Indispensable Champagne

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Champagne drinking has always been a part of all festive events and changing this habit for the end of 2020 is not an option. Here are some producers offering excellent bottles to enjoy as an aperitif or with a meal. White, rosé, brut, extra-brut, vintage or not, there is something for all tastes and at all prices. A good way to forget the gloomy environment, the calamitous handling of the never-ending Covid epidemic, the green ayatollahs who want to deprive us of Christmas trees or the lack of nightlife in towns

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 Champagne Janisson-Baradon
Our favorite. This producer located in Epernay offers a wide choice of high quality champagnes. We particularly like its three Extra Brut, single-plot and mono-varietal cuvées which are rich, well-balanced, elegant and complex.
- Toulette 2010
A 100% Chardonnay from vines over 50 years old vinified in oak barrels. Nose of white and citrus fruits. In mouth white and citrus fruits flavors are combined with hints of flint and a light woody note. Very nice length. Price: €61.
- Conges 2012
A 100% Pinot Meunier aged in oak barrels. Nose of cooked and smoked apples. Round palate with citrus and pastry flavors as well as woody and spicy notes. Price: €61
- Tue Boeuf 2014
A 100% Pinot Noir vinified in barrels and concrete eggs. Lively nose with toasted, candied citrus and apple notes. Flavors of grape and cherry on the palate with hints of brioche, spice and hazelnut. Price: €61
We also like two other cuvées.
- 7C
This Extra brut is made in equal parts from the seven Champagne grape varieties, the famous Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay, plus the little known Pinot Blanc, also called Blanc Vrai, Pinot Gris, Petit Meslier and Arbanne. Very complex, it has a nose of white flowers and citrus accompanied by herbaceous notes while the ample mouth delivers flavors of white and yellow fruits, pastry notes and a subtle touch of mint. Price: €45.
- Rosé de Saignée 2015
Very expressive and delicious 100% Pinot Noir saignée method rosé. Nose of small red fruits and pink grapefruit, almost crunchy on the palate of cherry and plum. Price: €35

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 Champagne Nathalie Falmet
Another crush for this small winery located on the Côte des Bar whose champagnes are all rich, complex and finely chiselled.
- Brut Nature
An elegant and complex Blanc de Noirs. Blackberry and quince nose with a hint of citrus. Mineral palate with flavors of small red fruits mingling with pastry, toasted notes and a slightly salty finish. Price: around €30
- Le Val Cornet 2014
Brut, a blend of 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Pinot Meunier from a single plot half vinified in barrels. Rich, elegant and very complex. Apple and red berry nose with subtle notes of vanilla. Lightly buttery on the palate with flavors of red berries, apricot, brioche, hazelnut and a salty finish with hints of honey. Price: around €60.
- Terra
Zero dosage, Blanc de blancs vinified in amphorae. Rich and very complex. Nose of apples and candied citrus fruits. Palate of white fruits with honey and spicy notes. Price: around 70 €
- Solera
Blend of 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Chardonnay from a perpetual reserve of seven harvests. Delicious and complex. Quince and citrus nose. Baked apple, white and yellow fruits on the palate with toasted notes. Price: around €70

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 Champagne Drappier
Well-known producer of the Côte des Bar, this House offers a both new and traditional cuvées.

- Quattuor
An original Extra brut Blanc de blancs cuvée as it combines Chardonnay with three unusual grape varieties, Arbanne, Petite Meslier and Blanc Vrai. Very complex. Nose mingling grapes, green apple, yellow fruits and citrus fruits. Yellow fruit and citrus on the palate with a pastry touch, notes of hazelnuts and almonds. Price: €55.

- Clarevallis
The latest cuvee released. Organic Extra brut blend of 75% Pinot Noir, 10% Pinot Meunier and 10% Blanc Vrai. Mineral nose with notes of violets. Well balanced palate with white fruits, citrus fruits and acacia honey flavors mingled with pastry, almond and white pepper notes. Price: €35.

