Champagne, France, WINE

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Champagne is, without a doubt, the world's finest region for sparkling wine, and the producers here guard their brand with ferocity. What was once a catch-all term on sparkling wine labels all over the world, Champagne can now appear only on wines produced in France's most northerly AOC.

Despite the seemingly inhospitable climate, Champagne takes advantage of topography and geography to craft its magical elixir. Situated just 90 miles from Paris on a bed of chalky limestone soils, the gentle, rolling hills of Champagne are ideal for growing early ripening varietals. Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and Chardonnay are the staple grapes, and the majority of wines are blends of two or more of these. However, some producers craft single-varietal Chardonnay wines known as Blanc de Blancs, while others make wines from one or both of the red varietals, known as Blanc de Noirs.

Traditionally, the Champagne export market has been dominated by large negociant houses such as Moët & Chandon, Taittinger, Louis Roederer, Bollinger, and Krug. In fact, these behemoth brands control only 10% of the vineyard land, and recent years have see the emergence of "grower Champagne," which refers to a number of small growers producing exceptional examples of terroir-driven wines from the AOC's grand cru and premier cru villages. Just southwest of the AOC's epicenter of Reims sit the red-dominant crus of Verzenay, Verzy, Ambonnay, and Bouzy, while further south, just across the Marne River near the village of Epernay is the Côte de Blancs, home to the impeccable Chardonnay vineyards around Cramant, Avize, Oger, and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger.

As the wines here increasingly showcase their respective terroir, and as the producers are increasingly driven by achievements of quality rather than quantity, Champagne is moving beyond the world's greatest sparkling wine region to become one of the world's greatest wine regions, period.

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95 points Tyson Stelzer (The Champagne Guide): A seamlessly crafted blanc de blancs of enticing purity and approachability... magnificent in its mineral expression, freshness and vivacity... sings with the freshness of lemon and grapefruit, tangy grapefruit zest definition and notes of fresh almonds… ...
TCG 95
AG 92
WE 92
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Agrapart Extra Brut Champagne Blanc de Blancs Terroirs Grand Cru NV  (#112327)

Non-Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France

95 points Tyson Stelzer (The Champagne Guide): A seamlessly crafted blanc de blancs of enticing purity and approachability... magnificent in its mineral expression, freshness and vivacity... sings with the freshness of lemon and grapefruit, tangy…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
TCG 95
AG 92
WE 92
$53.95
$60.00
Save $6.05 (10%)60.00
Save $6.05 (10%)
95 points James Suckling: Very chalky, oyster shell aromas and chardonnay’s signature, fine citrus fruit leading the way on the nose in restrained style. The palate has the same, intense, chalky, oyster-shell flavors. Very minerally with fresh, bready pastry and a long, dry finish. Could use some… ...
JS 95
WA 94
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Geoffroy/Rene Brut Champagne Volupte 1er Cru 2009  (#333141)

Vintage Sparkling Wine from Vallée de la Marne, Champagne, France

95 points James Suckling: Very chalky, oyster shell aromas and chardonnay’s signature, fine citrus fruit leading the way on the nose in restrained style. The palate has the same, intense, chalky, oyster-shell flavors. Very minerally with fresh,…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
$74.95
$86.00
Save $11.05 (13%)86.00
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93 points Wine & Spirits: This is the flagship blend of the house, with fruit from the Côteaux Sud d’Epernay, Côte des Blancs and Vallée de la Marne. It’s 60 percent meunier, 30 percent chardonnay and 10 percent pinot noir; 40 percent of the blend is reserve wine. With its rose-pink color, red-apple… ...
W&S 93
JG 92
WS 92
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Laherte Freres Brut Champagne Ultradition NV  (#331698)

Non-Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France

93 points Wine & Spirits: This is the flagship blend of the house, with fruit from the Côteaux Sud d’Epernay, Côte des Blancs and Vallée de la Marne. It’s 60 percent meunier, 30 percent chardonnay and 10 percent pinot noir; 40 percent of the blend is…

