26 Jan 2018 / 10:01

The best 90 Champagnes from the greenest and most sustainable vineyards in the world

A great Champagne is the result of high quality viticulture in a zone that is perfectly suited to this type of wine in terms of the grape varieties, soil characteristics, and a climate that is colder than many European wine regions. Here are the best 90 bottles from all over the world.

The best 90 Champagnes from the greenest and most sustainable vineyards in the world

A great Champagne is the result of high quality viticulture in a zone that is perfectly suited to this type of wine in terms of the grape varieties, soil characteristics, and a climate that is colder than many European wine regions. Here are the best 90 bottles from all over the world.

Modena Champagne Experience

One of the most precious privileges of wine critics is the opportunity to taste the best wines in the world. We appreciate it especially on occasions such as the Modena Champagne Experience, organized by the Club Excellence. Our whole team (according to some, the Real Madrid of tasters), in a well-organized tasting and helped by accomplished sommeliers, was able to taste over 400 cuvées. Here we present our selection of the best 90 labels. Among the thousand definitions that you can give of Champagne, and that are part of its hagiography, there's one that is particularly cold and intriguing at the same time: Economic Indicator. Without going into complex analyses, we can come out with one rule. When things are going well and the economy is booming, people drink more Champagne.

Numbers of Champagne

Data recently released by CIVC, the professional association that regulates the life of the most celebrated DOC in the world, showed us the numbers from 2016 – 306 million bottles sold compared to the 312 million of 2015. There's a long way to go to get back to the 338 million of 2007, the last pre-Lehmann year. The data that interested us most was for Italian imports, which in 2016 amounted to 6.6 million bottles, a noteworthy increase of 6.4%. That means that thanks to an ongoing economic revival, Italians open bottles of Champagne more enthusiastically. Negative data come from France and Belgium, where tourism has been heavily affected by terrorism, and from Britain, the primary European market, where the effect of Brexit and the 9% devaluation of sterling is felt. Those 6 million bottles fewer come from these three countries.

In the rest of the world (USA, Canada and Japan especially), consumption is growing. Projections for 2017 are comforting. The French sparkling wine is undeniably fascinating, ageless. Those who feared that the Prosecco phenomenon (between DOCG and DOC wines, over 500 million bottles were sold around the world) could be a problem for French producers should, instead, thank the Italian spumante. Prosecco showed that bubblies were not reserved only for big occasions, but could be a daily pleasure. Groups of consumers, such as millennials and the Generation Z (post-millennials born in the mid-1990s) were converted. They soon learn (or will learn) to appreciate the charm of the great Champagne cuvées.

Champagne characteristics

But what makes this wine so appealing, above and beyond fashion and economic trends? It is surely because it is the result of high quality viticulture in a zone that is perfectly suited to this type of wine in terms of the grape varieties (pinot noir, meunier and chardonnay), soil characteristics (calcareous terrain that assures the wines the right acidity and thus the freshness of its taste), and a climate that is colder than many European wine regions. The know-how accumulated by the zone's producers over three hundred years plays an important role. It continues to set an example in terms of enology, marketing, and commercial strategies. Whoever knows Champagne, the great houses and their histories, can't help but be amazed by their ability to innovate and renew, continuously. They lead the way for the rest of the world of sparkling wines which, except for Prosecco (which has another target), are eternal followers.

The most beautiful territory to visit is full of excellent restaurants at every level. The landscape is fiercely protected, and since 2015 is on the UNESCO World Heritage list (as we hope one day the hills of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene will be – a process already begun). For some years a green revolution has been underway. It is one of the world's territories with the fastest rate of growth of organic and biodynamic viticulture. The word 'sustainability' is not just chitchat, but has entered into the protocol of the great maisons, as well as that of the cooperatives and vignerons themselves. This was the first wine region in the world to calculate, in 2003, its carbon footprint, and to establish a program to reduce emissions by 15% in 10 years, 25% by 2025, and 75% by 2050. Its quality is unchallenged, as our tastings show, and even improving. Champagne will be better and greener, and we Italians, one of the markets where top Champagnes are uncorked the most, love it more and more.

Vallée de la Marne

92
Champagne Billecart-Salmon — Mareuil-sur-Ay - 40, rue Carnot - +33(0)326526022 - champagne-billecart.fr

Blanc de Blancs '06

In its sixth generation, Billecart-Salmon needs no presentation. This vintage year is extremely complex on the nose, with notes of pears, yellow plum, acacia honey. Slightly lactic and creamy. The palate has splendid, gripping tension and a sharp, energetic, luminous and brilliant finish.

91
Champagne Éric Taillet - Baslieux-sous-Châtillon - 37, rue Valentine Régnier - +33(0)326581142 - champagne-eric-taillet.fr

Sur Le Grand Marais

Grapegrowers before they were producers, the Taillet can draw from about six hectares distributed in six towns around Baslieux-sous-Chatillon, in the heart of the Vallée de la Marne, the home of pinot meunier. This cuvée is 90% pinot meunier and 10% chardonnay. Aromas of fresh hay and orange zest. The palate is bold, fresh, and very dry.

90
Champagne Nowack – Vandières - 10, rue Bailly - +33(0)326580269 - champagne-nowack.fr

Extra Brut La Tuilerie

Flavien Nowack cultivates organically a small part of the vineyards he owns, and personally vinifies the grapes he harvests. His style is original and convincing. Many of the Champagnes he produces come from one variety harvested in a single parcel of land and vinified separately. La Tuilerie is an enthralling chardonnay, savory and intense.

89

Champagne Francis Boulard – Cauroy-lès-Hermonville - Route Nationale RD 944 (Reims-Laon) - Vendangeoir Luxembourg - +33(0)326615277 - francis-boulard.com

Les Rachais ’10

Francis Boulard is a grand vigneron, dedicated to the most natural possible production, using very little sulfur and no additives at all. Les Rachais is a Champagne made exclusively from chardonnay, with zero-dosage, and only in single-vintage releases. The 2010 offers notes of citrus fruit, followed by a savory palate, very fresh acidity, and exemplary depth.

