There's nothing better to ring in the New Year (and to grace the table!) than grower Champagne. *Clink!*

Champagnes for New Year's Eve 2018!

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As 2017 draws to a close and we look toward 2018, we should take time to reflect on the year’s events, those we’ve met, and anticipate what’s to come in the New Year. And while customarily we raise a glass to celebrate, there’s far more in that glass than mere bubbles; contained within are hope, memories, and aspirations, but also tradition, history, diligent work in the vines, and the taste of terroir. 2017 was certainly eventful: times of turbulence and change, pain and loss, but also a year of birth, growth, and persistence. In 2017, for the second year in a row, growers in Champagne (and many other regions of France) experienced the worst frosts in decades, devastating hail, and torrential downpours. Yet in the face of these challenges they persevered, tending to their vines.

Simple to say, perhaps, but this is what farmers do. And while we are truly blessed to work with such a wonderful array of growers (not only in Champagne) and to visit their cellars, walk their vineyards, and taste their wines, we also take a bit of inspiration from their sense of purpose, as they continue the work of their parents, and grandparents, and beyond. So we raise a glass to this New Year and to the farmers and vignerons everywhere who allow us to share their wines with all of you.

Below are some Champagnes 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. Whether it’s the resolutely classic wines of Andre Beaufort and Alexandre Filaine, the majestically mineral Champagne of Laval, the brightly expressive and pure Chardonnays of Suenen, or the shockingly savory single vineyard Pinot Noir from Ruppert-Leroy, all are individual, inspiring, and distinctive. John McIlwain

  • white sparkling
  • 4 in stock
  • no discount
  • $119.99

Beaufort, André NV Champagne Polisy Brut Nature Res. (2014)

The new Beaufort Polisy Reserve Brut Nature NV is from the 2014 vintage and was disgorged in November of 2017. (Organic farming since 1971, wild yeast fermentations, minimal SO2.)  This lovely Champagne shows a pale gold/bronze color with aromas of brioche, pear, lime flower, apricot and vanilla with a bit of brown spice and anise. Full, soft mousse on the palate with creamy pear, citrus, stone and herbal flavors, with hints of raspberry and red currant emerging.  A bit soft and ripe for a Brut Nature, at 12% alcohol, but well balanced with refreshing acidity in the finish. Serve with a ceviche of squid or scallop, fish in sauce, goat cheeses or perhaps with berry or citrus desserts.  David Lillie

  • white sparkling
  • 16 in stock
  • $41.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Beaufort, André 1996 Champagne Polisy Brut (D Spring 2017)

Tasted in January 2017 at the estate. Complex aromas of lychee, candied pear, citrus, beautiful palate of yellow fruits, minerals, citrus, caramel with fabulous length. (This shipment disgorged in June 2017)

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  • $63.99

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  • 1 in stock
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  • $89.99

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  • No Sulfur

Filaine (Fabrice Gass) NV Damery Cuvée DMY

DMY (formerly Confidence) is the same cépages and blend as Filaine's Cuvée Speciale with an extra year on the lees and aged under cork, rather than capsule, lending a burnished character to the wine due to the slow ingress of oxygen. The current disgorgement is rich, broad, and sapid, with an impeccable balance between red fruits, citrus notes, and powerfully mineral structure and spice. John McIlwain


  • white sparkling
  • 20 in stock
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  • $74.99

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  • 4 in stock
  • $139.99

  • rosé sparkling
  • 6 in stock
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  • $44.99

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  • 6 in stock
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  • $44.99

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  • 6 in stock
  • no discount
  • $119.99

