. Grown in barrels for 10 months. This Chardonnay wine comes from the towns of Nogent-l’Abesse and Rilly-la-Montagne. Wine is grown in old half-casks that won’t influence its taste too much. Production : 3.000 bottles a year. Again, a very nice Champagne : the wine is well-balanced, surprising and very charming. A must-taste !
– 2011 and 2012 vintage – 100% Chardonnay. Grown and matured in barrels. No malolactics, so you can store them for several years. Production : 3.000 bottles a year. This is the wine that made us discover this estate. It blew our minds. It is a wonderful Champagne, a vintage to offer as a present or to treat oneself with. You can also find it as a Nouveau wine. It goes perfectly well with a meal if you wish. It can contain low expedition liqueur or none.
– Rosé – 80% Chardonnay, 20 % Pinot rouge. This Champagne wine comes from the 2011 grape-picking and has grown in casks for 10 months, which is pretty rare for a Rosé wine. This is a sharp, elegant Rosé wine, with subtle hints of strawberry. It comes in a pretty, classy and very feminine bottle.
– Blanc de Noirs – It is the most prestigious vintage of this house and comes with a screen-printed label. An extra-Brut Champagne with notes of yellow fruits that explode in the glass. It definitely can go with a meal.
Shopping is available directly on the estate. Also available (except for the Brut wine) at « La Grande boutique du vin » in Reims.For information on prices, you can email the owners (contact informations below).
Champagne Stéphane Herbert
twenty minutes away from Reims
You can book on + 33 3 26 03 49 93 or by sending an email to : champagneherbert[at]wanadoo.fr
Website and Facebook page of Stéphane Herbert