Champagne (/ʃæmˈpeɪn/, French: [ʃɑ̃paɲ]) is sparkling wine. Many people use the term Champagne as a generic term for sparkling wine but in some countries, it is illegal to label any product Champagne unless it both comes from the Champagne region and is produced under the rules of the appellation. Specifically, in the EU countries, legally only that sparkling wine which comes from the Champagne region of France can be labelled as Champagne. Where EU law applies, this alcoholic drink is produced from grapes grown in the Champagne region of France following rules that demand, among other things, secondary fermentation of the wine in the bottle to create carbonation, specific vineyard practices, sourcing of grapes exclusively from specific parcels in the Champagne appellation and specific pressing regimes unique to the region. Primarily, the grapes Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and Chardonnay are used in the production of almost all Champagne, but a tiny amount of pinot blanc, pinot gris, arbane, and petit meslier are vinified as well. Champagne appellation law allows only grapes grown according to appellation rules in specifically designated plots within the appellation to be used in the production of Champagne.
Leclerc Briant Reserve Brut NV, Epernay, France
Champagne Leclerc Briant is located 150 km east of Paris, Champagne is the French wine region renowned for producing the finest, most rich and complex sparkling wines in the world. The elegance, longevity and racy acidity of these wines are attributed to the influence of the chalky soils of the region and the cool, marginal continental climate. In the late 1940s, Champagne Leclerc Briant began using organic farming practices, and by the 1980s, the estate had obtained organic and biodynamic certifications. The Brut Reserve is rich and fresh, displaying a pale yellow color and tiny bubbles. It opens in the mouth with a rich fruitiness and a creamy effervescence that leaves a long, velvety finish. 40% Pinot Noir, 40% Pinot Meunier, 20% Chardonnay.
Pierre Moncuit Delos Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs
"The NV (2010) Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Delos is a little richer, round and creamy. Almond, lemon, oil, dried pears and flowers all flesh out in a super-inviting gorgeous wine loaded with depth and personality. A creamy, expressive finish rounds things out in this gorgeous, beautiful Champagne. This is a fabulous showing from Moncuit."
93 pts. V
J. Lasselle "Preference" Brut
Approximately 60% Pinot Meunier, 20% Chardonnay, 20% Pinot Noir The fruit tends towards high-toned white peaches intermingled with floral overtones that add further shades of nuance. This shows terrific length on the palate, with a clean, bracing finish peppered with hints of smoke and minerals. 60% Pinot Meunier, 20% Chardonnay, 20% Pinot Noir.
91 pts. JS
Besserat de Bellefon Brut
The color is a pure, bright straw yellow with copper glints. The delicate, lingering froth forms a fine creamy ring. Open on the nose. The first expression is of floral aromas and notes of dried flowers. The aromatic range reveals fruitier fragrances such as white peach and Mirabelle plum. Notes of hazelnut and praline develop at the finish. The attack is fresh and strong, then the wine reveals its full roundness, structure and smoothness. Notes of fresh fruit,
apricot, pineapple and vineyard peach. The long, racy finish promises a bright future for this elegant, classy wine.
45% Pinot Meunier, 35% Chardonnay, 20% Pinot Noir.
92 pts. WS
The wine comes from the purest grape juice and it alone allows Laurent-Perrier to craft 'La Cuvée', a champagne of great finesse and a beautiful freshness obtained after a long ageing process in our cellars. Pale gold in color. Fine bubbles feed a persistent mousse. A delicate nose with hints of fresh citrus and white flowers. The wine’s complexity is expressed in successive notes like vine peach and white fruits notes. A perfect balance between freshness and delicacy with fruity flavors very present on the finish. This fresh and pure wine is perfect for an apéritif. Its citrus and white fruits notes and its remarkable balance supported by a subtle effervescence, make it an ideal accompaniment to poultry and the finest fish.
55% Chardonnay, 35% Pinot Noir & 10% Pinot Meunier
90 pts. WS
François Montand, Brut Blanc de Blancs (NV)
A complex blend of various white grapes, mainly Colombard, Ugny blanc & Chardonnay. This wine is pale gold in color with a hint of green and fine bubbles. Creamy and smooth on the palate, with lingering aromas of freshly baked bread, golden delicous apples and Meyer lemons. Harmonious!A great way to start any meal, and it's a fine accompaniment for ceviche, salads, white fish in white sauce or simply for dessert.
Lovely pear, quince and ginger flavors cruise along, with a racy-edged mousse. A lingering hint of walnut adds range and contrast on the finish.
Wine Enthusiast Top Value Pick