Champagne Legras & Haas
Matthew Jukes has been as impressed with Legras & Haas Champagne as we have: “more class than you find in all but a handful of the so-called Grandes Marques. Introduce yourself to these wines.” We couldn’t agree more.
Whilst the Legras family can trace their Champenois heritage back several generations, the Legras & Haas House is a relatively recent innovation, founded in 1991 by Franҫois Legras and Brigitte Haas. Today, it’s a full-on family affair with all three sons involved in the business; Rémi manages the company and the continual development of viticultural techniques; Olivier looks after the family vineyards and Jérôme, the youngest, takes Legras & Haas to champagne lovers around the world.
Based in Chouilly, a Grand Cru village for Chardonnay in the heart of the Côte des Blancs, the family are lucky to have some of the best Chardonnay grapes in the region. The majority of the 35 hectares they farm are found here, however they have expanded into Vitry and Les Riceys in order to include some Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier in their blends. They believe in a minimal intervention approach in the winery, especially when they have such good raw ingredients to start off with. Legras & Haas are all about purity and wines that truly speak for themselves and their terroir.
Legras & Haas have 6 cuvées in their range, and there is one thing in common with all of them – the dosage remains small throughout to retain purity and elegance. Their Intuition (previously called Tradition) comes from four different villages; a Chardonnay-rich blend topped up with Pinots Noir and Meunier, and is racy and pure with lovely lemony fruit and a distant biscuity hint, leading to an elegant, creamy finish.
They follow the alternative school of rosé making for their Champagne Rosé; blending red and white wines together, the only place in Europe where this is permitted. As tends to be the case with this method, their rosé is slightly paler in colour but with lovely racy, creamy Chardonnay fruit that matches perfectly with the red berry notes from the Pinots, more ethereal in style, and, after extensive testing, perfect with seafood.
Situated where they are in Grand Cru Chouilly, it comes as no surprise that Legras & Haas’ Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs (100% Chardonnay) is the focal point here. Their non-vintage “sticks to the epic chardonnay found in Chouilly and it is a bargain with drama and chalkiness present in spades” says Jukes, and their vintage offering is about as good as you can get straight off the vines, let alone before any clever footwork in the winery. Their Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Millésimé 2011 is intense, floral and citrusy, with creamed biscuit notes, really rich yet incredibly fresh too – a triumph.
Find all of the wines mentioned on our list and on our website.