Marie – Courtin, Eloquence, Extra Brut, Blanc de Blancs. 750mL $66
This rare Biodynamic Champagne comes from the village of Polisot in the Côte des Bars. It is 100% Chardonnay which gives it a stunning clean, green apple and citrusy crisp flavor.
Vouette & Sorbée, Fidèle, Extra Brut, 750mL $64
This Certified Biodynamic Champagne is from the Aube’s Côte des Bar. It is 100% Pinot Noir and vinified in oak barriques which gives it a very unique and fuller flavor profile.
TH & V Demarne-Frison, Lalore, Brut Nature, Blanc de Blancs, Magnum - 1500mL $127
This Champagne was only imported in Magnum size, so it’s big and ready to party!!! The initials on the label stands for Thierry Demarne and his wife Valerie Frison who have been farming Biodynamically for years, and until just recently were selling their juice to a cooperative. This is one of their first releases and it blew us away.
Chartogne-Taillet "Les Barres" Extra Brut
This Champagne from Chartogne-Taillet is from their single vineyard ‘Les Barres’ . This a 100% old-vine Pinot Meunier on ungrafted roots
2004 Diebolt-Vallois Fleur de Passion
This 2004 Vintage Champagne is a Blanc de Blancs sourced from 100% Grand Cru vineyards.
Not finding what you’re looking for? We are Champagne geeks and can help you find a bottle in any price range. Just drop us a line.
“Champagne is on the verge of profound change. There is a growing realization in the region that its viticulture has become slovenly and the subtleties of its terroir have been neglected. The era of great growers and great vineyards is just beginning.” ~Andrew Jefford, The New France
“Terroir” and “grower champagne” are two of the hottest terms in the wine world these days, and for good reason. In the past, champagne was never enough about itself and far too much about big companies, big jets, big ad campaigns, big production, and most importantly, big blends. As Robert Rogness, wine director at Wine Expo in Santa Monica, says, "The best champagnes often cost much less than the most famous champagnes because the price of fame is so high." Champagne is generally blended each year to a specific house style, with big houses purchasing grapes from growers all over the Champagne region to blend. Not exactly conducive to terroir, or individual expression, right? Hey, we’re not complaining—bathe me in Krug, suffocate me with Salon! However, while magnificent at the high end and totally drinkable at the low, these house blends provide little interest for us champagne geeks with more lint than Benjamins in our pockets, and they provide no insight into Champagne’s stunning variety of expression, or terroir. Enter grower champagnes like our December selection, which “will kick Krug’s butt any day of the week,” as our importer, Gabriel, so eloquently put it. Well, it’s definitely a better value, as most grower champagnes are, and it really speaks of its terroir. By the way, to spot a grower champagne, look for RM (recoltant-manipulant, or grower-producer) on the label.
This month’s grower champagne is from the village of Rilly-la-Montagne, where the Chauvet family dates back to the 16th century. In the town church’s graveyard a stone plaque inscribed in old French bears the name Nicolas Chauvet, Rilly viticulturist, buried there in 1529. Now 500 years later brother-and-sister team Nicolas and Clothilde carry on the family tradition. Nicolas, dedicated to sustainable viticulture, tends the vines, and Clothilde makes the wine. For the Chauvet family, respect of the environment is of utmost importance. Nicolas applies his principles of "viticulture raisonnée," spraying only when absolutely necessary. Classified a "premier cru,” Rilly-la-Montagne is one of the oldest, biggest champagne-producing villages. We know you’ll love this terroir-driven sparkler that’s been handcrafted from vine to bottle by the Chauvet family, whose history in the region is as distinct and special as their champagne. This particular blend is 70% from the 2004 vintage, but the remaining third comes from a number of older vintages, lending depth of character to this refined brut.
Our second holiday selection also hails from a small, family-owned estate winery, Gifford-Hirlinger, run by the Berghan family. Stateline Red comes entirely from estate fruit, which means the product remains in total control of the grower-producer, from vine to wine. Only 500 cases of this wine were made, and the family uses very low-input viticulture by spraying, like the Chauvets, only when absolutely necessary. Winemaker Mike Berghan ages this red 23 months in neutral oak resulting in a plush, smooth, fruit- forward wine with no rough edges. It’s not hard to appreciate the incredible quality and value of this Washington State red from Walla Walla. Cheers!
Crispy Fried Onion Rings
There’s something about the crispy, fragrant onions that compliment a glass of Champagne. If deep frying in your kitchen doesn’t sit well with you, at least try this pairing by ordering some onion rings to go from a nearby restaurant.
2 large Walla Walla Sweet onions, cut into 1/4 thick slices
2 cups flour
2 cups milk
2 tsp baking powder
2 cups Panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
2 tsp salt
1 quart oil for frying. Vegetable oil is fine.
Salt for seasoning
Heat oil in deep fryer or large pot (big diameter is better). In a bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and salt. Separate onion slices into rings. Coat onion slices in flour mixture; set aside. Whisk egg and milk into remaining flour mixture. Dip floured rings into batter to coat, then gently press Panko onto rings. Carefully drop a few rings at a time into hot oil. Set cooked rings onto paper towels and season with salt.
Marc Chauvet Champagne
1/3 Pinot Noir, 1/3 Pinot Meunier, and 1/3 Chardonnay
Region:Rilly-la-Montagne, Chapagne, France
This dry-style grower champagne achieves good balance and a strong, spicy finish. The current blend consists of 30% aged reserve wines with a third each from the usual suspects: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. It’s fully complex with some subtle nuances on the nose, nice sized bubbles, and a delicate balance of yeast and fresh citrus.
50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 50% merlot
Region: Walla Walla, Washington
Each year we pilgrimage to Walla Walla to visit the dynamic father and son duo who put smiles on our faces while they stain our teeth. Expect a well-balanced mouthful of ripe, sweet blackberry fruit, moderate tannins, and a solid, lengthy finish. It’s ready to be quaffed now and will pair well with all your holiday roasts, though it’s also soft enough to complement lighter meats.