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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The Lanson 1983 displays a yellow gold colour. The biscuit and toasted bread aromas blend with the ripe fruit and flower scents. On the palate, the initial impact is generous. The wine is full and complex with a long, well-balanced finish. Recommended pairings include choice fish or poultry. Blend:… ...
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Lanson Champagne Brut Vintage Collection 1983  (#321622)

Vintage Sparkling Wine from Montagne de Reims, Champagne, France

The Lanson 1983 displays a yellow gold colour. The biscuit and toasted bread aromas blend with the ripe fruit and flower scents. On the palate, the initial impact is generous. The wine is full and complex with a long, well-balanced finish.…

1.5L Magnum | In stock, 1 available
94 points Wine Spectator: Rich and creamy in texture, offering black currant pâte de fruit, creamed almond, pastry cream and lemon confit flavors, with a clean-cut, chalky finish. Impressive, with good tension to the vivid acidity, this resembles a jittery horse at the gate today, and doesn't quite… ...
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Henriot Brut Champagne Cuvee des Enchanteleurs 1999  (#324901)

Vintage Sparkling Wine from Montagne de Reims, Champagne, France

94 points Wine Spectator: Rich and creamy in texture, offering black currant pâte de fruit, creamed almond, pastry cream and lemon confit flavors, with a clean-cut, chalky finish. Impressive, with good tension to the vivid acidity, this resembles a…

1.5L Magnum | In stock, 6 available
$399.00
$500.00
Save $101.00 (20%)500.00
Save $101.00 (20%)
97 points The World of Fine Wine: Laurent Champs describes this as 'the highest quality we can make today,' and I wouldn't argue. It's from a single vineyard of 60-year-old vines, 80 percent Chardonnay and 20 percent Pinot Noir. It spends ten months in one- to three-year-old barriques, and seven… ...
WFW 97
AG 94
WS 93
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Vilmart Brut Champagne Coeur de Cuvee 1er Cru 2009  (#333157)

Vintage Sparkling Wine from Montagne de Reims, Champagne, France

97 points The World of Fine Wine: Laurent Champs describes this as 'the highest quality we can make today,' and I wouldn't argue. It's from a single vineyard of 60-year-old vines, 80 percent Chardonnay and 20 percent Pinot Noir. It spends ten months…

1.5L Magnum | In stock, 1 available
WFW 97
AG 94
WS 93
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…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 3 available
$249.95
$315.00
Save $65.05 (21%)315.00
Save $65.05 (21%)
100% Chardonnay. Disgorged April 2014. 23 years on the lees. 3.5 grams dosage. Peter Liem (ChampagneGuide.net): ...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… ...
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Le Brun-Servenay Brut Champagne Exception Grand Cru Reserve 1990  (#320364)

Vintage Sparkling Wine from Montagne de Reims, Champagne, France

100% Chardonnay. Disgorged April 2014. 23 years on the lees. 3.5 grams dosage. Peter Liem (ChampagneGuide.net): ...malolactic is systematically avoided, in an effort to preserve freshness and vivacity of aroma... Le Brun's vintage brut is a blanc de…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 2 available
$249.95
$350.00
Save $100.05 (29%)350.00
Save $100.05 (29%)
94+ points John Gilman (View From the Cellar): The 2012 les Hautes Chèvres was the first vintage of this Blanc de Noirs, single vineyard wine to be made entirely from pinot meunier, rather than pinot noir. Vincent Laval had to replant his eighty year-old pinot noir vines here after the 2009 vintage,… ...
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Laval/Georges Brut Nature Champagne Les Hautes-Chevres 2013  (#333705)

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

94+ points John Gilman (View From the Cellar): The 2012 les Hautes Chèvres was the first vintage of this Blanc de Noirs, single vineyard wine to be made entirely from pinot meunier, rather than pinot noir. Vincent Laval had to replant his eighty year…

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 6 available
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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, 5 available
TCG 96
V 96
JS 96
$184.95
$262.00
Save $77.05 (29%)262.00
Save $77.05 (29%)
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
WFW 98
JS 98
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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, 2 available
TCG 99
WFW 98
JS 98
$179.95
$200.00
Save $20.05 (10%)200.00
Save $20.05 (10%)
96 points Decanter: ...183 reserve wines went into the blend from 12 different vintages, with the oldest being 1990 and the youngest 2007... typically full and intense nose of brioche, citrus and honey, which follows through onto the broad, rich and focussed palate, a tangy mélange of lemon, almond,… ...
JS 96
WS 95
AG 95
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Krug Brut Champagne Grande Cuvee Edition 163 NV  (#335038)

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

96 points Decanter: ...183 reserve wines went into the blend from 12 different vintages, with the oldest being 1990 and the youngest 2007... typically full and intense nose of brioche, citrus and honey, which follows through onto the broad, rich and…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
JS 96
WS 95
AG 95
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, 4 available
TCG 95
WA 93
IWC 93
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
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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...…

1.5L Magnum | In stock, 12+ available
96 points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): The 2014 Brut Nature Les Chênes (Chardonnay) is fabulous. A Champagne of extraordinary precision, the 2014 dazzles from the very first taste. Chalk, white flowers, mint, slate and lemon peel race out of the glass. There is just something about the translucent… ...
AG 96
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Laval/Georges Brut Nature Blanc de Blancs Champagne Les Chenes 2014  (#333704)

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

96 points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): The 2014 Brut Nature Les Chênes (Chardonnay) is fabulous. A Champagne of extraordinary precision, the 2014 dazzles from the very first taste. Chalk, white flowers, mint, slate and lemon peel race out of the glass.…

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 6 available
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