Current Champagne Coups de Cœur

krug-caskanselme-selosse jean-hervet-chicquet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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In order of preference

Champagne Krug, Reims

In my view, the best there is, from the “regular“ Grande Cuvée to the vintage to the Clos du Mesnil. The Rosé is a bit more expensive than it should be, and the Clos d’Ambonnay is much more expensive than it should be, yet this is hands down the very top.

Champagne Jacques Selosse, Avize

Probably the most skillful and innovative récoltant-manipulant working today; not inexpensive but worth it, especially if someone else is paying.

Champagne Salon, Le Mesnil sur Oger

Salon is a top classic collectible, steely and very fine, but takes a long time to come around.

Champagne Bollinger, Aÿ

One of the greats; Vieilles Vignes Françaises is the top cuvée, yet the RD is also superb and the Grande Année vintage is a solid value.

Dom Pérignon, Épernay

The inimitable classic and one of the best champagnes for aging, full stop.

**

In alphabetical order

Champagne Agrapart et Fils, Avize

Tremendous blanc de blancs champagnes with great expression of terroir

Champagne Diebolt Vallois, Cramant

Probably my favorite Blanc de Blancs that I can afford to drink (i.e. ex Krug Clos du Mesnil and Salon); the entire range is very solid.

Champagne Egly-Ouriet, Ambonnay

A leader of the “grower” revolution, producing rich, nuanced wines of great complexity and ageability. Try the VP (Vieillissement Prolongé) for maximum effect.

 Champagne Jacquesson, Dizy

Lovely champagne generally ; the 7xx series is very good, and the lieux-dits are even better

Champagne Pierre Paillard, Bouzy

One of the top growers in the Montagne de Reims – elegant, refined and vinous all at the same time. Superb wines.

Champagne Philipponnat, Mareuil-sur-Aÿ

Clos des Goisses is superb (on a par with the *** wines); the Blanc de Blancs is also worthy and the rest of the production continues to improve.

Champagne Louis Roederer, Reims

Sold Grande Marque-style juice throughout the range, but the vintage is very good and the Cristal can be exquisite.

Champagne Tarlant, Oeuilly

Tarlant père is one of the éminences grises in the region; a fabulous innovator and one should try them all: Cuvée Louis + the “terroirs” range are all great.

*

In alphabetical order

Champagne Ayala, Aÿ

Extra Brut Cuvées are very good, solid quality throughout; best is Perle d’Ayala

Champagne Paul Bara, Bouzy

A marvelous producer of vinous, powerful wines from the Montagne de Reims and one of the kings of rosé.

Champagne Françoise Bedel, Crouttes-sur-Marne

One of the better organic producers

Champagne Bérèche et fils, Ludes

One of the young stars of the region, based in the Montagne de Reims. Lovely wines, particularly the Brut Vintage « Le Cran »

Champagne Billecart-Salmon, Mareuil-sur-Ay

Rose is very popular but not at the top of my list; the best here is the cuvée NF – drinks like a prestige cuvée for much less money. Also deservedly known for the Clos Saint-Hillaire.

Champagne Emmanuel Brochet, Villers-aux-Noeuds

For the marvelous Brut NV Le Mont Benoit

Champagne Gaston Chicquet, Dizy

For the Blanc de Blancs d’Aÿ and the Special Club.

Champagne Chartogne-Taillet, Merfy

For the Brut Vintage « Couarres Château »

Champagne La Closerie, Gueux

Making exquisite champagnes with a modest terroir and a load of Meunier.

Champagne Veuve Clicquot

Especially for its Cave Privée vintage offerings

Champagne André Clouet, Bouzy

Cuvée 1911 is a rising star – a domaine to watch

Champagne Marie Courtin, Polisot

Not just another trendy organic producer from the Aube, Dominique Moreau is making great wine.

Champagne R. H. Coutier, Ambonnay

The other King of rosé, really; a small producer to watch for

Champagne Domaine Dehours et Fils, Mareuil-le-Port

One of the great promoters of champagnes de terroir – there are a number of very interesting single vineyard expressions here.

Champagne Benoit Déhu, Fossoy

For the Brut NV « La Rue des Noyers »

Champagne Delamotte, Le Mesnil sur Oger

Delamotte is a good solid level, best with the blanc de blancs

Champagne Pascal Doquet, Vertus

Solid, structured blanc de blancs. The vintage is particularly successful, as is the Brut NV « Mesnil Dispason »

Champagne Doyard, Vertus

A marvelous property – a cousin of Marie Doyard from André Jacquart who is making a rich, silky style of champagne.