- Grande Sendrée 2009
Drappier’s emblematic cuvee. Rich and complex. Blend of 45% Chardonnay and 55% Pinot Noir for 1/3 aged in barrels. Nose of white and citrus fruits with a hint of pepper and a touch of brioche. Palate of candied citrus fruits and yellow fruits with notes of toasted brioche, almonds and honey. Price: €45

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 Chassenay d'Arce
This cooperative bringing together winegrowers from ten villages of the Arce Valley is another producer with a well-established reputation in the Côte des Bars.
- Pinot Blanc 2012
Extra brut. One of the very rare champagnes exclusively made with this grape variety. Rich and complex. Nose of white fruits with a touch of almond. White fruit and rhubarb on the palate, with notes of citrus and toasted brioche. Price: € 45.90

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 Champagne De Sousa
Small renowned champagne house located in Avize, all of whose vines, are often over 50 years old and all classified Grand Cru
- Cuvée Caudalie
Organic Extra brut Grand cru Blanc de blancs from old vines, a blend of base wine and a solera-type perpetual reserve aged in oak barrels. Very complex, very elegant. Fruity nose with woody notes. Palate combining yellow fruits, citrus fruits and brioche with hints of almonds. Price: €48.

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 Champagne Gimonnet Gonet
Small winery from the Côte des Blancs renowned for its Blancs de blancs Grand Cru.
- Identity 2013
Brut Grand Cru Blanc de blancs. Blend of two Grands Crus from the Côte des Blancs, Cramant and Mesnil-sur-Oger. Mineral nose with aromas of apple and citrus. Complex and creamy palate with citrus and grape flavors combined with hints of hazelnut, a salty touch and a refreshing hint of bitterness on the finish. Price: €33

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 Champagne Gonet Sulcova
Producer based in Epernay with vineyards in the Grands Crus area of the Côte des Blancs but also in the Aube, in the Côte des Bar.
- Extra Brut Grand Cru.
100% Chardonnay fine and elegant. Nose of white flowers and citrus fruits with brioche notes. Mineral palate with citrus and white fruits flavors. Price: €25.
- Rosé Sakura
100% Pinot Noir Extra brut rosé fine and complex. Redcurrant nose with a hint of citrus. Fruity mouth with cherry and strawberry flavours. Price: €26.
- Cuvée Gaia 2010
Selection of Chardonnay from the Grand Cru of Mesnil-sur-Oger aged in oak barrels. Very complex, rich and creamy. Nose of citrus and tropical fruits with vanilla notes. Mineral palate with citrus and mango flavours mingled with toasted notes. Price: €41.

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 Champagne Pertois Lebrun
Based near Epernay, this small winery produces only Blancs de blancs as its vineyards are all located on the Côte des Blancs.
- Cuvée Derrière Le Mont Aigu N ° 12
Extra brut made from a single plot of Chardonnay Grand Cru Chouilly aged 6 years on lees. Very elegant, rich and complex. Nose of white stone, white flowers and citrus fruits. Mineral and white fruits on the palate with pastry notes and a slight salinity. Price: €45.

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 Champagne H. Blin
Small cooperative of the Marne Valley located in Vincelles, near Dormans, whose vineyards are mostly planted with Pinot Meunier grape.
- Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut 100% Pinot Meunier
Complex and fine. Aromas of apricot and mirabelle plum with floral and mango notes. On the palate, yellow fruits with pastry notes and a pleasant bitterness. A champagne with a great quality-to-price ratio. Price: €20

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 Champagne Bonnaire
Family winery based in Cramant, near Epernay, in the heart of the Côte des Blancs.
- Variance
Blanc de blancs Extra Brut vinified and aged in oak barrels. Rich and very complex. Nose of white flowers and grapefruit with hints of vanilla. Ample and elegant on the palate mingling citrus fruits and toasted flavors with hints of almonds. Price: €32.

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 Champagne Prestige des Sacres
Small cooperative located in Janvry, on the Montagne de Reims.
- Cuvée 30 & 3
Extra Brut, blend of 30% Pinot Meunier vinified in barrels and 70% Chardonnay. Elegant and complex. Floral nose with notes of citrus, brioche, white fruits, acacia and vanilla. Mineral and fruity on the slightly woody palate with citrus and brioche flavors. Price: €40.

December 01, 2020
Thierry Joly