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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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, 12+ available
WS 94
AM 94
JG 93
$49.95
$77.00
Save $27.05 (35%)77.00
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94 points John Gilman (View From the Cellar): Vincent Laval has now added a second non-vintage bottling to his lineup, which he calls “Garenne”. While the fruit for this bottling does not hail from his home village of Cumières, he has decided that the wine needs to take its reserve wine in the blend… ...
JG 94
AG 92
WS 92
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Laval/Georges Brut Nature Champagne Cumieres NV  (#333703)

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

94 points John Gilman (View From the Cellar): Vincent Laval has now added a second non-vintage bottling to his lineup, which he calls “Garenne”. While the fruit for this bottling does not hail from his home village of Cumières, he has decided that…

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 11 available
JG 94
AG 92
WS 92
PRE-ARRIVAL
$74.95
$90.00
Save $15.05 (17%)90.00
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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%)
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, 12+ available
TCG 96
V 96
JS 96
$184.95
$262.00
Save $77.05 (29%)262.00
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95 points Tyson Stelzer (The Champagne Guide): (62% chardonnay; 38% pinot noir; no malolactic fermentation) ... leads with chardonnay, bringing a sense of delicacy and harmony to a blend of considerable age. Freshness, deep-set complexity and fine definition are held in careful tension, as summer… ...
TCG 95
JG 93
IWC 93
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Lanson Brut Rose Champagne Noble Cuvee NV  (#331535)

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

95 points Tyson Stelzer (The Champagne Guide): (62% chardonnay; 38% pinot noir; no malolactic fermentation) ... leads with chardonnay, bringing a sense of delicacy and harmony to a blend of considerable age. Freshness, deep-set complexity and fine…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 2 available
TCG 95
JG 93
IWC 93
$99.95
$175.00
Save $75.05 (43%)175.00
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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 2009  (#334332)

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, 1 available
95 points Stephen Reinhardt (Wine Advocate): Egly's 2009 Brut Grand Cru Millésime is a 100% Ambonnay blend of Pinot Noir (70%) and Chardonnay (30%). Fermented in Burgundian barrels for eight months and disgorged in April 2018 with two grams of dosage, this cuvée offers a very fine, bright, pure,… ...
WA 95
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Egly-Ouriet Brut Grand Cru Champagne 2009  (#333702)

Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France

95 points Stephen Reinhardt (Wine Advocate): Egly's 2009 Brut Grand Cru Millésime is a 100% Ambonnay blend of Pinot Noir (70%) and Chardonnay (30%). Fermented in Burgundian barrels for eight months and disgorged in April 2018 with two grams of dosage…

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 5 available
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94 points Tyson Stelzer (The Champagne Guide 2014-2015): (Aged at least 24 months on lees; 5g/L dosage). A seamless assemblage of fruit and barrel complexity marries the expressive, grapey, youthful generosity of guava, star fruits, poached strawberries, red apples and succulent stone fruits with… ...
TCG 94
IWC 91
WA 90
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Lahaye/Benoit Brut Champagne Blanc de Noirs NV  (#321881)

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

94 points Tyson Stelzer (The Champagne Guide 2014-2015): (Aged at least 24 months on lees; 5g/L dosage). A seamless assemblage of fruit and barrel complexity marries the expressive, grapey, youthful generosity of guava, star fruits, poached…

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12+ available
TCG 94
IWC 91
WA 90
PRE-ARRIVAL
$51.95
$70.00
Save $18.05 (26%)70.00
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95 points and 'Top 100 Cellar Selections 2017 (#51),' Wine Enthusiast: Definitely dry, this impressively crisp wine is tightly textured, mineral in character and with great fruit. Its acidity and taut tangy character are part of a sophisticated wine that is still maturing. The hints of toast are… ...
WE 95
WS 93
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Billecart-Salmon Extra Brut Champagne Grand Cru 2007  (#333723)

Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France

95 points and 'Top 100 Cellar Selections 2017 (#51),' Wine Enthusiast: Definitely dry, this impressively crisp wine is tightly textured, mineral in character and with great fruit. Its acidity and taut tangy character are part of a sophisticated wine…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 8 available
94 points and '100 Best Buys of the Year,' Wine & Spirits: ...We tasted the current vintage... on the same panel with the 2004 Salon, and... these were the two standouts... The Moncuit showed length and delicacy, if not the same grandeur and complexity. As one taster noted, 'It's Mesnil-y.' That… ...
W&S 94
AM 93
JG 92
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Moncuit/Pierre BdB Champagne Grand Cru Cuvee Pierre Moncuit-Delos NV  (#317335)

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

94 points and '100 Best Buys of the Year,' Wine & Spirits: ...We tasted the current vintage... on the same panel with the 2004 Salon, and... these were the two standouts... The Moncuit showed length and delicacy, if not the same grandeur and…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
W&S 94
AM 93
JG 92
$39.95
$50.00
Save $10.05 (20%)50.00
Save $10.05 (20%)
94 points John Gilman (View From the Cellar): ...2/3 pinot noir and 1/3 chardonnay, no dosage... The bouquet jumps from the glass in a youthful mix of apple, white peach, patissière, chalky soil tones and a gently smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, nascently complex and racy… ...
JG 94
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Marguet Extra Brut Champagne Ambonnay Grand Cru 2011  (#331812)

Vintage Sparkling Wine from Montagne de Reims, Champagne, France

94 points John Gilman (View From the Cellar): ...2/3 pinot noir and 1/3 chardonnay, no dosage... The bouquet jumps from the glass in a youthful mix of apple, white peach, patissière, chalky soil tones and a gently smoky topnote. On the palate the…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
95 points Tyson Stelzer (The Champagne Guide): (80% PN, 20% CH; 7g/L)... An incredible display of fruit intensity, embracing the full spectrum of pinot noir character in black cherries, strawberries, plums, even mixed spice and plum pudding. The tremendous acid profile of the great 2008 vintage… ...
TCG 95
WS 90
AG 90
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Paul Bara Brut Champagne Bouzy Reserve NV  (#332281)

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

95 points Tyson Stelzer (The Champagne Guide): (80% PN, 20% CH; 7g/L)... An incredible display of fruit intensity, embracing the full spectrum of pinot noir character in black cherries, strawberries, plums, even mixed spice and plum pudding. The…

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12+ available
TCG 95
WS 90
AG 90
PRE-ARRIVAL
$36.95
$60.00
Save $23.05 (38%)60.00
Save $23.05 (38%)
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