88

Champagne Françoise Bedel - Crouttes-sur-Marne - 71, gr Grande rue - +33(0)323821580 – champagne-bedel.fr

Brut Entre Ciel et Terre

The name means between sky and earth. This biodynamic producer has accustomed us to little masterpieces, always very personal and with unmistakable stylistic traits. The label offers prevalently pinot meunier grapes, fermentation in stainless steel and a stay on its lees of 60 months. Saline and savory, it has intensity without ever losing energy and tension.

88
Champagne Leclerc Briant - Épernay - 67, rue de la Chaude Ruelle - +33(0)326544533 - leclercbriant.fr

Les Chèvres Pierreuses Premiere Cru Organic Millésime '09 -

The domaine has followed the dictates of biodynamic agriculture for more than ten years. Very low dosage and labels that begin from single vineyards are typical of this Épernay winery. Les Chèvres Pierreuses is a single-vintage release that offers saline sensations of oysters. Floral nuances emerge that herald a slim, energetic and deep palate.

87
Champagne Francis Orban - Leuvrigny - 23, rue du Général de Gaulle - +33(0)326588441 - champagne-francis-orban.fr

Cuvée Prestige

The young owner of this maison gave his name to the property when, in 2007, after studying enology, he decided to undertake his project. Little more than 7 hectares produce a small number of bottles, largely sold in France. Cuvée Prestige is complex and fragrant, with saline aromas and excellent fruit.

86
Champagne Henri Goutorbe - Aÿ- 9, bis rue Jeanson - +33(0)326552170 - champagne-henri-goutorbe.com
Brut Special Club Grand Cru '05

Founded in 1949 by Henri Goutorbe, the son of nursery owners, this Aÿ winery can draw from 22 hectares in a zone well-suited for growing pinot noir. We suggest Special Club, a single-vintage from 2005 that rests on its lees for 10 years before disgorging. Pinot noir with a little chardonnay, it is a Champagne of grand structure, with notes of honey, slightly oxidized, that lead into a savory, mineral palate.

86
Champagne R. Pouillon & Fils - Mareuil-sur-Ay - 17, rue d’Ay - +33(0)326526362 - pouillon.webflow.io

Brut Réserve

Seventy per cent from pinot noir, the rest evenly divided between chardonnay and pinot meunier, this Brut is intriguing and in some ways, out of tune: white flowers and medicinal herb aromas, but also pastry and sweetness on the nose. The palate is incisively acidic, but also alcoholic and mouthfilling on the close.

84
Champagne Autréau de Champillon - Champillon - 7, rue René Baudet - +33(0)326594600 - champagneautreau.com

Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru

In its third generation, the Autréau family can draw from 35 hectares of vineyard in 5 different terroirs: Premier - Champillon, Dizy and Hautvillers - and Grand Cru – Chouilly and Ay. From mono-varietal chardonnay, it offers incisive notes of lemon zest and light toast. Mouthfilling palate, hints of chestnut honey on the finish.

84
Champagne Apollonis Michel Loriot - Festigny - 13, rue de Bel air - +33(0)326583401 - champagneapollonis.com

Authentic meunier Blanc de Noirs Brut

Michel Loriot has 7 hectares subdivided into about 20 parcels of land, the great majority of which are planted with pinot meunier (80%). From this princely Vallée de la Marne variety comes a Blanc de Noirs that perfectly reflects the characteristics of the grape: round, mouthfilling, fruity and ripe.

82

Champagne Bauget-Jouette - Épernay - 1, rue Chamfleury - +33(0)326544405 - bauget-jouette.fr

Carte Blanche

An historic maison with splendid vineyards in Epernay, the Cotes des Blancs and the Vallée de la Marne. We particularly noted Carte Blanche, a Champagne made from a classic blend of all three of the major grape varieties. On the nose, tones of citrus fruit and hints of spices. The bubbles are incisive in the mouth and give a rustic note, tempered by freshness and sapidity.

82

Champagne Dourdon-Vieillard

8, rue des Vignes - +33(0)326580638 -

champagne-dourdon-vieillard.fr

Cuvée Tradition Brut

The Dourdon family have been growing grapes since 1812 and making Champagne since 1958. Fabienne, agronomist and enologist is at its head now. This is a cuvée of pinot meunier (50%), pinot noir 42% and chardonnay. The wine is round and embracing, on both nose and mouth. Sensations of ripe fruit, plum and apple. Sweetness and breadth on the finish.

82

Champagne Joseph Desruets -

Hautvillers - 85, rue de

Bacchus - +33(0)326594013 -

champagnejosephdesruets.fr

Brut Réserve Premier Cru

Grapegrowers in Hautvillers since 1888, the Desruets family are now in their sixth generation, and continue to use theirDarcq Flamain wooden oak pressto press their grapes. A blend of pinot noir and chardonnay, with 20% meunier, this Champagne has a floral nose with notes of face powder. The palate is mouthfilling, slightly alcoholic and open, with a finish of plum and apple.

82

Champagne Heucq - Cuisles -

9, rue Eugène Moussé -

+33(0)326581008 - champagne-heucq.com

Brut Nature This little winery, founded in the early 20th century in Cuisles, has 6 hectares of property, and a particular passion for pinot meunier. Brut Nature has fragrances of wild herbs and a vegetal-balsamic tone that is truly original. The palate is pleasant, balanced, with medium-fine bubbles, capable of a sumptuous alcoholic embrace on the finish.

82

Champagne Jeaunaux-Robin - Talus-

Saint-Prix - 1, rue de Bannay -

+33(0)326528073 - champagne-jr.fr

Le Talus de Saint Prix

Founded in 1971 the maison is now run by Cyril Jeaunaux, who took it over from his own family and immediately converted it to organic cultivation. In the blends, meunier always stands out, as in this case, Le Talus de Saint Prix, The Champagne takes its name from the town in which the vineyard and winery are located. The nose is floral, herbaceous, occasionally saline. The palate is mineral, savory and very penetrating.

