Grower Champagne, 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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Not yet reviewed; 2010 vintage rated 94 points and 'Outstanding' by Allen Meadows (Burghound): (dosage 6 g/L). A cool and restrained nose only grudgingly reveals its wonderfully elegant assortment of admirably pure floral, yeast, white orchard fruit, and in particular apple, and wisps of citrus. The… ...

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Dhondt/Jose Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne Mes Vieilles Vignes 2011  (#332532)

Vintage Sparkling Wine from Côte des Blancs, Champagne, France

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
NEW ITEM

93 points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): Dhondt's NV Rosé de Saignee is a true reference point for the style. Rich, vinous and impeccably layered in the glass, the Rosé boasts stunning depth and richness, with intense bold flavors and impeccable balance. Autumn leaves, sweet red cherries, mint, tobacco… ...

AG 93
WA 92
WS 91
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Dhondt/Jose Brut Rose Champagne de Saignee NV  (#312305)

Non-Vintage Sparkling Wine from Côte de Sézanne, Champagne, France

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
AG 93
WA 92
WS 91
NEW ITEM
$46.95
$84.00
Save $37.05 (44%)84.00
Save $37.05 (44%)

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

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12 available
TCG 93
WS 93
JS 93
$64.95
$89.00
Save $24.05 (27%)89.00
Save $24.05 (27%)

92 points Allen Meadows (Burghound): A cool, pure and very yeasty nose combines notes of brioche, citrus, apple and a whiff of petrol. There is a wonderfully refreshing character to the utterly delicious and impressively complex flavors that are supported by a firm but not particularly refined… ...

AM 92
WS 91
W&S 91
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Hebrart Brut Champagne Cuvee de Reserve 1er Cru NV  (#318390)

Non-Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France

750ml Bottle | In stock, 11 available
AM 92
WS 91
W&S 91
$41.95
$50.00
Save $8.05 (16%)50.00
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92 points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): The NV Blanc de Blancs shows the more powerful side of Chardonnay in its overall intensity and broad-shouldered frame. Scents of chamomile, lemon oil, white flowers, mint and pastry find resonance on the palate, where the wine offers crystalline purity and tons of… ...

AG 92
AM 92
WS 91
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Dhondt/Jose Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne NV  (#318308)

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

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
AG 92
AM 92
WS 91
NEW ITEM
$36.95
$64.00
Save $27.05 (42%)64.00
Save $27.05 (42%)

92+ points John Gilman (View From the Cellar): ...a blend of 65% pinot meunier, 22% pinot noir and 13% chardonnay... 3.5 g/L dosage and offers up a very fine nose of white peach, apple, complex soil tones, spring flowers and just a touch of buttery oak influence from its older casks. On the palate… ...

JG 92
WS 90
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Vincent Charlot Extra Brut Champagne Le Fruit de ma Passion (2011 NV  (#327314)

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

750ml Bottle | In stock, 2 available
$44.88
$60.00
Save $15.12 (25%)60.00
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96 points James Suckling: ...from an east-facing site in the heart of Aÿ, this has depth, richness and a deeper savory edge to the nose. Aromas of dark tobacco, plenty of dry roasted spices, nut biscuits, musk and dried red fruits. The palate is full of compressed power, where the Mesnil lieu-dit… ...

JS 96
JG 95-96
RJ 95-96
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Selosse Extra Brut Champagne Blnc de Noirs Sous le Mont Grand Cru NV  (#322247)

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

750ml Bottle | In stock, 3 available
JS 96
JG 95-96
RJ 95-96

92 points Wine Spectator: Bright and creamy, this well-balanced Champagne offers flavors of white peach, pear, candied grapefruit zest and pastry, joined by a briny hint of oyster shell. The firm acidity presents itself as a lively zestiness that is very appealing. Drink now through 2020. (11/30/11) ...

WS 92
AM 92
WA 92
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Dhondt/Jose Blanc de Blancs Champagne Grande Reserve Grand Cru NV  (#13150)

Non-Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
WS 92
AM 92
WA 92
NEW ITEM
$41.95
$64.00
Save $22.05 (34%)64.00
Save $22.05 (34%)

93 points The Champagne Guide: A merry celebration of the freshness of Cuis, the quintessential apéritif and one of the most pristine champagnes for its price. Impeccable phenolic maturity without high sugar levels in 2010, made for one of Cuis' great vintages. It sings with crystalline purity of… ...

TCG 93
AM 93
JH 93
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Gimonnet Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne Cuvee Cuis 1er Cru NV  (#321598)

Non-Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France

750ml Bottle | In stock, 11 available
TCG 93
AM 93
JH 93
$47.95
$55.00
Save $7.05 (13%)55.00
Save $7.05 (13%)

20/20 points La Revue du Vin de France: Nose of plum, malt, linden, chamomile and quince eau-de-vie. The unique palate explore the terra incognita of champagne flavors. Incomparable. Disgorged in March 2013. Dosage: 3 g/l. 3,000 bottles. (Dec 2014) ...

RJ 94-95
WA 93
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Selosse Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne 2003  (#322811)

Vintage Sparkling Wine from Montagne de Reims, Champagne, France

750ml Bottle | In stock, 4 available

91 points John Gilman (View From the Cellar): ...60% chardonnay and 20% each of pinot noir and pinot meunier. The lovely bouquet offers up a mix of apple, pear, warm bread, a fine base of soil tones, a touch of orange peel and a gently floral topnote... deep, full-bodied and wound fairly tight, with… ...

JG 91
IWC 90
WS 90
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Gobillard/Bruno Brut Champagne NV  (#325230)

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

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
JG 91
IWC 90
WS 90
$48.95
$55.00
Save $6.05 (11%)55.00
Save $6.05 (11%)

96 points Tyson Stelzer (The Champagne Guide): (90% pinot noir and 10% chardonnay from Bouzy; fermented and matured 6-8 months in barrel; 7 g/L dosage)... Immaculate lemon and red cherry fruit is seamlessly entwined with brioche, uniting the taut focus of malic acidity with the creamy silkiness of… ...

TCG 96
JG 93
AG 92
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Camille Saves Brut Champagne Cuvee Anais Jolicoeur Grand Cru 2008  (#328517)

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

750ml Bottle | In stock, 1 available
TCG 96
JG 93
AG 92
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