L'Extra Brut
Popping champagne at Village Montholon

Love at second sight is the story which unites Benoit Melendez to champagne and led him to open L’Extra Brut at Village Montholon, in the heart of Paris 9.

L'Extra Brut

It all started
in Champagne

Benoit Melendez was born in Paris into a Burgundian family, part of which possesses vines in the Jovinian region to the north of Bourgogne. From his early childhood, he was lulled by the harvest parties and the farmer spirit of his family.

When he became a sales director in a teleconference firm, he kept this wine culture but “as many”, considered champagne as a gadget to be opened a few times a year - for a birthday, a wedding or New Year’s eve. A friend made him change his mind through a day spent (re)discovering Champagne.

After falling in love with the region’s know-how, Benoit was surprised by its commercial absence in Paris. He decided to create what he could not find : he founded L’Extra Brut, cellar and bar of the Village Montholon, in partnership with his friends from “Au 36” located at Hautvillers in the Marne, with whom he blind selects his cuvées.

 

© Leticia Zica

Maison Mère - L'Extra Brut

An Extra Brut experience
to arouse curiosity

L’Extra Brut is a name thoroughly chosen. With this kind of champagne, cheating is not an option : only a truly good winemaker or maison can obtain a fine extra brut.

These two words also have a meaning representative of Benoit’s philosophy and the atmosphere of his place : an extra nice bar, filled with a raw (“brut”) atmosphere to free champagne from its elitist and overly luxurious codes. The simple decor made of wood and metal is the perfect ground to raise questions and commit to curiosity, two conditions which are necessary to genuinely appreciate champagne.

 

© Leticia Zica

Maison Mère - L'Extra Brut

Pleasure,
audacity and authenticity

Benoit believes that a good champagne is defined by the human behind it. Because of the complex vinification methods and the subtlety of the aromas, champagne ranks among the most technical wines. But the will to express something through a job well-done is the first quality of a fine bottle. 

Authenticity is the key word of the project, equally upstream - on the side of producers - and in front of the clients at L’Extra Brut. The champagne offered and the story told belong to the producers - nothing more, nothing less. This loyalty allows the true demonstration of their terroir and know-how.

Audacity is another strong value : L’Extra Brut praises winemakers and maisons that stick to the DNA of champagne while innovating at their own level, thus bringing a little extra off the beaten tracks.

 

© Leticia Zica

Maison Mère - L'Extra Brut

From Champagne
to Village Montholon

In the heart of the Village Montholon located in the 9th arrondissement of Paris and less than two hours away from the world’s greatest winemaking histories, Benoit found his clients : local residents who show loyalty to their merchants and value the art of living and discoveries. Beyond this core, Benoit receives Parisians from other neighborhoods, French from all regions and international tourists. All have in common that they trust Benoit with their eyes closed (but taste buds open) to live a complete experience.

Benoit describes the strength of the 9th arrondissement as a combination between a mineral atmosphere derived from the splendid architecture and a human atmosphere linked to the local spirit of mutual support, kindness and friendship.

When asked his definition of a house, Benoit ends up expressing the same quality that, to him, defines a good champagne : humanity. In a house like in the production of champagne, everything that we say and do is turned towards human. 

 

How would you like to participate in a masterclass or blind tasting session organized by Benoit at Maison Mère ? In the meantime, discover his advice to choose a good champagne on our Instagram account.

 

© Leticia Zica