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Champagne, Reims and Environs

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  • 290. Champagne AC NV Brut, Sainte Anne

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    Chartogne-Taillet

    65% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay (12% alc.)

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    This is a lovely, delicate style of champagne (22g/l instead of the more typical 24g/l for the secondary fermentation), showing very pure citrus fruits with good energy, a hint of quince, brioche and a saline, mineral flavour. It comes from 30-year-old vines planted in sandstone, clay and chalk in Merfy and is made 60% from the 2013 vintage, 40% from 2012. Disgorged in Oct 2016 with a 5.5g/l dosage. For drinking now to 2019.

  • 291. Champagne AC 2013 Extra Brut Couarres-Château

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    Chartogne-Taillet

    100% Pinot Noir (12% alc.)

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    One of two single vineyard champagnes from Alexandre that he produces in very limited quantities, the pinot noir vines here were planted in 1987, in a parcel where there is 60cm of tufa over limestone. This is the third vintage released, aged in 3-6yo barrels with 22g/l for the secondary fermentation. While it shows an intensity and energy typical of 2013, it remains graceful and subtly poised, driven by its tense, pungent minerality. Its elegantly fragrant notes of red cherry, nectarine and pear persist with excellent length on the finish, anchored by a pronounced salinity.  2g/l dosage. VLQ. Available September. For drinking now to 2022.

  • 292. Champagne AC 2013 Extra Brut Les Barres

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    Chartogne-Taillet

    100% Pinot Meunier (12% alc.)

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    From a tiny parcel of ungrafted meunier vines planted in 1952 that were never touched by phylloxera, this was fermented entirely in 3-6yo oak barrels. It’s elegantly textured and sleekly built, marked by a graceful tension and a resonant briny signature of sandy soils. It unfolds on the palate with subtle layers of flavour, persisting with refined harmony and excellent length. 2 g/l dosage. VLQ. Available September. For drinking now to 2022.

  • 293. Champagne Rosé AC Brut

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    Chartogne-Taillet

    60% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir (12% alc.)

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    A delicate salmon pink, this champagne comes from the 2014 vintage and was aged in a mix of stainless steel and barrels. 15% pinot noir still wine from Orizeaux was assembled to give the colour and it was disgorged in Jan 2018. It is a very elegant rosé, with nuanced, layered red cherry and redcurrant fruit, underlined by subtle notes from the soil. The dosage of 6g/l suits perfectly.

  • 294. Champagne AC NV Non Dosé, Le Mont Benoit

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    Emmanuel Brochet

    50% Pinot Meunier, 25% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay (12% alc.)

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    This comes from 38 year old vines on a south-east facing hillside in Villers-aux-Noeuds. It is made from a base of 80% 2013. Aged in new to 12 year old barrels for 11 months, it was then given two and a half years sur lattes before disgorging with a dosage of 4g/l. The malolactic fermentations have been completed. It feels vivid and vibrant in its energy, and is intensely expressive of its terroir, not only in its briny, oyster-shell minerality but also in its rich body. Limited quantity. For drinking now to 2021.

  • 295. Champagne 1er Cru AC (2015) Extra Brut Les Prés Dieu

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    Guillaume Sergent

    100% Chardonnay (12% alc.)

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    Guillaume produces two champagnes from just 1.5h. This is made sourced from two parcels that are harvested and pressed together:  Les Prés in Vrigny, an east-facing vineyard on sandy soils, and Les Vignes Dieu, a south-facing parcel in Coulommes that’s a little chalkier in composition. The wine was vinified entirely in 3-7yo 228ltr to 500ltr demi-muids although it only spent four months in wood before bottling. Malos were completed and 23g/l was used for the secondary. It was disgorged after 16 months on its lees in April 2017 with 1g/l dosage. The quality of the base material is immediately evident, most notably in the wine’s finesse and its elegant expression of minerality. The fragrant floral fruitiness typical of sandy soils is expressed here is gracefully balanced and intensely site-expressive, and despite its youth, it already demonstrates a fine complexity and detail. This is an exciting wine and will benefit from further ageing. For drinking now to 2020. 92 points Antonio Galloni vinous.com.