Laval, Georges 2012 Champagne Cumières Premier Cru Les Chênes

If ever there were an argument that portions of Cumières merit Grand Cru status, Laval's Les  Chênes makes a convincing case. The amphitheater-shaped vineyard is something of a sun trap and produces Champagnes of power and precision in Vincent's able hands. Made up of 100% organically farmed Chardonnay from the eponymous lieu-dit on the eastern side of the village (near the bottom of the slope down by the river), where the soils are chalk rather than the clays of other portions of the village. This is a particularly powerful blanc de blancs. While the nose offers tropical fruit and citrus aromas, the midweight, sinewy, and broad palate is pungently mineral, displaying notes of salt, green tea, and quinine on a driving, powerful, persistent finish. This is certainly delicious now, but tastings of previous vintages of Les Chênes lead one to believe there is plenty ahead for the patient. John McIlwain

  • white sparkling
  • 3 in stock
  • $169.99

  • Organic
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  • 19 in stock
  • no discount
  • $49.99

Suenen 2014Base Champagne Oiry Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Extra-Brut

Aurelien Suenen is one of the bright young stars of the Côte des Blancs, whose Champagnes seem to improve with every new release. His 2014 based Oiry Blanc de Blancs is a beauty. Wines from the village are typically sold under the Cramant designation (we haven't been able to find another Champagne with this single village designation, as yet), so this is a fine opportunity to taste Oiry's distinctive, chalky terroir. Aurelien's parcels contain some very old Chardonnay vines which make for some pungently mineral, stony wines. The vins clairs are fermented partially in barrel, spend nine months on the lees, and are bottled with 1 g/l dosage. The 2014 is brisk, briny, and fresh on the nose with aromas of yuzu, Meyer lemon, quinine, and chalk dominating. The palate is chiseled, taut and very dry with racy acidity and an energetic driving finish. Suenen continues to grow with each vintage and this new line up of village designated Champagnes are particularly exciting. The 2014 will make a fine aperitif and shiny brightly with crudo or sashimi.  John McIlwain 

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  • $59.99

  • Organic
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Agrapart NV Champagne Extra Brut Terroirs Blanc des Blancs

A blend of grapes from several villages in the Côte des Blancs: Avize, Cramant, Oiry, and Oger. Pure Chardonnay from 20-40 year old vines aged partially in barrel, Terroirs offers citrus blossom aromas and Meyer lemon and green apple flavors on a bright, zesty, chalky finish. Makes for a bracing aperitif or fine accompaniment to sushi or tempura. John McIlwain

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  • no discount
  • $64.99

Agrapart 2010 Champagne Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs Mineral

Mineral is a vintage-dated blend of Chardonnay from two particularly chalky lieux dits within the  grand cru villages of Cramant and Avize, with the grapes from Bionnes (Cramant) vinified in demi-muid and Le Champ Bouton (Avize) vinified in tank and blended in equal parts.Sea spray, peach skin, grapefruit peel on the nose. Bright and fresh on the palate with good cut, incisively mineral with pungent chalk notes on the long driving finish. Delicious now, perhaps better still with a few years to allow the structural elements knit. John McIlwain

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  • $109.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
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  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $129.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Beaufort, André 2010 Champagne Ambonnay Brut GC (D 12/17)

For those of a classical bent who prefer not to shop at the big Champagne houses, André Beaufort is a wonderful alternative. Longtime organic farming and extended lees-aging produce rich wines of uncommon detail and complexity. The 2010 Ambonnay offers aromas of white flowers, orange peel, bergamot, and  chalk on the nose. Bright acid, salted plum, citrus oil, and a fine line of sapid minerality on the supple and rich palate. This shows a fine interplay between power, tension, and a suave, supple finish. This is one heck of an Ambonnay and a fine bottle of Beaufort! (Disgorged June 2017)  John McIlwain

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  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • $59.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Beaufort, André 2010 Champagne Polisy Blanc de Noirs Brut Nature

