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*Offsite events are contracted to and coordinated by a 3rd party, and are in no way affiliated with Chambers Street Wines.
While we are of the opinion that one could drink beautiful grower Champagne every night (what wine pairs better with more foods, after all?), we are aware that the majority of Champagne will be purchased and drunk during the holiday season. We at Chambers Street Wines are truly blessed to work with a wonderful array of growers (not only in Champagne) who work organically and biodynamically in the vines and with restaint in the cellar. And while bubbles drive nearly everything in the Champagne, there are a number of truly compelling Coteaux Champenois wines from growers in the Marne and Aube that offer an equally fascinating expressions of the varied terroirs of the region. Below are some Champagnes (and still wines) from our favorite growers which, in addition to being delicious, display the interplay between tradition and terroir. It’s no accident most of the wines we love best are farmed organically or biodynamically. John McIlwain
80% Pinot Noir, 20% Pinot Blanc, organically farmed, fermented with native yeasts. 2016 & 2015 base with 20% reserve wines from a perpetual cuvée. Disgorged 2020. Zero dosage. The base 2016 Metisse is perfumed in the glass with lovely aromas of apple blossoms, pear skin, wet stone and rainwater. The palate is supple and lithe, with ripe stone fruit and beeswax notes astride a firm chalky core. John McIlwian
I have a not so secret love for the wines from Rosé des Riceys, a wine of (sun) kings we are told and a wine for gourmands who love the effusive bouquet, finely grained structure, weightless intensity, and startling persistence. Excellent farming and assiduous vinification by the affable Horiots results in rosé (not to mention Coteaux and Champagnes) of fabulous terroir expression, ageability, and flat out deliciousness. And while a still rosé from Champagne north of $50 may seem extravagant, please be assured these are wines of terroir and worthy of cellaring, especially those from Chez Horiot.
We continue to be dazzled by the striking purity and expressiveness of the Dominique Moreau's wines. They show great balance between pure fruit and mineral detail with an ineffable suavity that tugs at the heart. Comprised of 100% biodynamically farmed Pinot Noir and vinified with native years for the initial fermentation in addition to the prise de mousse and bottled without sulfur, this is a splendid natural Champagne full of red fruit and Pinot spice as well as a broad supple palate derived from the clay limestone soils and warmer Aube climate. John McIlwain
100% Pinot Noir from Kimmeridgean Limestone aged in amphora , no sulfur added. This rare and beautiful still wine from Dominique Moreau offers a vibrant expression of the terroir of Polisot in the Aube. Farming is organic and biodynamic.
Comprised of 1/3 Chardonnay, 1/3 Pinot Noir, 1/3 Pinot Meunier. With a 2012 base with reserve wines. Aged on lees for 6 years. Disgorged July 2019. Bottled without dosage, this still has a fine sense of energy and depth on the palate due to great farming and long lees-aging. The nose tends towards orchard fruit, citrus peel, and pear skin, with fine biscuity after-aromas. The palate shows a fine bead and with a good balance of concentration, minerality, and a bracing, zesty finish.
From 80 year-old ungrafted Chardonnay vines--one of the only ungrafted vineyards in Champagne. Vinified in used barrique, no malo, very low sulfur, bottled without dosage. The current disgorgement spent 14 years and 9 months on the lees. From the sandy soils of Les Sables in Oeuilly, the 2004 Vigne d'Antan has a pale yellow gold robe with an ultrafine bead. The nose offers an array of stone fruit and citrus blossom aromas with fine notes of brioche and sea spray. The palate is ripe on the attack with a muscular mineral character and fine cut and a core of stony intensity that culminates on a bracing, mouthwatering finish. The balance of energy and earthy depth to this Champagne is compelling and beckons sip after sip. Highly recommended. John McIlwain
How's this for the true Champagne freak? Champagne Tarlant has packaged a trio of 2019 Coteaux Champenois Blancs. Contains the following wines: Tarlant 19 Coteaux Champenois Blanc "Pierre de Bellevue," 100% Pinot Meunier planted in 1947 from the clay/limestone plot that produces La Vigne d'Or. Tarlant 19 Coteaux Champenois Blanc "L'Enclume," 100% Chardonnay from sandy soils with flint planted in 1970. Tarlant 19 Coteaux Champenois Blanc "Les Crayons," 100% Pinot Noir planted in the late 1940s in clay limestone soils. This offers a fine opportunity to explore a single vintage across three different varieties and three different terroirs.