81

Mardeuil - 64, rue De La Liberté -

+33(0)326552940 -

champagne-beaumont.com

Fleur Blanche ’08

Founded in 1955, Beaumont Des Crayères brings together 250 growers and about 90 hectares of vineyard. It takes its name from a ridge of chalky rock that strongly influences the wines produced. Champagne Fleur Blanche is a single-vintage 2008 made exclusively with chardonnay. It has intense floral aromas and a soft, mouthfilling palate, almost sweet to the taste.

81

Champagne Collet- Aÿ - 14, boulevard

Pasteur - +33(0)326551588 -

champagne-collet.com

Collet Brut

Established in Aÿ, the Collet maison uses the best grapes coming only from Premier or Grand Cru vineyards. In this way some most interesting cuvées are produced. Collet Brut is made with 50% pinot meunier grapes with the rest from pinot noir and chardonnay. It displays aromas of spice and chestnut honey. Despite its sugar dosage, it is dynamic and svelte on the palate.

81

Champagne Bruno Michel - Pierry - 4,

allée de la Vieille Ferme -

+33(0)326551054 -

champagnebrunomichel.com

Cuvée Blanche

An organic producer from the start, Bruno Michel cultivates about 12 hectares of vineyard divided in 35 distinct parcels. Cuvée Blanche is a blend of chardonnay and pinot meunier with 20% reserve wine. Savory and assertive, this blend offers a charming and flavorful rustic quality.

80

Champagne Dom Caudron - Passy-Grigny

- 10, rue Jean York – 51700 -

+33(0)326524517 - domcaudron.com

Sublimité '08

A cooperative winery founded in the 1920s under the guidance of abbot Dom Caudron. Perfectly suited to the production of pinot meunier, this Vallée de la Marne winery can now draw from its members’ 130 hectares of vineyard. Sublimité is the result of a blend of meunier and chardonnay. It offers notes of Golden Delicious apples and ripe fruit, while the palate is soft and mouthfilling.

80

Champagne Dehours & Fils - Mareuil-le-

Port - 2, rue de la Chapelle -

+33(0)326527175 - champagne-dehours.fr

Grande Réserve

Dehours & Fils isnoteworthy for the fractioning of its vineyards, with its 42 parcels divided among the territories of Mareuil-le-Port, Oeuilly and Troissy. Pinot meunier dominates in the vineyards, amounting to almost 60% of the vines. The result of a cuvée with an important percentage of Solera method reserve wine, it has an iodine nose and a savory palate.

80

Champagne J. de Telmont - Damery -

1, avenue de Champagne -

+33(0)326584033 -

champagne-de-telmont.com

Grande Réserve Brut

From thirty hectares of vineyard, of which 10 are biodynamic, and with grapes from more than 100 hectares of the best Premier and Grand Cru parcels, J. de Telmont has made interesting and balanced cuvées since the early 20thcentury. Grande Réserve Brut is a classic blend, with floral and yellow fruit aromas. The palate is svelte and harmonious.

80

Champagne Louis Casters - Damery -

26, rue Pasteur - +33(0)326584302 -

champagne-louis-casters.fr

Grande Réserve Brut Blanc de Blancs

A family maison that has produced Champagne for five generations. We particularly liked the Grande Réserve Brut, a blanc de blancs that rests on its lees for 60 months, a blend of the 2010 and 2011 vintage years. On the nose, sweet fruit (pear and apricot), while the palate is simple, harmonious, and characterized by a sensation of freshness.

79

Champagne Alain Couvreur - Prouilly -

18, grande rue - +33(0)326485895 -

champagne-alain-couvreur.net

Blanc de Noirs

With pinot noir and meunier grown between Prouilly, Pévy, and Branscourt, and chardonnay in Unchair, the winery offers a vast range of Champagne labels. This Blanc de Noirs is made from pinot noir and meunier. It is ripe on the nose, with notes of plum, almond and citron. The palate echoes the fruity sensation with a slightly bitterish finish.

78

Champagne Collard-Picard - Épernay -

15, avenue de Champagne -

+33(0)32652369 -

champagnecollardpicard.fr

Collard Picard Cuvée Prestige

A young winery founded in 1996 by Olivier Collard and Caroline Picard. La Cuvée Selection is made from pinot meunier and pinot noir. It rests on its lees for 36 months and offers buttery notes, yellow apple, pastry and candied citrus fruit aromas on the nose. The palate is soft and mouthfilling. The dosage can be felt, but a pleasant sapidity rebalances the mouth.

Montagne de Reims

94

Champagne Paul Bara - Bouzy -

4, rue Yvonnet - +33(0)326570050 -

champagnepaulbara.com

Special Club Grand Cru '04

It’s difficult to choose a bottle among the labels of this classic maison that dates back to 1833. Grand vineyards and artisanal care have always make it outstanding. We opted for Special Club from the excellent 2004 vintage year. Movingly rich and deep, with great expressive force in its tones of fruit and bouquet garni, it truly enchanted us.

94

Champagne André Beaufort — Ambonnay -

1, rue de Vaudemanges - +33(0)326570151

- champagnebeaufort.com

Polisy Brut Millésimé ‘97

Jacques Beaufort is one of the pioneers of organic agriculture in Champagne, which he has been practicing since 1969. The family turns out a series of excellent labels, as witnessed by this mature single-vintage that expresses itself with extraordinary elegance and finesse in its tones of saffron and porcini mushroom, but is at the same time savory, taut, complex and deep, with wonderfully whole fruit.

93

Champagne Monmarthe — Ludes 38,

rue Victor Hugo - +33(0)326611099 -

champagne-monmarthe.com

Brut Millésimé 1er Cru ’09

A family maison led by Jean-Guy and Sandrine Monmarthe, it can boast of 17 hectares that are classified premier cru. From its curated list, this single-vintage label, which rested in the cellar for 84 months before dégorgement, particularly struck us. It is substantial and savory, vertically taut, creamy and spicy on the palate, an elegant, extraordinary mouthful.

92

Champagne Michel Arnould & Fils -

Verzenay - 28, rue de Mailly -

+33(0)326494006 -

champagne-michel-arnould.com

Memoires de Vignes Grand Cru ‘11

This house has only 12 hectares of vineyard, but all are classified Grand Cru. This blanc de noirs is excellent. It expresses intensity and elegant berry tones on both nose and palate, where it is fruity, savory and well-structured, but it also drinks wonderfully despite deep complexity and a long, smoky finish.

