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): (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
WS 93
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Billecart-Salmon Brut Rose Champagne NV  (#12584)

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... lees age contributes great texture and mouthfeel, without diminishing purity or freshness... it carries with grace and poise amidst fine chalk mineral texture, taut acid focus, impeccably pure persistence and a fine, creamy bead. Enjoy it in its ravishing youth. (2018/2019) ] 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...…

1.5L Magnum | In stock, 9 available
TCG 95
JS 94
WS 93
93 points John Gilman: ... the vins clairs for this new cuvée were all barrel-fermented. The wine does not undergo malo, is aged four years on its fine lees and finished with a dosage of 4 g/L... The bouquet offers up a refined constellation of apple, pear, lemon zest, chalky soil tones, bread dough… ...
JG 93
WS 92
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Camille Saves Brut BdB Champagne Le Mont des Tours Grand Cru NV  (#328516)

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

[ 93 points John Gilman: ... the vins clairs for this new cuvée were all barrel-fermented. The wine does not undergo malo, is aged four years on its fine lees and finished with a dosage of 4 g/L... The bouquet offers up a refined constellation of apple, pear, lemon zest, chalky soil tones, bread dough and a topnote of spring flowers.... deep, full-bodied and racy, with a fine core, frothy mousse and excellent focus and grip on the long, well-balanced and still very primary finish... 2019-2035+. (Sep/Oct 2016) ] 93 points John Gilman: ... the vins clairs for this new cuvée were all barrel-fermented. The wine does not undergo malo, is aged four years on its fine lees and finished with a dosage of 4 g/L... The bouquet offers up a refined constellation of apple…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 1 available
$109.95
$140.00
Save $30.05 (22%)140.00
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97+ points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): ...striking, especially in the way it brings together elements of ripeness and freshness in a hypothetical blend of the 2002 and 2004. Smooth and creamy on the palate, the 2006 is all about texture. There is a real feeling of density and weight... All the… ...
AG 97
TCG 97
DE 97
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Taittinger Brut Blanc de Blancs Comtes de Champagne 2006  (#324810)

Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France

[ 97+ points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): ...striking, especially in the way it brings together elements of ripeness and freshness in a hypothetical blend of the 2002 and 2004. Smooth and creamy on the palate, the 2006 is all about texture. There is a real feeling of density and weight... All the elements fall into place effortlessly... Comtes de Champagne remains the single best value (in relative terms) in tête de cuvée Champagne... a magical Champagne in the making... 2016-2046. (Jul 2015) ] 97+ points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): ...striking, especially in the way it brings together elements of ripeness and freshness in a hypothetical blend of the 2002 and 2004. Smooth and creamy on the palate, the 2006 is all about texture. There is a…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
AG 97
TCG 97
DE 97
$124.95
$199.00
Save $74.05 (37%)199.00
Save $74.05 (37%)
94 points Tyson Stelzer (The Champagne Guide): (...100% 2009, but released too young to be labelled as such; saignée of 100% skin-contact pinot noir; 10g/L dosage)... it's no surprise that Geoffroy's Rosé de Saignée also improves with time post-disgorgement, and even two years after release it's… ...
TCG 94
WA 93
JS 93
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Geoffroy/Rene Brut Champagne Rose de Saignee NV  (#325537)

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

[ 94 points Tyson Stelzer (The Champagne Guide): (...100% 2009, but released too young to be labelled as such; saignée of 100% skin-contact pinot noir; 10g/L dosage)... it's no surprise that Geoffroy's Rosé de Saignée also improves with time post-disgorgement, and even two years after release it's showing compelling primary freshness of pomegranate, red cherry, pink pepper and mixed spice. The hue is still a full, vibrant pomegranate, the bead very fine, structure softly mineral and the finish persistent. (2016-2017) ] 94 points Tyson Stelzer (The Champagne Guide): (...100% 2009, but released too young to be labelled as such; saignée of 100% skin-contact pinot noir; 10g/L dosage)... it's no surprise that Geoffroy's Rosé de Saignée also improves with time post…

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12+ available
TCG 94
WA 93
JS 93
PRE-ARRIVAL
$44.95
$70.00
Save $25.05 (36%)70.00
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93 points Tyson Stelzer (The Champagne Guide): (2011 base vintage... 8-9g/L dosage)... confidently chardonnay-led in its grapefruit and lemon character, capturing a salty mineral mouthfeel more pronounced than others on the northern slopes of the Montagne. Vibrant, enduring malic-acid drive promises… ...
TCG 93
WS 93
JS 93
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Vilmart Brut Champagne 1er cru Grand Cellier NV  (#303972)

