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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97 points Tyson Stelzer (The Champagne Guide): (70% PN; 30% CH; 7g/L)... a succulent and enticing LGA that contrasts the tension of 2007 with the reverberating depth of Ay pinot noir and all a magnificent core of pronounced black cherry fruit, before exploding into a universe of Bollinger complexity… ...
TCG 97
RJ 94-95
WS 94
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Bollinger Brut Champagne La Grande Annee 2007  (#331069)

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

[ 97 points Tyson Stelzer (The Champagne Guide): (70% PN; 30% CH; 7g/L)... a succulent and enticing LGA that contrasts the tension of 2007 with the reverberating depth of Ay pinot noir and all a magnificent core of pronounced black cherry fruit, before exploding into a universe of Bollinger complexity of mixed spice, ginger and roast nuts... The creamy and silky effect of barrel fermentation caresses fine chalk minerality, flowing seamlessly into a very long, full and captivating finish of dark chocolate. (2018/2019) ] 97 points Tyson Stelzer (The Champagne Guide): (70% PN; 30% CH; 7g/L)... a succulent and enticing LGA that contrasts the tension of 2007 with the reverberating depth of Ay pinot noir and all a magnificent core of pronounced black cherry fruit, before…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
TCG 97
RJ 94-95
WS 94
NEW ITEM
$99.95
$155.00
Save $55.05 (36%)155.00
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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 complexity. As one taster noted, 'It's Mesnil-y.' That might translate into a floral lemon, Kaffir lime and chalk character, presented as density of flavor without weight. The wine's precision and effortless integration make it a steal at the price. Best Buy. (Dec 2016) ] 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, 6 available
W&S 94
AM 93
JG 92
$39.95
$50.00
Save $10.05 (20%)50.00
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95 points John Gilman (View From the Cellar): ...100% chardonnay and finished with zero dosage... a stunning young bottle, soaring from the glass in a vibrant blend of apple, white peach, very complex minerality, gentle smokiness, dried flowers and incipient notes of crème patissière... deep, full… ...
JG 95
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Marguet Extra Brut Champagne Ambonnay Les Bermonts 2012  (#331814)

Vintage Sparkling Wine from Montagne de Reims, Champagne, France

[ 95 points John Gilman (View From the Cellar): ...100% chardonnay and finished with zero dosage... a stunning young bottle, soaring from the glass in a vibrant blend of apple, white peach, very complex minerality, gentle smokiness, dried flowers and incipient notes of crème patissière... deep, full-bodied, complex and stunning in its precision and mineral drive, with a rock solid core, great focus and grip, pinpoint bubbles and outstanding length on the poised and very promising finish... 2022-2055+. (Jan/Feb 2018) ] 95 points John Gilman (View From the Cellar): ...100% chardonnay and finished with zero dosage... a stunning young bottle, soaring from the glass in a vibrant blend of apple, white peach, very complex minerality, gentle smokiness, dried flowers and…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 3 available
97 points Stephan Reinhardt (Wine Advocate): Fermented in oak barrels and aged under natural corks for almost 13 years... 66% PN, 34% CH from 16 crus, 88% of which are classified as Grand Cru... deep, rich and aromatic but also pure and mineral-fresh nose of crushed rocks, cherries, brioche, pain… ...
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... 66% PN, 34% CH from 16 crus, 88% of which are classified as Grand Cru... 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... 2018-2034. (Jun 2018) ] 97 points Stephan Reinhardt (Wine Advocate): Fermented in oak barrels and aged under natural corks for almost 13 years... 66% PN, 34% CH from 16 crus, 88% of which are classified as Grand Cru... deep, rich and aromatic but also pure and mineral-fresh…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
WA 97
JS 97
WS 96
NEW ITEM
$179.95
$300.00
Save $120.05 (40%)300.00
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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 full breadth of its expression, and will be even better in a few months' time once it has fully recovered from its relatively recent disgorgement. Hazelnuts, pears and minerals linger on the close. (Dec 2010) ] 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
$36.95
$45.00
Save $8.05 (18%)45.00
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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  (#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 the pristine signature of the house, energised by the red apple and red berry fruits of meunier, with a breathtakingly refined melody of pure lemon zest, in a dazzling display of elegant, soft, crystalline chalk minerality and understated, fragrant elegance... (2018-2019) ] 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
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 | In stock, 12+ available
TCG 93
WS 93
JS 93
NEW ITEM
$59.95
$89.00
Save $29.05 (33%)89.00
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98+ points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): The 2008 Dom Pérignon is fabulous, but quite remarkably, it was even more open when I tasted it a year ago. Bright, focused and crystalline in its precision, the 2008 is going to need a number of years before it is at its best. Lemon peel, white flowers, mint and… ...
AG 98
JG 98
JS 98
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Moet & Chandon Brut Champagne Cuvee Dom Perignon Legacy Edition 2008  (#333186)

Vintage Sparkling Wine from Montagne de Reims, Champagne, France

[ 98+ points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): The 2008 Dom Pérignon is fabulous, but quite remarkably, it was even more open when I tasted it a year ago. Bright, focused and crystalline in its precision, the 2008 is going to need a number of years before it is at its best. Lemon peel, white flowers, mint and white pepper give the 2008 its chiseled, bright profile. Several recent bottles have all been magnificent. What I admire most about the 2008 is the way it shows all the focus, translucence and energy that is such a signature of the year, and yet it is also remarkably deep and vertical. In other words, the 2008 is a Champagne that plays in three dimensions. Drink: 2020-2058. (Jul 2018) ] 98+ points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): The 2008 Dom Pérignon is fabulous, but quite remarkably, it was even more open when I tasted it a year ago. Bright, focused and crystalline in its precision, the 2008 is going to need a number of years before it…

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12+ available
AG 98
JG 98
JS 98
PRE-ARRIVAL
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  (#331696)

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…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 4 available
JG 92
WS 92
AG 92
$34.95
$50.00
Save $15.05 (30%)50.00
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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 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 very good and I look forward to keep on testing Nathalie's work. ] 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 | Pre-arrival, 12+ available
PRE-ARRIVAL
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  (#308009)

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 register... bright, full-bodied and impeccably balanced, with lovely transparency, refined mousse, zesty acids and excellent focus, length and grip on the elegant and complex finish... Just lovely Rosé. 2018-2040. (Jul/Aug 2018) ] 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…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
JG 92
WS 92
IWC 92
$44.95
$56.00
Save $11.05 (20%)56.00
Save $11.05 (20%)
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 | In stock, 12+ available
TCG 94
WA 93
JS 93
NEW ITEM
$44.95
$70.00
Save $25.05 (36%)70.00
Save $25.05 (36%)
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