92

Champagne Paul Déthune - Ambonnay -

2, rue du Moulin - +33(0)326570188 -

champagne-dethune.fr

Blanc de Noirs Grand Cru ’12

Pierre Déthune is heir to a century-old tradition of grapegrowing. He cultivates his prime vineyards in Ambonnay, about 7 hectares, organically. This wine is striking for its brilliant coppery color, the finesse of its bead, the freshness of its bouquet and its clear notes of berries. Complex, harmonious, modern.

90

Champagne Mailly Grand Cru — Mailly-

Champagne - 28, rue de la Libération

- +33(0)3 26494110 -

champagne-mailly.com

Brut Blanc de Noirs Grand Cru

It is difficult to choose among the excellent labels of the large cooperative with almost 90 years of experience. It can draw on 70 hectares in Mailly, Grand Cru, divided into 280 parcels. For us, this is the label that best represents the winery and the spirit of Montagne de Reims. Savory, dry, with crisp fruit and grand tension – don’t miss it.

89

Champagne Benoît-Lahaye - Bouzy -

33, rue Jeanne d’Arc - +33(0)326503

Blanc de Noirs Brut

The maison practices completely natural viticulture in its vineyards in Bouzy, Ambonnay e Tauxières. It is well-represented by this cuvée from red grapes with its brilliant color, intense nose and a palate where elegant sensations of red and black berries dominate, along with balsamic notes and well-integrated tones of wood.

88

Champagne Lallier- Aÿ -

4, place Libération - +33(0)326554340 -

champagne-lallier.com

Blanc de Blancs Brut Grand Cru

The winery of enologist Francis Tribaut has vineyards in Aÿ and in Côtes de Blancs. These grapes are the source of this excellent Champagne of grand and immediate freshness, expressed in citrus fruit and floral sensations on the nose as well as the palate, where it shows structure that compares well with the Blanc de Noirs of Montagne. Long finish.

88

Champagne Roger Coulon - Vrigny -

12, rue de la Vigne du Roy -

+33(0)326036165 -

champagne-coulon.com

Esprit de Vrigny

The Coulon family’s cuvées are truly good. They come from old and very old vines, over 100 parcels of premier cru in excellent positions in five areas of Montagne de Reims. The grapes at the base of this Champagne are from Vrigny. It ages for 72 months on its lees and has no liqueur added. A savory, taut and mineral cuvée, it closes on long iodine and smoky notes.

88

Champagne Trousset Guillemart

Les Mesneux - D6 villedommange -

rue de Villedommange - +33(0)326497671

- champagnetroussetguillemart.fr

Blanc Pour Chardonnay Anna T. Elevé en Fûts 1er Cru

Technology and tradition rule in this winery of Jean-Philippe and Karine, with its vineyards (7.6 hectares) at the feet of the Montagne. This zero-dosage Chardonnay pleased us, with its fruity opulence and a careful use of wood that doesn’t affect drinkability. A wine for gourmets.

87

Champagne Castelnau — Reims -

5, rue Gosset - +33(0)326778900 -

champagne-castelnau.fr

Blanc de Blancs ’04

This maison was founded in 1916, but was purchased in 2003 by a group of grapegrowers who had created the Regional Cooperative of the Wines of Champagne. This Blanc de Blancs from the excellent 2004 vintage is exemplary. It has soft, seductive tones of vanilla and white fruit that reappear on the palate in pleasant buttery and floral notes, nuances of apple and hawthorn. Good tension.

87

Champagne Mary-Sessile — Treslon -

49, rue de la Planchette -

+33(0)611457010 -

fabulleusesdechampagne.com

L’Inattendue Extra Brut

Claire Blin Lagille has vineyards in Treslon, in the Vallée de l'Ardre, which she cultivates sustainably. We noted this cuvée of monovarietal meunier, with low (2 grams) dosage. It is fresh, subtle, focused on the immediacy of berry fruit, savory and citrusy, but irresistible in the glass.

87

Champagne Stroebel - Villers-Allerand

- 4, place des Déportés -

+33(0)326072950 - despiedsetdesvins.fr

Héraclite Nature Brut Sous Bois 1er Cru ’12

Old vines and organic farming are this family’s secret weapons. They have been cultivating vines in Villers-Allerand for a century. The wine, pinot noir (60%) and meunier, has zero dosage, ages for three years on its lees, and displays noteworthy complexity. It has autumnal tones of forest floor, elegance and complexity.

87

Champagne Vilmart & Cie - Rilly-la-

Montagne - 5, rue des Gravières -

+33(0)326034001 - champagnevilmart.fr

Grand Cellier d’Or ’12

Small barrels but no malolactic fermentation for this fine Vilmart cuvée dominated by chardonnay (80%) with added pinot noir. It displays tension, backbone and freshness with a long, deep aromatic herbal finish. Savory and incisive. Really good today, but with the potential to express more with time.

86

Champagne Gonet-Médeville - Bisseuil

- 1, chemin de la Cavotte -

+33(0)326577560 - gonet-medeville.com

Blanc de Noirs 1er Cru

Xavier Gonet and Julie Médeville, husband and wife, can draw their grapes from 12 hectares in prestigious positions in Montagne and Côtes de Blancs. Their Blanc de Noirs has an elegant bouquet, dense and complex, with scents of red and black berries. It expresses itself with great fragrance, tension, and complex hints of grapefruit and spices. It develops volume and fullness, closing long and mineral.

86

Champagne Nicolas Maillart -

Écueil - 5, rue de Villers

aux Noeuds - +33(0)326497789 -

champagne-maillart.fr

Les Francs de Pied 1er Cru ‘08

The Maillart family is in its ninth generation as winemakers, and they devotedly cultivate their precious vineyards of premier and grand cru of vines more than 30 years old. We suggest this elegant cuvée of pinot noir coming from a parcel of ungrafted vines. It ages “sur latte” for nine years, but still has fresh vegetal notes laden with notes of iodine and seductive smoky tones.

