01_Vine_Trail_Ruppert_Leroy_16_9
Emmanuel and Bénédicte about to spay a biodynamic preparation

Ruppert-Leroy

VigneronEmmanuel and Bénédicte Leroy
LocationEssoyes (Aube)
Size of Domaine4 ha
TerroirContinental climate. Kimmeridgian clay-limestone soil over hard limestone bedrock. Up to 20% slope. 280-320m altitude.
ViticultureCertified biodynamic (Demeter)
View Ruppert-Leroy wines ↓

Emmanuel and Bénédicte Leroy’s 4ha domaine Ruppert-Leroy is one that we've followed closely for several years since they started in 2010, their progress has been exponential, and the quality of their champagnes is now off the scale. Manu and Béné (ex-high-level kayakers and PE teachers) shared a passion for wine well before making their own, they regularly visited the Jura at a time when it only took a knock at the door to meet and taste with Pierre Overnoy.

02_Vine_Trail_Ruppert_Leroy_16_9
Béné hard at work

When Béné’s father Gérard Ruppert, a visionary farmer and organic vine-grower in the south-eastern corner of the Côte des Bar, offered his daughter the opportunity to take over, she did not take much convincing and jumped at the chance. Grapes were no longer sold to the négoce and the first bottling of Ruppert-Leroy came to life.

Nowadays husband and wife practise biodynamic viticulture in a selection of superb high-altitude terroirs near Essoyes, arguably the most bio-diverse and remote area in the Aube region where stunning coteaux, dense forest and pastures are intertwined. The domaine, an exemplary biodynamic farm, is a peaceful place where humans, livestock, fauna and flora live in harmony. Manu, a highly skilled carpenter (i.e. Compagnons du Tour de France), built a splendid wooden house covered with an energy-efficient green roof that perfectly integrates the landscape and respects its thriving ecosystem, an environmentally friendly approach which is a core value at Ruppert-Leroy.

03_Vine_Trail_Ruppert_Leroy_16_9
Manu Leroy

Béné and Manu’s champagnes reflect specific terroirs and are made from low yields of meticulously sorted grapes, they are vinified with natural yeasts, without fining or filtration, aged in older oak, bottled off with a low 22 g/l for the secondary fermentation and disgorged with no dosage – no sulphur is added at any stage. They are intensely pure, harmonious, well-sculpted champagnes and their incredible energy reflect on the duo's dedication and sheer passion.

04_Vine_Trail_Ruppert_Leroy_16_9
Béné and Manu’s eco-friendly house
05_Vine_Trail_Ruppert_Leroy_16_9
06_Vine_Trail_Ruppert_Leroy_16_9
07_Vine_Trail_Ruppert_Leroy_16_9

Ruppert-Leroy Wines

Ruppert-Leroy

MARTIN FONTAINE (2015)
100% Chardonnay (12% alc.)

Their blanc de blancs comes from quite a high altitude (380m) essentially south facing 0.55ha vineyard where limestone is very present with rock outcropping and fossils weathering out on the surface. The soil here is deeper (around 1m) than at Fosse Grely therefore the yields here are usually 20% higher. The 2015 wine was aged in older barrels for eight months, with malos completed, no sulphur added at any stage, no dosage either. The champagne here is exquisitely balanced, neither too light nor too rich, with the oak very well integrated, and its intense salinity clearly reflects the limestone terroir. VLQ.

Ruppert-Leroy

LES COGNAUX (2015)
100% Pinot Noir (12% alc.)

Here the 0.70ha vineyard is still high up in the hills with grey clay mixed with a two metres deep marl soil (overlying limestone) that has lots of tiny stones, with cockles and oyster shells weathering out. The vines are between 15-30yo, south to south-east facing, de-budded and ploughed to give low yields of ripe grapes. Aged in 2-8yo demi-muids (plus a few fûts), the fruit shows wild strawberry and plums, is silky yet chiselled and precise with a long mineral-driven finish. Béné and Manu comment that this champagne always needs the longest bottle ageing to reveal its qualities to the full. No sulphur. Zero dosage. VLQ.

Ruppert-Leroy

FOSSE GRELY (2015)
50% Pinot Noir, 50% Chardonnay (12% alc.)

The lieu-dit of La Fosse Grely at an altitude of around 260m was where Bénédicte’s father first planted vines back in the 1980s. Surrounded by forest where fauna and flora thrive, the vines here are on a south to southwest facing slope in a thin layer (40cm) of red clay with lots of little stones and thick compacted limestone beneath. Aged for nine months in fûts and demi-muids, and then for 20 months sur lattes, like all of the Ruppert-Leroy champagnes there is a beautiful tension and feeling of controlled energy. You notice hints of black pepper on the nose, with citrus fruits and peach, biscuits and nuts, with subtle bitters, so long and so complex. No sulphur. Zero dosage. VLQ.

Ruppert-Leroy

PAPILLON (2015)
100% Pinot Noir (12% alc.)

This also comes from the lieu-dit La Fosse Grely that Gérard Ruppert (Béné’s father) first planted, this cuvée is made from 35 to 40yo vines of pinot noir, they were planted with an old massal selection and yield an extremely qualitative juice. The south to southwest facing rocky slope is surrounded by forest in a place where 30 species of butterflies (papillon) have been recorded. Vinified the same way as Fosse Grely, there is a similar tension and energy but with extra richness. It is fruit-forward with a creamy texture, ripe peach and zesty blood orange flavours, long and complex with food-friendly bitters. No sulphur. Zero dosage. VLQ.

Ruppert-Leroy

11,12,13…
50% Pinot Noir, 50% Chardonnay (12% alc.)

This is a perpetual reserve from 11,12,13,14,15,16 (that began with the cuvée’s named years) where after initial élevage in oak the reserve wines are kept in cuve and blended little by little, before 18 to 20 months in bottle on the lees. You notice Jura oxidative notes on the nose, with rhubarb fruit, touch of pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg, the mix of old and young wines has enough peps, with good lift on the mineral infused finish. No sulphur. Zero dosage. VLQ.

Ruppert-Leroy

ROSÉ (2015)
100% Pinot Noir (12% alc.)

Emmanuel and Bénédicte carried out a four days maceration of whole bunches to make this vinous and food-friendly rosé. Aged in cuve for nine months it is deep and structured, reminiscent of a light red Coteaux Champenois, and it offers flavours of stewed cherries, blood orange, with cinnamon and pepper hints. No sulphur. Zero dosage. VLQ.