If there is one exceptional wine known the world over for its finesse, it’s champagne. From the unique shape of the champagne bottle to its unique taste, this wine, associated with celebration and great moments in life, occupies a special place in our lives.
But we should instead talk about champagnes. The large family of sparkling wines from the Champagne vineyards certainly offers great diversity.
This originates from a perfect mastery of the art of blending developed over time by the champagne houses. Each one of them has developed know-how that’s reflected in the unique taste of its champagne.
The champagne vineyards are mainly planted with Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay. A blanc de blancs champagne is made from Chardonnay alone, while blanc de noirs champagne comes from Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier or a blend of the two varieties. A blend of the 3 grape varieties will produce a champagne blanc.
The dosage, or introduction, into the bottles of a mixture of wine and cane sugar after disgorging, also contributes to champagne’s wide range of flavours. Depending on the sugar content, you’ll get a sweet champagne, dry champagne or a semi-dry champagne.
Finally, the Champagne region also produces quality still wines, rosé-des-riceys and coteaux-champenois.
AOC Champagne was created in 1936. The interprofessional organisation has always worked to improve the excellence and promotion of champagne, as well as defending it against counterfeits.
The Champagne appellation comes in crus. Classification by cru helps distinguish the production communes according to the quality of the grapes harvested. The scale of crus goes from 100% to 80%.
Vineyards planted in communes classified as 100% allow the production of grand cru champagne. These are terroirs recognised for their exceptional pedoclimatic conditions (good exposure, chalky ground) which help the vines flourish and produce excellent-quality grapes.
17 communes are classified as grand cru. When the cru has a value of between 90% and 99%, the grape varieties are used to create Premier Cru champagnes. 44 communes are classified as Premier Cru.
Finally, grapes from vineyards located in communes with a cru between 80% and 89% are used to produce sparkling wines under the Champagne label.
The world of champagne also contains vintages that make headlines for their extraordinary qualities. Most champagnes are made from wines of different grape varieties from several years of harvest.
However, certain years produce crops of exceptional quality. The inter-professional committee for wine from the vineyards of Champagne can then decide to create a vintage champagne for these harvests.
They will be used to produce a very high-quality wine, a vintage champagne, which will only be made from grapes from the same year.
Champagne is a region where the art of blending and creating wines is particularly highly accomplished. Some of the champagne is produced by owner-grower winemakers or by cooperative cellars.
But one of the specific features of the region is that the vast majority of champagnes are made by wine houses. They account for two-thirds of sales and 85% of exports.
A champagne house buys grapes from different winegrowers to create its own wines which will be sold under its brand. Many of them are well known and enjoy international renown.
Ruinart, for example, the oldest champagne house created in 1729 in Épernay, is a benchmark. Alongside the big names in champagne, there are also many family houses that bring the champagne tradition to life through the quality of their wines.
There are, in fact, more than 300 champagne houses. We invite you to discover some of these gems, champagnes that we have selected for their quality and character.
Laurent Perrier.65.00 CHF
AR Lenoble.35.00 CHF Add to cart
AR Lenoble.42.00 CHF Add to cart
AR Lenoble.45.00 CHF Add to cart
Veuve Fourny & Fils.51.00 CHF
AR Lenoble.79.00 CHF Add to cart
AR Lenoble.65.00 CHF Add to cart
AR Lenoble.42.00 CHF Add to cart