85

Champagne Hugues Godmé - Verzenay -

10, rue de Verzy - +33(0)326494166 -

champagne-hugues-godme.com

Fins Bois

The vineyards of Hugues Godmé amount to barely 7.5 hectares but all are certified as organic and biodynamic and lie in splendid, valuable positions. Fins Bois is a cuvée of pinot noir (60%) and chardonnay; zero-dosage, it rests for 4 years on its lees. We like it for an acidic backbone that renders it lively and fresh, for its tones of citrus fruit and red berries and its smoky shadings.

85

Champagne Boulard Bauquaire -

Cormicy - 30, rue du Petit Guyencourt

- +33(0)326613079 - champagneboulard-

bauquaire.fr

Grande Réserve.

This farming family works paying attention to the environment. Its eight hectares of vineyard are spread between Vallée de la Marne, the Montagne and Massif di Saint Thierry. In this cuvée, the three classic grapes play equal roles, and it is made with 50% vin de réserve. Impact on the palate is intensely mineral, like drinking the water from an oyster. It has rhythm, fruit and iodine vivacity.

84

Champagne Yann Alexandre - Courmas -

3, rue Saint-Vincent

- +33(0)681038179 -

champagneyannalexandre.fr

Blanches Terres Rosé

Yann and Sevèrine Alexandre’s small winery has 6.5 hectares of vineyard divided into 20 parcels of land in 9 different towns. Their devotion results in cuvées that are full of character, like this beautiful Rosé with its pale, brilliant color. It is rich on the nose and palate with lovely berry tones that fill the mouth fully and shade elegantly into notes of cherry and blackberry.

83

Champagne Christian Busin - Verzenay

- 1, place Carnot - +33(0)326494094 -

champagnebusin.com

Cuvée d’Uzès Grand Cru

A classic maison, this winery has a handful of hectares, but with Grand Cru status in Verzenay. From chardonnay and pinot noir in equal parts, this cuvée is striking for its mineral impact, almost like that from volcanic rock, which unfurls both on nose and palate. It is creamy, vibrant and svelte. It closes on iodine tones.

83

Champagne Maxime Blin - Trigny -

17, rue des Lombards -

+33(0)326031097 -

champagne-maxime-blin.com

Carte Blanche Brut

Maxime Blin devotes himself to 12 hectares of family property in Trigny, in the Massif de Saint Thierry, and releases a curated range of labels. His is a happy marriage of modern technology and ancestral techniques. This Brut is fruity, easy to drink and has lovely citrus tones that shade into more complex notes of wood and face powder without losing that drinkability.

80

Champagne Paul Clouet — Bouzy -

1, place Tritant - +33(0)326570731 —

champagne-paul-clouet.com

Grand Cru Cuvée Prestige Brut

We are in Bouzy, the land of great pinot noir. Here Marie-Thérèse Clouet-Bonnaire carries on the work of her grandfather Paul and devotes herself to her vineyards. This cuvée (five years on its lees) has a coppery-straw color, a nose of ripe black fruit and good pulpy fruitiness on the palate. Lovely vanilla finish.

Aube

92

Champagne Drappier - Urville -

rue des Vignes - +33(0)325274015 -

champagne-drappier.com

Cuvée Charles De Gaulle

One of the best wineries of the Aube and the entire zone, it offers a series of top quality labels. Charles De Gaulle, made of pinot noir (80%) and chardonnay, rests on its lees for three years. It won us over with its savory, full structure, its clear notes of white and black fruit, its fresh citrus fruit vein, and the elegance of the whole.

92

Champagne Fleury - Courteron - 43,

Grande-Rue - +33(0)325382028 -

champagne-fleury.fr

Millésimé ’04

Fleury is one of the pioneers of biodynamic farming in Champagne. Jean-Pierre Fleuryconverted his vineyards – 15 hectares – to biodynamic methods by 1989. The ’04, prevalently pinot noir, aged about nine years on its lees. It is a wine of cream effervescence, fine and elegant berry tones, savory, vital fruitiness, with a winning smoky finish.

92

Champagne Pascal Doquet - Vertus -

44, chemin du Moulin

de la Censé Bize - +33(0)326521650 -

champagne-doquet.com

Diapason Grand Cru Le Mesnil sur Oger Brut

This winery re-emerged from the ashes of the historic Doquet-Jeanmaire in 2004 when Pascal Doquet took over the family business in Mesnil-sur-Oger. Diapason is made from only chardonnay grapes and ages eight years on its lees. A complex Champagne, it displays aromas of white flowers, citrus fruit and brioche. Tension and richness are perfectly balanced in this elegant wine.

91

Champagne De Sousa - Avize - 12, place

Léon Bourgeois - +33(0)326575329 -

champagnedesousa.com

Brut Réserve Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs

Erick De Sousa has Grand Cru vineyards of chardonnay in the areas of Avize, Oger, Cramant and Le Mesnil, but also parcels of pinot noir in Aÿ and Ambonnay. All are grown according to biodynamic methods and techniques that bring out the terroir. This Champagne is the quintessence of the Côte de Blancs, further enhanced by vin de réservethat gives complexity.

90

Champagne Bonnaire - Cramant -

120, rue d’Epernay -

+33(0)326575085 - bonnaire.com

Blanc de Blancs Cuvée Prestige Grand Cru Brut

The winery was founded in 1932 by Fernand Bouquemont. Since 1962, first André and then Jean-Louis Bonnai have taken the reins of the 13 hectares of chardonnay and 9 of pinot noir grown in Cramant, Grand Cru of the Côte de Blancs. Made from mono-varietal Chardonnay, this Cuvée Prestige offers whiffs of chalky aromas. The palate is creamy and solid, displaying great progression.

90

Champagne Pierre Gimonnet & Fils -

Cuis - 1, rue de la République -

+33(0)326597870 -

champagne-gimonnet.com

Oenophile Brut Nature '08

With about 20 hectares of vineyard located around the Côte de Blancs, all of an impressive average age that in places exceeds 100 years, today the winery is managed by the grandchildren of Pierre: Didier e Olivier. Oenophile is a monovarietal Chardonnay that stands out for its length and progression. Fresh and particularly dry, its finish radiates tones of almond and citron.