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

[ 93 points Tyson Stelzer (The Champagne Guide): (2011 base vintage... 8-9g/L dosage)... confidently chardonnay-led in its grapefruit and lemon character, capturing a salty mineral mouthfeel more pronounced than others on the northern slopes of the Montagne. Vibrant, enduring malic-acid drive promises to sustain it long in the cellar, yet even at this young age it is not hard or austere, massaged graciously by barrel fermentation and bottle age, which add their own nuances of coffee bean and hazelnut. (2016-2017) ] 93 points Tyson Stelzer (The Champagne Guide): (2011 base vintage... 8-9g/L dosage)... confidently chardonnay-led in its grapefruit and lemon character, capturing a salty mineral mouthfeel more pronounced than others on the northern slopes of the…

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12+ available
TCG 93
WS 93
JS 93
PRE-ARRIVAL
$59.95
$89.00
Save $29.05 (33%)89.00
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92+ points John Gilman (View From the Cellar): ...60% pinot meunier, 30% chardonnay and 10% pinot noir... dosage of 6 to 8g/L... outstanding, offering up a very refined, meunier-dominated constellation of white peach, loads of spring flowers, chalky soil tones, gentle smokiness and a dollop of… ...
JG 92
WS 92
AG 92
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Laherte Freres Brut Champagne Ultradition NV  (#331698)

Non-Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France

[ 92+ points John Gilman (View From the Cellar): ...60% pinot meunier, 30% chardonnay and 10% pinot noir... dosage of 6 to 8g/L... outstanding, offering up a very refined, meunier-dominated constellation of white peach, loads of spring flowers, chalky soil tones, gentle smokiness and a dollop of brioche in the upper register... pure, full-bodied and extremely elegant, with a fine core, superb soil signature, refined mousse and a very long, complex and dancing finish... 2017-2035. (May/Jun 2017) ] 92+ points John Gilman (View From the Cellar): ...60% pinot meunier, 30% chardonnay and 10% pinot noir... dosage of 6 to 8g/L... outstanding, offering up a very refined, meunier-dominated constellation of white peach, loads of spring flowers, chalky…

375ml Half Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
JG 92
WS 92
AG 92
$21.95
$25.00
Save $3.05 (12%)25.00
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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
WS 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... lees age contributes great texture and mouthfeel, without diminishing purity or freshness... it carries with grace and poise amidst fine chalk mineral texture, taut acid focus, impeccably pure persistence and a fine, creamy bead. Enjoy it in its ravishing youth. (2018/2019) ] 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
WS 93
97 points Stephan Reinhardt (Wine Advocate): Fermented in oak barrels and aged under natural corks for almost 13 years, Bollinger's 2004 R. D. Extra Brut blends 66% Pinot Noir with 34% Chardonnay from 16 crus, 88% of which are classified as Grand Cru. The wine opens with a very clear, deep, rich and… ...
WA 97
JS 97
WS 96
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Bollinger Extra Brut Champagne R.D. 2004  (#333152)

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

[ 97 points Stephan Reinhardt (Wine Advocate): Fermented in oak barrels and aged under natural corks for almost 13 years, Bollinger's 2004 R. D. Extra Brut blends 66% Pinot Noir with 34% Chardonnay from 16 crus, 88% of which are classified as Grand Cru. The wine opens with a very clear, deep, rich and aromatic but also pure and mineral-fresh nose of crushed rocks, cherries, brioche, pain aux raisin, white nougat, chalk and ripe, yellow-fleshed fruits. Highly elegant and complex on the weightless yet persistent and salty palate, this is an intense, densely woven, firmly structured yet elegant, beautifully refined and refreshing recent disgorgement (February 2018) that reveals just a kiss of oxidative flavors that adds even more complexity. A great Champagne on its way to improve over many years in the bottle. Tasted June 2018. Drink: 2018-2034. (Jun 2018) ] 97 points Stephan Reinhardt (Wine Advocate): Fermented in oak barrels and aged under natural corks for almost 13 years, Bollinger's 2004 R. D. Extra Brut blends 66% Pinot Noir with 34% Chardonnay from 16 crus, 88% of which are classified as Grand Cru…

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12+ available
WA 97
JS 97
WS 96
PRE-ARRIVAL
$179.95
$300.00
Save $120.05 (40%)300.00
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92 points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): The NV Brut is a gorgeous entry-level offering. The flavors are brisk and finely cut in this chiseled, crystalline Champagne from the Aubry brothers. Pear, green apple, lemon oil and white flowers add to an overall impression of brightness and tension. Aubry's… ...
AG 92
JS 92
WS 90
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Aubry Brut Champagne 1er Cru NV  (#333137)