André Beaufort 2010 Polisy Blanc de Noirs Brut Nature, disgorged in June, 2017. This is a youthful and brilliant Blanc de Noirs from Amaury Beaufort and family that is sensationally vinous and complex, reflecting the decades of organic farming and low yields at this extraordinary estate. The wine shows aromas of raspberry, peach, lime-flower, citrus, hazelnut and stone. The palate is ripe and firmly structured with citrusy acids enveloping red fruits, thistle and creamy lemon with stone, white fruit, floral and mineral flavors in the long finish. This is a young and beautiful wine that will accompany a meal such as fish in sauce or chicken with morels, and of course delicious as an aperitif. Rich, but quite age-worthy, perhaps best 2020 to 2030. DL

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  • $56.99

  • Organic
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Beaufort, André 2008 Champagne Grand Cru Ambonnay Brut (D 06/17)

"Really superb, subtle, long. Quiet nose. Winy. Seems like old school white Burgundy. Very serious..." Anonymous notes from Beaufort dinner, Jan 2017 (Disgorged April, 2017)

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  • $79.99

  • Organic
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Beaufort, André 2006 Champagne Grand Cru Ambonnay Brut (D 06/17)

The 2006 Ambonnay Brut Grand Cru shows subtle mature aromas of pear, almond, marzipan and citrus, very earthy with hints of exotic fruit and spice and wet stone. Give this some time to open up.  The palate shows a delicate, creamy mousse with complex earthy white fruits, herbal notes and mineral flavors with nice acidity in the finish. A lovely wine of contemplation.  (Disgorged June 2017)

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  • white sparkling
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  • $81.99

  • Organic
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Beaufort, André 2002 Champagne Polisy Brut Nature

A sensational mature Champagne from André Beaufort - the estate converted to organic agriculture in the early 70's and makes brilliant, full-bodied Champagnes that are among the most "vinous" being made today. Medium golden yellow in color and sporting a discrete mousse. The nose is quite floral with tones of cherry blossoms, apple blossoms, and irises before touches of quince and fresh baguette. The palate is concentrated with a spherical yet laser-like focus that offers notes of lemon sorbet, tart lemon custard, and apple pie, underlined by a fine minerality that persists through to a rounded, savory finish. Really a very pretty and lovely wine. This medium-bodied Champagne is made of approximately 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay and was disgorged in March 2017 after 14 years of sur-lie aging, illustrating the Beauforts' commitment to releasing mature wines.

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  • $79.99

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Beaufort, André 1996 Champagne Grand Cru Ambonnay Demi-Sec (D 12/10)

Towards the end of the tasting my notes became minimal, but this wine rated an enthusiastic "Superb!" Forget your prejudice against demi-sec Champagnes, this wine is fantastically complex and delicious. The French wine publication “Le Rouge et le Blanc,” in their review of André Beaufort, offers an explanation of how dosage seems to help the wines develop: “The aromas, timid in their youth, finish by exploding with age and the sugar becomes like a support to the aromas.” Only a few bottles available – we urge you to try it! (Notes from Jan 2017: "Super, rich, no flaws, Nearly sweet, wonderful, rich, complex nose. Totally fresh, or at least not old or even aging...") (new inventory disgorged June 2017)

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling off-dry
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $133.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Bérêche, Raphael NV (2013 Base) Champagne Brut Nature Beaux Regards Chardonnay

Les Beaux Regards is a blend of two parcels of Chardonnay in Ludes on the northern slope of the Montagne de Reims planted in 1964 and 1970. The loamy clay soils produce a Champagne more vinous in character, rather than exclusively taut and chalky. The 2013 displays floral and stone fruit aromas with lemon blossom, brioche, and nectarine giving way to citrus peel and green apple. The palate is distinctly chalky and racy, with overtly mineral flavors, cool notes of mint and quinine, and a long tangy, sapid finish.  (Dosage 3g/L) John McIlwain 