90

Champagne Mandois - Pierry -

66, rue du Général de Gaulle -

+33(0)326540318 - champagne-mandois.fr

Clos Mandois '04

This maison was founded in Epernay in 1760 but in 1905 Auguste Mandois transferred it to Pierry. Today Claude Mandois manages its 40 hectares of vineyard. Clos Mandois is a pinot meunier made with grapes from a vineyard of one and a half hectares planted in 1955. With dried fruit aromas on the nose, it has great fullness and a savory undertone that combines volume and tension.

90

Champagne Stéphane Breton

Arrentières - Chemin de Voigny -

+33(0)325271043 -

champagne-breton-fils.com

Brut

The maison grows 8 hectares of vineyard in the Côte des Bar, an area mostly dedicated to pinot noir, the grape that is the protagonist in this Brut. A straw-yellow shade with coppery highlights, it has a very fine bead and an intense, complex and fresh bouquet of berry fruit. Substantial and agile, it is savory, taut, elegant and long on the palate.

90

Champagne Chassenay d’Arce - Villesur-

Arce - 11, rue du Pressoir -

+33(0)325383070 - chassenay.fr

Cuvée Chardonnay Brut ’06

This is the most southern zone of Champagne, the Côte des Bar, where 130 families together cultivate 325 hectares of vineyard. This blanc de blancs aged nine years on its lees before being disgorged. It has the finest of bubbles, a bouquet of white fruit, extraordinary freshness and harmony, closing on citrus fruit notes and floral tones.

88

Champagne Delot - Celles-sur-Ource -

3, place de l’Église -

+33(0)325385012 - champagne-delot.fr

Brut Legend Pinot Blanc

Founded in 1933, the maison was purchased in 2006 by the Dangin family. Jean Baptiste Dangin has brought the winery up to date, and is attentive to quality and innovation. From pure pinot blanc (something very rare in Champagne), this cuvée ages three years on its lees before disgorging. It offers savory, crisp white fruit sensations enlivened by citrus fruit sensations and is both substantial and fresh.

88

Champagne Morel - Les Riceys -

93, rue du Général de Gaulle -

+33(0)325291088 - champagnemorel.com

Cuvée Réserve Brut

Winery and vineyards are located in Les Riceys, famous for the quality of its pinot noir and its Rosé. This house can be proud of five generations of tradition. Its blanc de noirs displays great finesse and minerality on a note of biscuit and black fruit, then a long finish on hints of cassis.

86

Champagne Elise Dechannes -

Les Riceys - 1, place des Héros

de la Résistance - +33(0)351632036 -

elisedechannes.com

Chardonnay Millésimé Brut ’11

Elise Dechannes founded this winery in 2008. She is a Vigneron Indépendant who doesn’t use chemical products in her vineyard or winemaking facilities. She works with indigenous yeasts and the lowest amounts of sulfur. Her Brut ’11 is excellent, with floral tones and white fruit on the nose. The palate is clean, savory and svelte, offering a lovely and flavorful verticality.

86

Champagne Marie-Courtin - Polisot -

8, rue de Tonnerre - +33(0)325385745

Résonance ’14

Dominique Moreau is a grapegrower who, from the start of her career, has devoted herself to the protocols of biodynamic viticulture. Zero-dosage and long aging make her cuvées beautiful expressions of terroir. Résonance is a blanc de noirs of excellent stylistic clarity. Fresh and smooth, it has a lovely close on aromatic herbs.

86

Champagne Gautherot -

Celles-sur-Ource - 29, gr Grande rue -

+33(0)325385003 -

champagne-gautherot.com

Exception

Françoise Gautherot masterfully manages her old vineyards in the vallée de l'Ource. They grow on clayey-calcareous soil with good exposures. Among her labels we suggest this cuvée that takes its name from the rarity of the diffusion in Champagne of pinot blanc (which here plays a supporting role with pinot noir).

Côte des Blancs

94

Champagne Agrapart & Fils -

Avize - 57, avenue Jean Jaurès -

+33(0)326575138 -

champagne-agrapart.com

Extra Brut Terroirs

A simply fantastic Champagne, just as you would expect from a maison of récoltant manipulant (RM), or winegrowers, at this level. Chardonnay on its own, resting on its lees for four years, brings together luminous and almost electric minerality and sensations of ripe but elegant fruit, amalgamated with a refined note of rising bread and noble yeasts. A marvel.

94

Champagne Larmandier-Bernier - Vertus

- 19, avenue du Général de Gaulle -

+33(0)326521324 - larmandier.fr

Vieille Vigne du Levant '08

Pierre Larmandier is one of the most admired producers in all Champagne. He cultivates his vines organically in various localities of the Cote de Blancs, turning out precise and personal wines. Vieille Vigne du Levant is the luminous expression of the chardonnay vines in Cremant. It is a shard of salt and fruit, pure against a mentholated background. Restorative.

90

Champagne Mallol-Gantois — Cramant -

290, rue du Général de Gaulle -

+33(0)326579614

Blanc de Blancs Millésimé Grand Cru Cramant '12

The Mallol-Gantois family firm is centered in Cramant even if it is based on 7 hectares of vineyard on the border of the Chouilly municipality. Their range of wines reflect the richness and minerality of the terroir, as does this single-vintage bottle that rests 60 months on its lees. The result is fine, floral and airy on the nose with a compact, solid palate that has hints of balsam and mint on the finish.

86

Champagne R&L Legras - Chouilly - 10,

rue des Partelaines - +33(0)326545079

– champagne-legras.fr

Grand Cru Brut Blanc de Blancs

In the heart of the Côte des Blancs, Legras produces this Brut with chardonnay grapes coming from Chouilly, one of the best Grand Cru zones of the Côte. The notes of wild fennel blend with citrus hints of grapefruit and lemon zest on the nose, opening into a severe, dry palate, not the most elegant, but gifted with grip.

