When Philippe Larmandier and Elisabeth Bernier married in 1971, they established one of the best grower Champagne operations, informed by generations of winemaking history on both sides. They only use Chardonnay from the same geographic latitude, giving their wine a distinct terroir and unique mineral-driven character.
Founded by Charles Heidsieck in 1851, this traditional Champagne house presents some of the best wines in the region, being recognized by royalty and political leaders. His Réserve Rosé ages for at least five years in their cellar, making it deliciously creamy and complex while fun and fruity.
Waris Larmandier Champagne Grand Cru Extra Brut Particules Crayeuses NV
Côtes des Bar is arguably the most famous appellation in Champagne, and Pierre Brocard represents the area beautifully. Brocard wants to make wine to be enjoyed immediately, instead of stored away in the cellar. With aromas of pastry and ripe peaches, this Champagne is traditional in every sense and is sure to impress!
Old-fashioned Champagne houses often produce some of the best quality products, and Domaine Heidsieck is no different. Only using juice from the initial grape pressing, this Champagne is concentrated in flavor and body. Hints of brioche with a vivacious acidity make it age-worthy, but don’t let that stop you from popping it now.
Piollot Champagne Rose Extra Brut Les Protelles 2018
Almost every champagne consists of a combination of three grapes: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. Yan Vadin’s rosé, however, has just a splash of a hyper-local grape called Cumiéres Rouge, named for the village in which his domaine is based. Floral and lush, this exemplifies Yan’s love for his hometown.
Of the 50 hectares owned by the family that runs Poderi Giordano, only five are dedicated to vines. That’s because this is truly a polyculture operation — for four generations, the family has raised dairy cows for Parmigiano Reggiano alongside native Lambrusco grapes. This wine is effervescent and velvety, making for a perfect pairing with the cheese created alongside it.
Ricardo Zanotto wants his wines to taste and smell like the past. So for him, a Col Fondo makes perfect sense. This style of sparkling wine is made in the “ancestral method”— its effervescence comes from a fermentation in the bottle rather than added carbonation. A delicious ode to tradition with notes of yellow apple and bread.
Sometimes you want a sparkler with a little more fruit character in it. Enter this pet-nat from the Brand brothers (check out that color!). Predominantly Pinot Noir, this wine has all the traits of a Pinot- juicy red fruits like raspberry, watermelon, red cherry, and red plum. Goes with just about everything!
Roland Piollot is descended from a leader of the Champagne Riots, a movement in which Champagne makers pushed for more transparent grape growing, so it’s clear his wines are deeply rooted in local history. His Reserve Brut is aromatic and bursting with notes of golden apple and brioche — perfect for both parties and relaxing nights at home.
Not just “one of the oldest,” Gosset is the oldest wine house in Champagne; it goes as far back as 1584! They source their grapes almost entirely from premier cru and grand cru vineyards, with as much thought for what happens in the vineyard as what happens in the cellar. The peach and fresh strawberry notes of this rosé would pair perfectly with a rich foie gras.
It doesn’t get more classic than this: the oldest Champagne house’s oldest cuvée. In the words of the late Gosset cellarmaster Jean-Pierre Mareigner, “This is the true signature of the House.” Tightly-laced acidity and notes of apples, black cherries, and brioche, this bottle is exactly what you want, and expect, of a legendary Champagne house.
Cerro la Barca Vegas Altas Eva de Los Santos Bianco 2020
Native to the region, winemakers Juan Sojo and Angel Luis Gonzales have taken a significant role in bringing back a near-obsolete grape varietal: the eva de los santos. From 80-year old vines, this Spanish single-varietal is light, floral and refreshing, using only indegenous yeasts from fermentation and producing a beautiful expression of the region.
This Zweigelt and Saint Laurent blend is perfect - savory, with a nose complex beyond our expectations. Then on the palate it is vibrant, lively, and energized. This wine spends 8 months on the lees, bringing layers of depth and gorgeous aromatics. An absolute delight!
Silex is a rare soil type only found in the Loire that wine geeks will nerd out about forever. Brunet farms the Chenin Blanc for this cuvee on Silex, imparting incredible minerality, structure, and earthiness to this gorgeous pet nat.
Bénédicte Leroy boldly left her job as a physical education teacher to take over the family domaine after her father’s retirement. On a quest to practice “simple” winemaking, bringing forth the essence of the grapes, they’ve been farming organically for 30+ years, using zero dosage. The result is magical champagne.
Single vineyard, single terrior, single vintage, free from dosage or the addition of sulfur - this grower Champagne from Bénédicte Leroy of Ruppert-Leroy is just about as pure as it gets. The cuvée is complex, elegant & just about as dry as it gets, with aromas of white flower & notes of pear.
The Bulli family have been crafting artisanal bubblies from their own crops for generations. The name is both a jab at Champagne–this is a traditional method bubbly, but no knock off Champagne. Fermented naturally with indigenous yeasts, this is clean and refreshing. Enjoy it with cheeses, cured meats, or veggies.
Nestled between Savoie, the Jura, Burgundy, and the Rhône, this small yet mighty appellation is one to explore. Patrick Bottex, along with his wife and son, farm the rocky limestone slopes of Bugey to produce a beautiful sparkling rosé. Predominantly Gamay, this slightly sweet bottling shows bright fruit and refreshing acidity.
Ditch the Pageant, Join the Party: France Breton Talks Natural Wine and a New Era at the Domaine