Readers who have followed this series — which started with the 2007/08 Yuletide season — know that the principle involved is never to repeat a Champagne or sparkling wine. I will use a different product from a producer, say a blanc de blancs instead of a blanc de noirs from the same house, but not the same item. It’s always a pleasure to introduce My Readers to products that are new to me (at least), and so today we look at the Champagne Leclerc Briant Brut Reserve, nv, a blend of 40 percent each pinot noir and pinot meunier and 20 percent chardonnay aged almost three years in the bottle on the lees. The estate was founded in 1872 and today owns 24.7 acres in Premier Cru vineyards, as well as holding contracts on another 19.7 acres from other growers. The property is operated on biodynamic methods, and the vineyards under contract are farmed organically. Leclerc Briant Brut Reserve offers a pale gold hue and an energetic effervescence of tiny bubbles; aromas of toasted hazelnuts, spiced pears and roasted lemons are twined with slightly toasty, yeasty notes and hints of sea salt, toffee and crystallized ginger. It’s a sleek and lithe Champagne, seemingly chiseled from limestone and flint and propelled by crisp acidity that keeps the whole enterprise fleetly light on its feet; the finish is dry, ethereal, smoky and fresh. 12 percent alcohol. A really lovely bottle of Champagne. Excellent. About $65.

Imported by Winebow Craft & Estate, New York. A sample for review.

In addition to being the Fourth Day of Christmas, today is Childermass, or the Feast of the Holy Innocents, that is, all the infants whom the suspicious King Herod had slaughtered in Bethlehem after he heard that the Messiah would be born there. Talk about a guy with a hair-trigger temper.

Born on this day were Woodrow Wilson (1856), Earl “Fatha” Hines (1903), Lew Ayres (1908), Stan Lee (1922), Dorsey Burnette (1932), Maggie Smith (1934), Alex Chilton (1950), Denzel Washington (1954) and Seth Meyers (1973).
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