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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Richard Juhlin: In 1993, Nathalie Falmet her coveted diploma in oenology in Paris. She is careful to try to express the Côte de Bar's special terroir in all three of their cuvées. The wines vinified as naturally as possible. The firm's reputation is very good and I look forward to keep on testing… ...
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Nathalie Falmet Brut Champagne Le Val Cornet 2012  (#333525)

Vintage Sparkling Wine from Côte des Bar/Aube, Champagne, France

Richard Juhlin: In 1993, Nathalie Falmet her coveted diploma in oenology in Paris. She is careful to try to express the Côte de Bar's special terroir in all three of their cuvées. The wines vinified as naturally as possible. The firm's reputation is…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
92 points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): The NV Brut is 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay from the Cote des Bar. This intriguing Champagne reveals tons of brilliance in a focused, powerful style. The wine needs to be opened in advance in order to show the full breadth of its expression, and will be even… ...
AG 92
WA 91
WS 91
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Nathalie Falmet Brut Champagne NV  (#332280)

Non-Vintage Sparkling Wine from Côte des Bar/Aube, Champagne, France

92 points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): The NV Brut is 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay from the Cote des Bar. This intriguing Champagne reveals tons of brilliance in a focused, powerful style. The wine needs to be opened in advance in order to show the…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
AG 92
WA 91
WS 91
$44.95
$60.00
Save $15.05 (25%)60.00
Save $15.05 (25%)
93 points William Kelley (Wine Advocate): his bottle of Lilbert's NV Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Perle was disgorged in summer 2018 with five grams per liter dosage and is based on the 2013 vintage, with 35% reserve wines. Offering up aromas of lemon oil, crushed chalk and hints of warm… ...
WA 93
AM 93
WS 92
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Lilbert Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne Perle NV  (#334867)

Non-Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France

93 points William Kelley (Wine Advocate): his bottle of Lilbert's NV Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Perle was disgorged in summer 2018 with five grams per liter dosage and is based on the 2013 vintage, with 35% reserve wines. Offering up aromas…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
WA 93
AM 93
WS 92
$59.95
$93.00
Save $33.05 (36%)93.00
Save $33.05 (36%)
97 points Stephan Reinhardt (Wine Advocate): ...60% PN, 40% CH... Almost entirely fermented in stainless steel (only 5% was vinified in oak barrels) and aged for 11 years on the lees, this is a beautifully ripe and rich yet pure champagne with ripe fruit flavors intermixed with chalky notes and… ...
WA 97
JS 96
DE 95
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Billecart-Salmon Brut Champagne Cuvee Nicolas FranCois 2006  (#701776)

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

97 points Stephan Reinhardt (Wine Advocate): ...60% PN, 40% CH... Almost entirely fermented in stainless steel (only 5% was vinified in oak barrels) and aged for 11 years on the lees, this is a beautifully ripe and rich yet pure champagne with ripe…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 6 available
WA 97
JS 96
DE 95
95+ points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): The 2010 Coeur de Cuvée is marvelous. Deep, dense and powerful, the 2010 packs a serious punch. Slate, crushed rocks, white pepper, orchard fruit, mint and green pear give the 2010 its bright, vibrant personality. A hint of reduction adds freshness and complexity… ...
AG 95
WS 94
WA 92
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Vilmart Brut Champagne Coeur de Cuvee 1er Cru 2010  (#333156)

Vintage Sparkling Wine from Montagne de Reims, Champagne, France

95+ points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): The 2010 Coeur de Cuvée is marvelous. Deep, dense and powerful, the 2010 packs a serious punch. Slate, crushed rocks, white pepper, orchard fruit, mint and green pear give the 2010 its bright, vibrant personality.…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 4 available
AG 95
WS 94
WA 92
$129.95
$151.00
Save $21.05 (14%)151.00
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94 points Wine Spectator: Offers a seamless marriage of chiseled acidity and rich, chalky minerality, with flavors of poached quince, hazelnut, honey and lemon curd. Disgorged May 2016. Drink now through 2030. 25 cases imported. (11/30/17) ...
WS 94
AM 94
JG 93
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Dhondt/Jose Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne Mes Vieilles Vignes 2010  (#329652)

Vintage Sparkling Wine from Côte des Blancs, Champagne, France

94 points Wine Spectator: Offers a seamless marriage of chiseled acidity and rich, chalky minerality, with flavors of poached quince, hazelnut, honey and lemon curd. Disgorged May 2016. Drink now through 2030. 25 cases imported. (11/30/17)

750ml Bottle | In stock, 1 available
WS 94
AM 94
JG 93
$49.95
$77.00
Save $27.05 (35%)77.00
Save $27.05 (35%)
98 points Tyson Stelzer (The Champagne Guide): (disgorged October 2015) After the might of 2005 and 2006, there is a pretty elegance to 2007 that I find thrillingly compelling, and it's captured in pinpoint detail in this enchanting Comtes. The theme here is fragrant finesse of youthful lemon… ...
TCG 98
JS 98
WE 97
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Taittinger Brut Blanc de Blancs Comtes de Champagne 2007  (#334946)

Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France

98 points Tyson Stelzer (The Champagne Guide): (disgorged October 2015) After the might of 2005 and 2006, there is a pretty elegance to 2007 that I find thrillingly compelling, and it's captured in pinpoint detail in this enchanting Comtes. The theme…

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12+ available
TCG 98
JS 98
WE 97
NEW ITEMPRE-ARRIVAL
$119.95
$216.00
Save $96.05 (44%)216.00
Save $96.05 (44%)
94 points Wine & Spirits: This wine emphasizes the white-flower scents of chardonnay (70% of the blend, the balance pinot noir). The wine’s searing acidity wasn’t softened by malolactic fermentation, and its fleshy apple and pear flavors were concentrated and enriched by aging for 8 months in large… ...
W&S 94
TCG 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

94 points Wine & Spirits: This wine emphasizes the white-flower scents of chardonnay (70% of the blend, the balance pinot noir). The wine’s searing acidity wasn’t softened by malolactic fermentation, and its fleshy apple and pear flavors were…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
W&S 94
TCG 93
JS 93
$59.95
$89.00
Save $29.05 (33%)89.00
Save $29.05 (33%)
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, 2 available
W&S 93
JG 92
WS 92
$21.95
$25.00
Save $3.05 (12%)25.00
Save $3.05 (12%)
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  (#308007)

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…

375ml Half Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
JG 92
WS 92
IWC 92
$24.95
$28.00
Save $3.05 (11%)28.00
Save $3.05 (11%)
93 points and 'Best Buy,' 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… ...
W&S 93
JG 92
WS 92
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Laherte Freres Brut Champagne Ultradition NV  (#331696)

Non-Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France

93 points and 'Best Buy,' 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…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 6 available
W&S 93
JG 92
WS 92
$34.95
$50.00
Save $15.05 (30%)50.00
Save $15.05 (30%)
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…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
TCG 94
WA 93
JS 93
$49.95
$70.00
Save $20.05 (29%)70.00
Save $20.05 (29%)
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