375ml Half Bottle | In stock, 12 available
W&S 93
JG 92
WS 92
$21.95
$25.00
Save $3.05 (12%)25.00
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96 points Tyson Stelzer (The Champagne Guide): ...Primary red cherries, strawberries, guavas and pomegranates remain, while age ushers in a complexity akin to mature red Burgundy in notes of forest floor, truffles and subtle suggestions of smoked charcuterie. A rosé of excellent length, drive and… ...
TCG 96
V 96
JS 96
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Taittinger Brut Rose Champagne Comtes de Champagne 2006  (#333781)

Vintage Rosé Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France

96 points Tyson Stelzer (The Champagne Guide): ...Primary red cherries, strawberries, guavas and pomegranates remain, while age ushers in a complexity akin to mature red Burgundy in notes of forest floor, truffles and subtle suggestions of smoked…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 11 available
TCG 96
V 96
JS 96
$184.95
$262.00
Save $77.05 (29%)262.00
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99 points Tyson Stelzer (The Champagne Guide): (60% PN, 40% CH; 18% barrel-fermented in old oak casks; partial malolactic fermentation; 4g/L dosage)... Even at 13 years of age it upholds brilliant primary definition of icy lemon citrus, with only subtle graceful evolution of nougat and butter,… ...
TCG 99
JS 98
WE 96
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Billecart-Salmon Brut Champagne Cuvee Nicolas FranCois 2002  (#327622)

Vintage Sparkling Wine from Vallée de la Marne, Champagne, France

99 points Tyson Stelzer (The Champagne Guide): (60% PN, 40% CH; 18% barrel-fermented in old oak casks; partial malolactic fermentation; 4g/L dosage)... Even at 13 years of age it upholds brilliant primary definition of icy lemon citrus, with only…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 4 available
TCG 99
JS 98
WE 96
$179.95
$200.00
Save $20.05 (10%)200.00
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95 points Tyson Stelzer (The Champagne Guide): (2010 base; 40% chardonnay, 30% pinot noir, 30% meunier; full ML fermentation; 9g/L dosage)... As precise and pretty as ever... gorgeously restrained rose petal, red cherry and strawberry hull fruit... lees age contributes great texture and mouthfeel,… ...
TCG 95
JS 94
WA 93
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Billecart-Salmon Brut Rose Champagne NV  (#6042)

Non-Vintage Rosé Sparkling Wine from Vallée de la Marne, Champagne, France

95 points Tyson Stelzer (The Champagne Guide): (2010 base; 40% chardonnay, 30% pinot noir, 30% meunier; full ML fermentation; 9g/L dosage)... As precise and pretty as ever... gorgeously restrained rose petal, red cherry and strawberry hull fruit...…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
TCG 95
JS 94
WA 93
95 points Tyson Stelzer (The Champagne Guide): (malolactic fermentation on Pinot Meunier only; one-third of each of the champagne varieties; one-third reserve wines from the previous two harvests; 7g/L dosage). Sous bois is literally 'under wood', inspired by oak-fermented parcels destined for… ...
TCG 95
JS 93
WS 92
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Billecart-Salmon Brut Champagne Sous Bois NV  (#333722)

Non-Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France

95 points Tyson Stelzer (The Champagne Guide): (malolactic fermentation on Pinot Meunier only; one-third of each of the champagne varieties; one-third reserve wines from the previous two harvests; 7g/L dosage). Sous bois is literally 'under wood',…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
TCG 95
JS 93
WS 92
$74.95
$90.00
Save $15.05 (17%)90.00
Save $15.05 (17%)
92+ points John Gilman (View From the Cellar): ...offers beautiful purity on the nose, wafting from the glass in a lovely mix of strawberries, a touch of tangerine, complex, chalky minerality, bread dough and a touch of rose petal in the upper register... bright, full-bodied and impeccably balanced,… ...
JG 92
WS 92
IWC 92
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Ployez-Jacquemart Extra Brut Rose Champagne NV  (#308009)