84

Champagne Diebolt-Vallois - Cramant -

84, rue Neuve - +33(0)326575492 -

diebolt-vallois.com

Blanc de Blancs Prestige

The winery was founded in 1978 and it is climbing, step by step, into the hearts of the most demanding wine fans. The grapes for Prestige come from certain Grand Crus celebrated for the production of chardonnay: Cramant, Chouilly and Les Mesnil. The final blend, which includes 30% of ‘reserve’ from three vintage years, aged in wood, is a delight of tension and character.

84

Champagne Encry - +39(0)498725989 -

champagne-encry.com

Brut Grand Cru Le Mesnil-Sur-Oger

This is the Maison that is most tied to Italy. Enrico Baldin and Nadia Nicoli brought back into the limelight a sleeping beauty of a maison located in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, in the heart of Côte de Blancs. Brut Grand Cru is Chardonnay that rests on its lees for 42 months. It has aromas of flowers and white fruit. On the palate it displays excellent savory tension enriched by a citrus fruit background.

83

Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte -

+33(0)326595592 -

nicolas-feuillatte.com

Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut Millésimé '06

More than 5,000 grapegrowers and over 2,250 hectares of vineyard, including 13 of the 17 Grand Cru and 33 of the 42 Premier Cru – these are the Nicolas Feuillatte numbers. In Modena, we particularly appreciated the Blanc de Blancs '06, with its nose that suggests both elegant notes of bay leaf and sweet hints of honey. The palate is mouthfilling and shows good progression.

82

Champagne Colin — Vertus -

101, avenue du Général de Gaulle -

+33(0)326588632 - champagne-colin.com

Cuvée Blanche de Castille Brut Blanc de Blancs

1er Cru

Richard and Romain Colin lead the family winery that draws on a vineyard of 10 hectares, mostly planted with chardonnay. The Champagne we chose is made up of 60% vin de reserve perpetua Solera, and the remaining 40% is single-vintage. Aromas of plum and gooseberry, lightly rustic and appealing.

82

Champagne Duval-Leroy - Vertu -

69, avenue de Bammental -

+33(0)326521075 - duval-leroy.com

Brut Réserve

A woman, Carol, hand in hand with her three children, is now the head of Duval-Leroy, a firm that has been producing Champagne since the middle of the 19thcentury. A blend of chardonnay, pinot noir and meunier, Brut Réserve has a floral nose with sensations of raspberry candy. The palate is citrusy and crisp with acidity that doesn’t yield an inch.

80

Champagne Philippe Gonet -

Le Mesnil-sur-Oger - 1, rue de

la Brèche d’Oger - +33(0)326575347 -

champagne-philippe-gonet.com

Brut Réserve

The Gonet family has a heritage of seven generations of grapegrowers. Today Chantal and Pierre Gonet manage their 25 hectares of property in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger. Brut Réserve is a cuvée made up of pinot nero (60%), chardonnay (20%) and pinot meunier. It stands out for a clean bouquet that suggests citrus fruit. Taut, svelte and savory in the mouth.

Classic Maisons

93

Champagne Jacquesson - Dizy -

68, rue du Colonel Fabien -

+33(0)326556811 -

champagnejacquesson.com

Cuvée 736 Dégorgement Tardif

Jacquesson was purchased in 1974 by Jean Chiquet who, with his sons Laurent and Jean-Hervé, began to produce uncompromising Champagne. Limited bottles (350,000) from their own vineyards, long stays on their lees and minimal dosage. The 736 D.T. is an equal blend of the three varieties and a ’08 base. It most elegantly combines structure, freshness, depth, and persistence.

92

Champagne Bruno Paillard — Reims -

avenue de Champagne - +33(0)326362022 -

champagnebrunopaillard.com

Blanc de blancs Extra Brut Grand Cru

A praiseworthy range of labels. In particular, we liked the essential and luminous quality of this Blanc de Blancs that rests on its lees for 50 months. Natural and very pure impact, with suggestions of citron and green tea. The palate is light, delicate and very long. Exceptional drinkability – for us, the best ever version.

92

Champagne Charles Heidsieck - Reims -

12, allée du Vignoble -

+33(0)326844350 -

charlesheidsieck.com

Rosé Vintage '06

Impeccable range of Champagnes presented by this celebrated brand. Among a high quality overall selection, this complex Rosé 2006 stood out. Aged on its lees for 9 years, it is a blend of pinot noir and chardonnay. Multi-faceted, intense aroma of red flowers, coffee and hazelnut. The palate is generous and reactive, with a long finish of great elegance and energy.

92

Champagne Louis Roederer - Reims -

21, boulevard Lundy -

+33(0)32644211 - louis-roederer.com

Brut Rosé '11

A true delight. The 2011, 63% pinot nero and 37% chardonnay, offers fresh floral sensations, mint, and ripe, delicious berry aromas. The palate is creamy and assertive with a fine toasty profile that lengthens into a finish of extraordinary fragrance and length. The close is tonic and vibrant.

91

Champagne Pol Roger - Epernay -

1, rue Winston Churchill -

+33(0)326595800 - polroger.com

Brut Vintage '08

The Maison created by Pol Roger more than 160 years ago owes its fame to the British statesman Winston Churchill. It was his favorite brand. Still owned today by the descendants of the founder, the Maison can draw on 92 hectares of vineyard. Brut Millesimato (pinot noir 60% and chardonnay 40%) is noteworthy for its power joined to finesse. Its red fruit is more than meaty. Great energy and incisiveness.

91

Champagne Bollinger - Aÿ -

16, rue Jules-Lobet - +33(0)326533366 -

champagne-bollinger.com

La Grand Année '07

The classic tone of coffee and licorice is intense in this vintage year; then comes a touch of orange honey and a citron profile. The palate emphasizes ripe and juicy fruitiness with an intense and prolonged finish on hazelnut sensations. More immediate than other versions, it plays with fascinating and complex spiciness.

90

Champagne Deutz - Aÿ -

16, rue Jeanson - +33(0)326569400 -

champagne-deutz.com

William Deutz Brut '06

The power of this historic winery, founded in 1838 by a German businessman, lies in its vineyards, of which some the house’s own property and others are rented for long, long periods of time. They are largely located in Grand Cru and Premier Cru zones. This William Deutz label offers mature and complex aromas on tones of forest floor and black tea. It has juiciness, soft progression and a long, creamy finish on smoky tones.