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

[ 92 points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): The NV Brut is a gorgeous entry-level offering. The flavors are brisk and finely cut in this chiseled, crystalline Champagne from the Aubry brothers. Pear, green apple, lemon oil and white flowers add to an overall impression of brightness and tension. Aubry's straight NV Brut is once again one of the very finest wines in its peer group. I rarely miss a chance to drink it. The current release is a blend of 50% 2014 and 50% reserve wines, with a bit more Meunier in the blend than is the norm. Disgorged: June 2017. Dosage is 6 grams per liter. Drink: 2017-2024. (Dec 2017) ] 92 points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): The NV Brut is a gorgeous entry-level offering. The flavors are brisk and finely cut in this chiseled, crystalline Champagne from the Aubry brothers. Pear, green apple, lemon oil and white flowers add to an overall…

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12+ available
AG 92
JS 92
WS 90
PRE-ARRIVAL
$31.95
$45.00
Save $13.05 (29%)45.00
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94+ points John Gilman (View From the Cellar): ...two-thirds chardonnay and equal amounts of pinot noir and pinot meunier... dosage of 3 g/L... refined constellation of white peach, apple, fresh-baked bread, a touch of nuttiness, lovely soil tones, incipient smokiness and a whisper of buttery oak...… ...
JG 94
WS 92
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Ployez-Jacquemart Brut Champagne Liesse d'Harbonville 2000  (#328513)

Vintage Sparkling Wine from Montagne de Reims, Champagne, France

[ 94+ points John Gilman (View From the Cellar): ...two-thirds chardonnay and equal amounts of pinot noir and pinot meunier... dosage of 3 g/L... refined constellation of white peach, apple, fresh-baked bread, a touch of nuttiness, lovely soil tones, incipient smokiness and a whisper of buttery oak... deep, full and complex, with an excellent core of fruit, superb soil signature, frothy mousse, excellent focus and grip and a very long, bright and well-balanced finish... 2017-2040+. (May/Jun 2017) ] 94+ points John Gilman (View From the Cellar): ...two-thirds chardonnay and equal amounts of pinot noir and pinot meunier... dosage of 3 g/L... refined constellation of white peach, apple, fresh-baked bread, a touch of nuttiness, lovely soil tones,…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 3 available
$124.95
$170.00
Save $45.05 (26%)170.00
Save $45.05 (26%)
Peter Liem (ChampagneGuide.net): ...80% of Le Brun's 8 ha of vines are in the grands crus of Avize, Cramant and Oger in the Côte des Blancs... Vinification is entirely in tank... malolactic is systematically avoided, in an effort to preserve freshness and vivacity of aroma... Le Brun's vintage brut… ...
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Le Brun-Servenay Brut Champagne Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru V.V. 1988  (#318309)

Vintage Sparkling Wine from Montagne de Reims, Champagne, France

[ Peter Liem (ChampagneGuide.net): ...80% of Le Brun's 8 ha of vines are in the grands crus of Avize, Cramant and Oger in the Côte des Blancs... Vinification is entirely in tank... malolactic is systematically avoided, in an effort to preserve freshness and vivacity of aroma... Le Brun's vintage brut is a blanc de blancs from Avize, Oger and Cramant, but made from vines between 40 and 80 years of age: compared to the Sélection, it shows the deeper, more resonant depth derived from old vines. ] Peter Liem (ChampagneGuide.net): ...80% of Le Brun's 8 ha of vines are in the grands crus of Avize, Cramant and Oger in the Côte des Blancs... Vinification is entirely in tank... malolactic is systematically avoided, in an effort to preserve…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 5 available
$249.95
$315.00
Save $65.05 (21%)315.00
Save $65.05 (21%)
98 points and 'Top 100 French Wines of 2017 (#25),' James Suckling: A single 0.7ha plot in Avize, this has very assertive citrus and dried peach edge with strong chalky minerals. Extremely vibrant. The palate has richness of fruit with white peach and apricot flavors. Sturdy structure supports ripe… ...
JS 98
AG 95
WA 94
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Larmandier-Bernier Extra Brut Champagne Les Chemins d'Avize Grand 2010  (#331122)

Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France

[ 98 points and 'Top 100 French Wines of 2017 (#25),' James Suckling: A single 0.7ha plot in Avize, this has very assertive citrus and dried peach edge with strong chalky minerals. Extremely vibrant. The palate has richness of fruit with white peach and apricot flavors. Sturdy structure supports ripe and concentrated fruit. Grape maturity is expressed at an elite level here -- a gift of the terroir and its interpreters. The acidity is striking, driving a deep, sorbet-like finish. Drink now. (10/4/17) ] 98 points and 'Top 100 French Wines of 2017 (#25),' James Suckling: A single 0.7ha plot in Avize, this has very assertive citrus and dried peach edge with strong chalky minerals. Extremely vibrant. The palate has richness of fruit with white peach…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 2 available
JS 98
AG 95
WA 94
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