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  • $74.99

  • Organic

Bérêche NV (2013 Base) Extra Brut Rose Campania Remensis

Bérêche's Campania Remensis is a consistently fascinating rosé champagne, in a category fraught with uninspiring wines. The 2013 base is 65% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay, and 5% still red wine from Ormes on the western side of the Montagne de Reims. This year the robe is salmon pink, verging on copper. The nose is redolent of wild strawberries, red currant, and pomegranate, with citrus peel and spicy top notes. The mid-weight palate displays a fine tension between ripe red fruit and an agile mineral precision. The balance here is impeccable and the finish textured and nuanced. Every year Bérêche makes a compelling case for rosé champagne and the 2013 base is an especially delicious example. John McIlwain

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  • $43.99

  • Organic
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  • $139.99

Filaine (Fabrice Gass) NV Damery Cuvée Speciale

Filaine is one of our favorite Champagne houses.  And the singular Fabrice Gass is one of our favorite Champagne characters. His wines  are made up of  Pinot Noir/Chardonnay/Pinot Meunier from the south-facing village of Damery on the slope of the Montagne de Reims over looking the Marne. The wines are made in the manner of 100 years ago. Fabrice farms the without chemicals, ferments in wood, and due to the age of his barrels, avoids malolactic fermentation.  This disgorgement is based on the 2012 and 2013 vintages and balances nicely the classic richness of Damery with undertones of minerality.  Aromatically the wines offer up aromas of baked apple, spices, and soil notes. On the palate flavors of ripe red fruit and a pervasive sense of chalkiness vie with with a creamy texture on the broad, rich finish. This is a perfect wine for the table with its balance of generous fruit and earthy structure. John McIlwain 

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  • white sparkling
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  • $61.99

Gerbais, Pierre NV Champagne Extra-Brut Grain des Celles 3g/l

A blend of Pinot Noir (50%), Chardonnay (25%), and Pinot Blanc (25%) from organically farmed vines grown in Kimmeridgian soils in Celles-Sur -Ource in the Aube. Initial fermentation is with indigenous yeast in tank, and the wine spends 30 months on the lees before disgorgement. The nose offers lovely aromas of apple blossom, apricot, honeysuckle and mint. The mid-weight palate is redolent of stone fruit, ripe Mirabelle plums, and tangerine, with a punchy mineral character lending gravitas. There's a lot of character to this well-priced Champagne that makes for a fine aperitif, as well as having the stuffing to enjoy with roasted fish, chicken, or strong cheeses. John McIlwain

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  • $39.99

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  • $43.99

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  • $39.99

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  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $49.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Roses de Jeanne (Cedric Bouchard) 2015 base Champagne Blanc de Noirs Val de Vilaine

Formerly known as Infloresence, as of 2012, Val de Vilaine, this blanc de noirs comes from a south-facing 1.49ha plot of vines in Polisy planted in 1974 owned by Cédric's father. If there's such a thing as an 'entry level' Champagne in Bouchard's lineup, this is it. Historically more approachable when young than Bouchard's other wines, Val de Vilaine, is now more tightly wound and concentrated as the already small yields were nearly halved to 26hl/ha bringing it in line with the other cuvées of Roses de Jeanne. Here you'll find a classic expression of Polisy terroir. -John McIlwain  

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  • $74.99

Roses de Jeanne (Cedric Bouchard) 2010 Champagne Blanc de Noirs Côte de Béchalin (La Parcelle)

Côte de Béchalin (formerly known as La Parcelle when part of the Inflorescence lineup) comes from a meticulously farmed .73 hectare parcel in Celles-sur-Ource. Where previously Bouchard sold wines made by the former owner,he later vinified the wines in those cellars. 2007 was the first vintage where the wines were made completely in Bouchard's cellars. While these champagnes have seemed to have a broader palate with more exotic fruit, they maintain poise with pinpoint acidity. One can certainly enjoy this now, but some time in the cellar to further knit the elements of structure and fruit should pay off handsomely. -John McIlwain  

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  • $109.99

  • Organic
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  • $64.99

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  • $58.99

  • Organic
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  • $69.99

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  • $119.99