Non-Vintage Rosé Sparkling Wine from Montagne de Reims, Champagne, France

92+ points John Gilman (View From the Cellar): ...offers beautiful purity on the nose, wafting from the glass in a lovely mix of strawberries, a touch of tangerine, complex, chalky minerality, bread dough and a touch of rose petal in the upper…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 9 available
JG 92
WS 92
IWC 92
$44.95
$56.00
Save $11.05 (20%)56.00
Save $11.05 (20%)
92+ points John Gilman (View From the Cellar): The current release of Madame Ledru’s non-vintage Extra Brut bottling is the same one I tasted in December in France and reported on in February. As I noted then, it is comprised of eighty-five percent pinot noir and fifteen percent chardonnay, and I… ...
JG 92
IWC 92
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Ledru/Marie-Noelle Extra Brut Champagne Grand Cru NV  (#333277)

Non-Vintage Sparkling Wine from Montagne de Reims, Champagne, France

92+ points John Gilman (View From the Cellar): The current release of Madame Ledru’s non-vintage Extra Brut bottling is the same one I tasted in December in France and reported on in February. As I noted then, it is comprised of eighty-five percent…

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 3 available
PRE-ARRIVAL
93 points Tyson Stelzer (The Champagne Guide): (100% pinot noir; aged 4 years on lees)... latest incarnation carries a little more colour, character and structure, a medium- to full-salmon hue and layers of wild strawberries, raspberries, red cherries and pink pepper. There's more tannin structure… ...
TCG 93
JG 93
WS 92
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Laurent-Perrier Brut Rose Champagne NV  (#308981)

Non-Vintage Rosé Sparkling Wine from Montagne de Reims, Champagne, France

93 points Tyson Stelzer (The Champagne Guide): (100% pinot noir; aged 4 years on lees)... latest incarnation carries a little more colour, character and structure, a medium- to full-salmon hue and layers of wild strawberries, raspberries, red…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 6 available
TCG 93
JG 93
WS 92
NEW ITEM
$77.95
$100.00
Save $22.05 (22%)100.00
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91 points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): The NV Brut Rosé is done in a relatively open-knit style for Aubry. There is a lovely sense of immediacy that makes the Rosé easy to drink with minimal cellaring, even though the flavors and textures show the energy and briskness that are such signatures of the… ...
AG 91
WS 90
AM 90
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Aubry Brut Rose Champagne 1er Cru NV  (#325189)

Non-Vintage Rosé Sparkling Wine from Montagne de Reims, Champagne, France

91 points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): The NV Brut Rosé is done in a relatively open-knit style for Aubry. There is a lovely sense of immediacy that makes the Rosé easy to drink with minimal cellaring, even though the flavors and textures show the…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
AG 91
WS 90
AM 90
$49.95
$62.00
Save $12.05 (19%)62.00
Save $12.05 (19%)
94 points Tyson Stelzer (The Champagne Guide 2014-2015): A beautiful rosé that shines with the bright intensity of Bouzy pinot noir and the crystalline definition that characterises 2008. A small dose of 12% red wine is all it takes to generate a full crimson hue, which must make Paul Bara's red… ...
TCG 94
W&S 92
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Paul Bara Grand Rose Brut Champagne Bouzy NV  (#325008)

Non-Vintage Rosé Sparkling Wine from Montagne de Reims, Champagne, France

94 points Tyson Stelzer (The Champagne Guide 2014-2015): A beautiful rosé that shines with the bright intensity of Bouzy pinot noir and the crystalline definition that characterises 2008. A small dose of 12% red wine is all it takes to generate a…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
$49.95
$63.00
Save $13.05 (21%)63.00
Save $13.05 (21%)
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