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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93 points John Gilman: ...the crown jewel in the Bonnaire lineup! ...5 years aging on its fine lees... dosage is 6g/L... absolutely stellar, soaring from the glass in a complex and very classy constellation of apple, fresh almond, warm bread, a touch of spice tones and a superb signature of chalky… ...
JG 93
AM 91
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Bonnaire Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne Variance NV  (#333139)

Non-Vintage Sparkling Wine from Côte des Blancs, Champagne, France

93 points John Gilman: ...the crown jewel in the Bonnaire lineup! ...5 years aging on its fine lees... dosage is 6g/L... absolutely stellar, soaring from the glass in a complex and very classy constellation of apple, fresh almond, warm bread, a touch…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
96 points James Suckling: The nose is floral, delicate and has chalky-mineral accents with a fine edge of yellow citrus fruit. The palate has a super fine, smooth and focused line of lemon, lime and green-mango flavors. Long and taut. Chardonnay at its elegant, powerful best! Blanc de blancs, 50/50… ...
JS 96
WA 95
AG 95
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Agrapart Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne Mineral 2012  (#335110)

Vintage Sparkling Wine from Côte des Blancs, Champagne, France

96 points James Suckling: The nose is floral, delicate and has chalky-mineral accents with a fine edge of yellow citrus fruit. The palate has a super fine, smooth and focused line of lemon, lime and green-mango flavors. Long and taut. Chardonnay at…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 3 available
JS 96
WA 95
AG 95
94 points Tyson Stelzer (The Champagne Guide): (40% PM, 20% PN, 30% CH; aged 28 months on lees; 8g/L dosage) ...impressive freshness and elegance, even in the presence of impressive levels of reserve wines, a generous 45% of the blend... sings with the pristine signature of the house, energised by… ...
TCG 94
JH 94
JG 92
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Billecart-Salmon Brut Champagne Reserve NV  (#103608)

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

94 points Tyson Stelzer (The Champagne Guide): (40% PM, 20% PN, 30% CH; aged 28 months on lees; 8g/L dosage) ...impressive freshness and elegance, even in the presence of impressive levels of reserve wines, a generous 45% of the blend... sings with…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
TCG 94
JH 94
JG 92
92 points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): ...The flavors are brisk and finely cut in this chiseled, crystalline Champagne... Pear, green apple, lemon oil and white flowers add to an overall impression of brightness and tension... once again one of the very finest wines in its peer group. I rarely miss a… ...
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 flavors are brisk and finely cut in this chiseled, crystalline Champagne... Pear, green apple, lemon oil and white flowers add to an overall impression of brightness and tension... once again one of the very…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
AG 92
JS 92
WS 90
$36.95
$45.00
Save $8.05 (18%)45.00
Save $8.05 (18%)
93 points Tyson Stelzer (The Champagne Guide): (aged on lees more than 4 years; 4.5g/L dosage)... Gimonnet's signature vintage cuvée... 2010 is... a vintage fast developing into a medium-straw hue... grand complexity and presence of orange rind, mixed spice, toast, ginger and honey, while upholding… ...
TCG 93
AG 92
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Gimonnet/Pierre Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne Cuvee Fleuron 2010  (#333155)

Vintage Sparkling Wine from Côte des Blancs, Champagne, France

93 points Tyson Stelzer (The Champagne Guide): (aged on lees more than 4 years; 4.5g/L dosage)... Gimonnet's signature vintage cuvée... 2010 is... a vintage fast developing into a medium-straw hue... grand complexity and presence of orange rind,…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 2 available
Nathalie's rare, single vineyard cuvée made entirely from Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. While the 2012 has not yet been reviewed, her last vintage (2010) was rated 94 points by David Schildknecht in The Wine Advocate, calling it nothing short of revelatory in its polish,transparency and comlpexity!… ...
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Nathalie Falmet Brut Champagne Le Val Cornet 2012  (#333525)