Champagne Drappier, Urville

Under-rated mid-size house in the Aube.  A diverse, rewarding range, but best for the Brut Vintage « Grande Sendrée »

Champagne Fleury, Courteron

A good source for organic champagnes

Champagne Veuve Fourney et Fils, Vertus

A worthy mid-sized house based in Vertus. Best for the Brut Vintage

Champagne Pierre Gerbais, Celles-sur-Ource

The young generation is taking over at this Aube producer and they’re making great wines. They have a very interesting 100% Pinot Blanc

Champagne Pierre Gimmonet et Fils, Cuis

Cuvée Gastronome and the Special Club are both very interesting

Champagne Alfred Gratien, Épernay

Pleasant all around but particularly good for the Cuvée de Paradis

Champagne Charles Heidsieck, Reims

Above all for the Blanc des Millénaires; Brut Millésimé also good , and even the Brut NV is good in a grand marque style.

Champagne Olivier Horiot, Les Riceys

For the Brut Vitnage « 5 Sens » and the Brut Vintage Rosé de Saignée « En Barmont » as well as the Coteaux Champenois

Champagne André Jacquart, Vertus

One of the brilliant lesser-known gems from the Côte des Blancs. The vintage wines are sheer genius.

Champagne Laherte Frères, Chavot

Pleasant throughout the range, but particularly the rosé de saignée (not usually my cup of tea, but this one is very good) and the very interesting “Les 7” with all of the heritage grape varieties used.

Champagne Lancelot-Pienne, Cramant

Great Cramant grower, best for the Brut Vintage Cuvée Marie Lancelot

Champagne Larmandier-Bernier, Vertus

Vieilles Vignes de Cramant is superb. Also one of the top Coteaux Champenois out there

Champagne Jacques Lassaigne, Montgueux

Magic “parcellaires”: individual site and unique one-offs.  A definite must-taste

Champagne Marie-Noëlle Ledru, Ambonnay

A tiny grower making powerful, vinous wines. The vintage will age for years; best is the « Cuvée de Goulté »

A.R. Lenoble, Damery

Above all for the Chouilly Grand Cru Blanc de Blanc; a strong range throughout.

Champagne Lilbert et Fils, Cramant

The less-fizzy « Perle » is one of the best of the old crémant style

Champagne Serge Mathieu, Avirey-Lingey

One of the stars of the Côte des Bars; heavy on the Pinot – try the extra brut.

Champagne Nicolas Maillart, Ecueil

The vintage is very good, and the blanc de noirs planted « franc de pied » is interesting as well.

Champagne Mailly Grand Cru, Mailly

Great value co-op from the Montagne de Reims.

Champagne Sadi Malot, Villers-Marmery

Best for the Brut Vintage

Champagne José Michel, Moussy

Solid, stylish wines with a base of old Meunier vines; the best are Brut Vintage « Spécial Club » and the Brut NV « Père Houdart

Champagne G. H. Mumm, Reims

For the Mumm de Cramant, one of the unsung greats

Champagne Hubert Paulet, Rilly-la-Montagne

Charming, structured, elegant : try the Risléus

Champagne Pierre Péters, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger

His special club is very special indeed; the Chétillons is superb.

Champagne Pol Roger, Épernay

Above all for the Cuvée Winston Churchill ; Extra Brut is good, but for me the Brut NV is a bit too sweet

Champagne Roses de Jeanne, Celles sur Ource

Top quality – very structured, weighty wines that still retain their elegance.

Champagne Ruinart, Reims

For the Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blancs

Champagne Ruppert-Leroy, Essoyes

For Les Cognaux

Champagne Daniel Savart, Ecueil

Very good but almost aggressively tart. Structured and powerful.

Champagne Taittinger, Reims

Above all for Comtes de Champagne ; Folie de la Marqueterie is interesting and Nocturne is strikingly good sec.

Champagne Vilmart et Cie, Rilly

Another classic Montagne de Reims producer. Look for the Cœur de Cuvée.

Very Worthy

In alphabetical order

Champagne Corbon : « Brut d’Autrefois »
Champagne Vincent Couche : « Montgueux »
Champagne Dosnon « Alliae »
Champagne Nathalie Falmet : « ZH 302 V »
Champagne René Geoffroy : Coteaux
Champagne Henri Giraud « Fût de Chêne »
Champange Gosset : « Celebris »
Champagne Laurent Perrier : « Grand Siècle »
Champagne David Léclapart « l’Artiste »
Robert Moncuit : « Les Chétillons »
Champagne Perseval : « Grande Cuvée »
Champagne Pouillon : « Les Blanchiens »
Champagne Perrier-Jouët : « Belle Epoque »
Champagne De Sousa « Cuvée des Caudelies »
Champagne Soutiran « Collection Privée »

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