We’ve worked hard to access many great producers from across the width and breadth of Champagne. In doing so, we’re able to demonstrate just how diverse this region can be.
This case, focussing solely on Chardonnay, takes you on a journey from Montagne de Reims in the north, all the way down to the southernmost tip of the chalky extension, Montgueux. Discover the subtleties of each individual terroir through six of our favourite examples of this venerable grape variety, each as delicious as the next, but all delightfully unique.
We start our journey in the heart of the Champagne region, just a few kilometers east of the capital, Epernay, in the village of Chouilly. A Grand Cru village, it sits at the very top of the Côte des Blancs and is renowned for its creamy, rich wines that age beautifully. Idee de Voyage is a stonker! Aromatic, rich and intense. It properly grips the lateral palate and holds it brilliantly. Loads of pink grapefruit with a sprinkle of sugar and exotic fruit. Fantastic!
A two hour journey south from here sits a beautiful village, just north of the village of Troyes, in the last outcrop of chalk this side of Champagne. It is a magical spot to view from the south, with a perfect south-easterly aspect to capture all that delightful morning and early afternoon sun! Helene Beaugrand has created a wonderful wine in Cuvee Gustave; a rich, vinous and engaging Champagne, with sweet vanilla undertones gained from 18 months in oak. On a side note, Helene’s family were the first to plant vineyards in the village back in the 1920s.
We race back to the Côte des Blancs then head even further north and east to the village of Villers Marmery for our next bottle. Sitting on one of the most easterly points of the Montagne de Reims, this village is famous in the region for Chardonnay, creating beautiful fruit that you just don’t find anywhere else, and none does it better than Henriet Bazin, with their amazing Marie-Amelie 2012. Made from three different vineyards and vinified in steel, it is a precise and juicy, chalky bomb of a wine with an amazing drive and finish.
Remaining in the Côte des Blancs, this time it’s a blend of three spectacular villages; Mesnil sur Oger (one of my personal favourites), Chouilly and Oiry. You can’t get a better blend than that! The wine shows a delicious expression of crisp green apple and lemon alongside brioche, honey and butter.
Travelling to Montgueux in the very south of the region, we get to enjoy a very different style of Chardonnay from a venerable village. Benoit produces this beautiful wine solely from reserve wines (a process very rarely used in Champagne) and the result is like a coiled spring releasing, with an explosion of warm floral and apple flavours alongside a chalky palate and a fantastic hit of bitter lemon on the finish.
We finish our journey back in the heart of the Côte des Blancs but this time in the village of Oger, with a brand new producer, Domaine Vincey. Their Première is made from vineyards located in the heart of the village and is vinified in both barrels and steel. The wine is a real stunner and the perfect pick for the last in the case. The nose grabs you with its Burgundian edge. The palate is delightfully rich and engaging with a powerful, salty and intense mid to late, whilst the finish is crisp and long.