  • 296. Champagne 1er Cru AC (2015) Extra Brut Chemin des Chappes

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    Guillaume Sergent

    50% Pinot Noir, 50% Pinot Meunier (12% alc.)

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    Sergent's (2015) Chemin des Chappes from vines planted by selection massale in 1972 and 1982 in limestone/ sandy soils in Vrigny exudes tension, energy and pure class. The white orchard fruit, crushed rock and floral notes are beautifully focused. Aged as Les Prés Dieu above this is an especially vibrant, salivating style for a Pinot-based champagne, with more breadth and power than the chardonnay and yet all the elements are impeccably balanced throughout.  1 g/l dosage. 92 points Antonio Galloni.

  • 297. Champagne 1er Cru NV Brut Herie Hodie

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    Roger Coulon

    40% Pinot Meunier, 35% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay. (12.5% alc.)

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    The cuvee Heri Hodie comes from the vineyards of Vrigny, Pargny and Coulommes, all Premier Cru Villages of the Montagne de Reims. All grapes have been aged in cuve, the malolactic fermentation is completed and the wine spent three years sur lattes. The majority of Meunier gives the perfect combination between fruity notes, strength and lightness.It has a very delicate but creamy mousse with fine bubbles. Very expressive on the nose, with candied fruits notes. Nicely balanced, with toasted notes, apricot and pear, this is a real crowd pleaser. The dosage of 6g/l is perfectly suiting the juice and the finish is evolving into spicy notes, typical from the Meunier. For drinking now to 2019.

  • 298. Champagne 1er Cru NV Brut Reserve de L’Hommée

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    Roger Coulon

    33% Pinot Meunier, 33% Pinot Noir, 33% Chardonnay (12.5% alc.)

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    L'Hommée is a former agricultural measure used before the time of Napoleon equivalent to the surface of vines that a man could work in one day: one Hommée equals 3.33a (333m2). Réserve de l'Hommée is made with the domaine’s oldest parcels which were once measured in this way. This cuvee comes from the two Premier Cru Villages of Vrigny and Pargny les Reims. The Chardonnay has been aged in oak barrels for seven months whereas the PN and the PM have been aged in cuve. The malos are completed and the wine spent five years sur lattes. Here again, the mousse is very subtle with tiny bubbles. The nose brings notes of brioche, cherry, raspberry, spices and vanilla. The mouth is precise and balanced. Long and complex finish, with notes of citrus fruit and apple. The dosage of 3g/l is low enough to let the firm minerality sit in the foreground with the fruit playing a supporting role. For drinking now to 2020.

  • 299. Champagne AC Extra-Brut, Les Béguines

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    La Closerie, Jérôme Prévost

    90% Pinot Meunier, 10% Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris & Chardonnay (12.5% alc.)

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    The initial still wine from the 2015 vintage was oak aged in new to thirteen year old barrels for ten months, before being bottled and then disgorged 17 months later in December 2016, at which point 2g/l dosage was added. Rich, vinous, dense, complex and extremely long on the palate but all the time beautifully fresh and balanced. For drinking now to 2020.

  • 300. Champagne Rosé AC Extra-Brut, Fac-Simile

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    La Closerie, Jérôme Prévost

    90% Pinot Meunier, 10% Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris & Chardonnay (12.5% alc.)

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    Jérôme has made this extremely delicately coloured, fine rosé by the addition of one barrel of pinot meunier red wine aged for 11 months and then gently fused and married with the white wine – the idea of doing a saignée by leaving the juice in contact with the skins for 24 hours just for the sake of colour was anathema to him. It’s an extremely fine example with layers of delicately perfumed spiced red fruits and an incredible textural finesse. Disgorged with a 2g/l dosage. For drinking now to 2021.