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

Nathalie's rare, single vineyard cuvée made entirely from Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. While the 2012 has not yet been reviewed, her last vintage (2010) was rated 94 points by David Schildknecht in The Wine Advocate, calling it nothing short of…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
$44.95
$75.00
Save $30.05 (33%)75.00
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94 points Tyson Stelzer (The Champagne Guide): (40% PM, 20% PN, 30% CH; aged 28 months on lees; 8g/L dosage) ...impressive freshness and elegance, even in the presence of impressive levels of reserve wines, a generous 45% of the blend... sings with the pristine signature of the house, energised by… ...
TCG 94
JH 94
JG 92
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Billecart-Salmon Brut Champagne Reserve NV  (#103609)

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

94 points Tyson Stelzer (The Champagne Guide): (40% PM, 20% PN, 30% CH; aged 28 months on lees; 8g/L dosage) ...impressive freshness and elegance, even in the presence of impressive levels of reserve wines, a generous 45% of the blend... sings with…

375ml Half Bottle | In stock, 3 available
TCG 94
JH 94
JG 92
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
$39.95
$60.00
Save $20.05 (25%)60.00
Save $20.05 (25%)
92 points Wine Spectator: Elegant and well-meshed, this layers lively, lightly mouthwatering acidity, a fine, chalky texture and a delicate range of poached apple and pear fruit, dogwood blossom and biscuit notes, and minerally saline and oyster shell accents. Disgorged July 2017. Drink now through… ...
WS 92
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Gimonnet Extra Brut Champagne Chouilly Special Club 2012  (#335471)

Vintage Sparkling Wine from Côte des Blancs, Champagne, France

92 points Wine Spectator: Elegant and well-meshed, this layers lively, lightly mouthwatering acidity, a fine, chalky texture and a delicate range of poached apple and pear fruit, dogwood blossom and biscuit notes, and minerally saline and oyster…

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 6 available
PRE-ARRIVAL
$99.95
$135.00
Save $35.05 (26%)135.00
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92 points Tyson Stelzer (The Champagne Guide): (2006 base; a blend of Cramant and Bergères-les-Vertus; aged on natural cork for more than 6 years; 6g/L dosage). The crunchy pear and lemon zest of chardonnay are united with notes of mixed spice and roast hazelnuts from bottle development. This is a… ...
TCG 92
JG 91
AM 91
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Bonnaire Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne Ver Sacrum NV  (#333140)

Non-Vintage Sparkling Wine from Côte des Blancs, Champagne, France

92 points Tyson Stelzer (The Champagne Guide): (2006 base; a blend of Cramant and Bergères-les-Vertus; aged on natural cork for more than 6 years; 6g/L dosage). The crunchy pear and lemon zest of chardonnay are united with notes of mixed spice and…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
TCG 92
JG 91
AM 91
95 points The Champagne Guide: (2009 base vintage; 25% reserves; 6 g/L dosage). The 2009 base is an impeccable follow-on to the arresting 2008. A magnificent accord of white citrus and white stone fruits meets the gentle patisserie, butter and nougat character of five years of maturity, creating an… ...
TCG 95
WA 93
IWC 93
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Billecart-Salmon Brut Champagne Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru NV  (#327623)

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

95 points The Champagne Guide: (2009 base vintage; 25% reserves; 6 g/L dosage). The 2009 base is an impeccable follow-on to the arresting 2008. A magnificent accord of white citrus and white stone fruits meets the gentle patisserie, butter and nougat…

1.5L Magnum | In stock, 3 available
TCG 95
WA 93
IWC 93
93 points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): Interestingly, the 2012 Special Club is quite a bit riper and bigger than any of the three single-village Special Clubs. Light tropical overtones meld into a core of candied orange peel, apricot, chamomile and wild flowers. In this tasting, the 2012 comes across… ...
AG 93
W&S 93
WS 92
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Gimonnet Brut Chardonnay Champagne Special Club Grands Terroirs 2012  (#335561)

Vintage Sparkling Wine from Côte des Blancs, Champagne, France

93 points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): Interestingly, the 2012 Special Club is quite a bit riper and bigger than any of the three single-village Special Clubs. Light tropical overtones meld into a core of candied orange peel, apricot, chamomile and wild…

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12 available
AG 93
W&S 93
WS 92
PRE-ARRIVAL
$69.95
$98.00
Save $28.05 (29%)98.00
Save $28.05 (29%)
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