89

Champagne Henriot - Reims -

81, rue Coquebert - +33(0)326895300 -

champagne-henriot.com

Blanc de Blancs Brut

Founded in 1808, the Henriot maison stayed entirely independent and still belongs to the Henriot family. This Blanc de Blancs comes from the winery’s own 25 hectares, almost entirely dedicated to chardonnay, and from other grapes selected from trusted growers. It is rendered richer and more complex with the addition of 30% vin de réserve. Its rich structure never strays into sweetness or heaviness.

88

Champagne Thiénot - Reims -

14, rue des Moissons -

+33(0)326775010 - thienot.com

Cuvée Garance '08

This prestigious cuvée rests on its lees for eight years, the fruit of the best parcels of pinot noir of Aÿ, Maily-Champagne and Avenbay-Val-d’Or. On the nose, intense marine sensations and tones of Mediterranean herbs ranging from sage to rosemary, with berry fruit particularly marked. The palate is crisp and deep, while the finish offers long flavor.

88

Champagne Palmer & Co - Reims -

67, rue Jacquart - +33(0)326073507 -

champagne-palmer.fr

Brut Millésimé '02

Palmer is a young brand that emerged from the association of seven grapegrowers in 1947. Today, this cooperative controls 415 hectares all over Champagne, including about 40 Cru vineyards. The Palmer vintage version is a blend of equal parts of chardonnay and pinot noir. Offering harmony on the nose and balance on the palate, its character is sunny and creamy, with an incisive, savory finish.

87

Champagne Piper-Heidsieck - Reims -

12, allée du Vignoble -

piper-heidsieck.com

Vintage Brut '08

Piper-Heidsieck belongs to the French group EPI, which makes its mark among a wide range of luxury brands. Back at the top thanks to the present-day chef de cave, Régis Camus, Piper-Heidsieck continues its work of patronage in the world of cinema. The result of an excellent vintage year, with a blend of 20 different crus, the 2008 unfurls a fiery and delicately mineral character.

85

Champagne Canard-Duchêne — Ludes -

1, rue Edmond Canard -

+33(0)326611160 - canard-duchene.fr

Parcelle 181 Extra Brut

From the heart of the Natural Park of Montagne de Reims, a seductive cuvée. A blend of mostly chardonnay, with some pinot noir and pinot meunier, it offers an airy, immediate profile with a subtle, sustained character. Tones of underbrush and ripe apples alternate in a clean, linear and penetrating palate.

85

Champagne Pannier - Château-Thierry –

23, rue Roger Catillon -

+33(0)323695130 - champagnepannier.co

Blanc de Noirs '11

We found this Blanc de Noirs in the historic house of Chateau-Thierry, in the heart of the Vallée de la Marne. Insistent tones of pastry cream and raspberries. A particularly rich but also rhythmic and vivid mouthfeel. Creamy bead very well in line with the structure. Refined finish on tones of black tea and coffee.

85

Champagne Joseph Perrier - Châlonsen-

Champagne - 69, avenue de Paris -

+33(0)326682951 - josephperrier.com

Cuvée Royale Brut

Founded in 1825, this is the oldest firm in Châlons-en-Champagne (then Châlons-sur-Marne). Since 1980, Jean Claude Fourmon has been at its head. Cuvée Royale Brut – chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier in equal parts – has a very fresh nose that suggests lime. The palate is direct and linear, without frills, but compact, solid, fragrant and sufficiently long.

83

Champagne AR Lenoble - Damery -

35, rue Paul Douce - +33(0)326584260 -

champagne-arlenoble.com

Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Chouilly

With its constant and reliable list of wines, the Malassagne family has 18 hectares of vineyard in Bisseuil, Damery and Chouilly. From this last village, a cuvée that ages 48 months on its lees. It offers fragrant tones of toast and a charming note of hay and white pepper. Well-articulated, fresh and generous palate.

82

Champagne Boizel - Épernay -

46, avenue de Champagne -

+33(0)326552151 - boizel.com

Brut Réserve

Founded in 1834, Maison Boizel is in Épernay, and thanks to its deep understanding of its own territory, it harvests the grapes from the best vineyards in the region. Brut Réserve is a cuvée di pinot nero (55%), chardonnay (30%) and pinot meunier. The aromatic profile plays with notes of hay and barley candy. The palate is wonderfully full, with tones of pleasant rusticity.

82

Champagne de Venoge - Épernay -

33, avenue de Champagne -

+33(0)326533434 - champagnedevenoge.com

Cordon Bleu Brut

The maison founded by Henri-Marc de Venoge was the first winery in the world to use illustrated labels and imaginative names for its bottles. Cordon Bleu Brut, from pinot nero (50%), chardonnay and pinot meunier, rests on its lees for 36 months. It offers a generous nose of yellow fruit and hazelnut tones. The palate is opulent and soft, lightly herbaceous on the finish.

81

Champagne Barons De Rothschild -

Reims - 2, rue Camille Lenoir -

+33(0)326858092 - champagne-bdr.com

Brut Blanc de Blancs

This cuvée, with its clear floral nose and clean, airy aromas, ages 36 months. The palate reveals well-defined minerality that gives a reactive and tonic rhythm to the mouthfeel. Aromatic development is precise and harmonious, invigorated by a fresh citrus fruit tone and soft, creamy bubbles.

80

Champagne Ayala - Aÿ -

1, rue Edmond de Ayala -

+33(0)326551544 - champagne-ayala.fr

Brut Nature

.The historic house founded by Edmond De Ayala vinifies only grapes coming from its own 80-hectare property. We appreciated the Brut Nature (40% chardonnay, 40% pinot nero, 20% pinot meunier) for its pleasurable citrusy character and its linear, continuous palate, refreshed by a subtle balsamic vein.

by Marco Sabellico

Tagged under:
Previous
Next

Join the discussion

Copyright 2015
Gambero Rosso Spa
P.Iva06051141007, Italy
All Rights Reserved

IT edition