You should drink grower Champagne if you've forgotten that
Champagne is wine
$50 NV JEAN MILAN BLANC DE BLANCS Marne
This is everything that NV (Non-Vintage) Brut should be. With one, maybe two exceptions, this would wipe the floor with anything from any négoçiant. It’s so silken and fine, full of oleander, pumpernickel and mimosa, and the palate has exceptional grace and detail.
$50 NV Chartogne-Taillet Brut "St.Anne" Montage de Reims
50-50 Chard/PN (though there’s often a little Meunier depending on the details of each particular assemblage), disgorged 11/07; this is an excellent bottling of this most tasty and reliable Champagne; it’s the silkiest and finest yet; indeed really swank fizz, with its customary blend of leather and butter-sautéed apples.
$55 '2007' JEAN MILAN "TRANSPARENCE" BLANC DE BLANCS
Champagnes of marvelous purity and focus in the heart of the Côte de Blancs. They have that pencil-y minerality beneath the loveliest imaginable fruit. They are truly exquisite wines. Just don’t miss them. Prices are amazingly reasonable and availability is better than you’d expect from a small domain. Chardonnay.
$50 'NV' Guy Larmandier Brut Vertus
One of the really good, true cru Champagne growers.
$56 NV VILMART & CIE GRANDE RESERVE (organic)
“Vilmart & Cie. traces its history back to 1890, when it was founded by Désiré Vilmart, and from the beginning, Vilmart & Cie. has always been a récoltant-manipulant, making champagne exclusively from estate-owned vines. Since 1989 the estate has been in the hands of Laurent Champs, the fifth generation of the family to take the helm of the house.
The majority of Vilmart's 11 hectares of vines lie in Rilly-la-Montagne, although there are a few plots just over the border in the neighboring village of Villers-Allerand. Vilmart is a member of Ampelos, an organization that promotes organic and sustainable viticulture, and Champs has never used any herbicides or chemical fertilizers since taking over the estate. All of the vineyards are planted with cover crops and plowed, and Champs enjoys an additional advantage in that his parcels are relatively large—only 12 different parcels over 11 hectares—meaning that he is more protected from contamination by chemical treatments in neighboring plots.
Vilmart & Cie. is not only one of the greatest grower-estates in Champagne, but one of the finest champagne producers of any type in the region.”
-Peter Liem, Champagneguide.net
$60 'NV' PIERRE PETERS "CUVEE DE RESERVE"BLANC DE BLANCS
"You should drink "farmer-fizz" if you'd rather buy Champagne from a farmer than a factory.
You should drink it if you'd rather have a wine expressive of vineyard, and the grower's own connection to vineyard, than a wine "formed" by a marketing swami who's studied to the Nth-degree what you can be persuaded to "consume." Do you really want to be reduced to a mere "consumer" when you can drink Champagne like a whole human being?
You should drink grower-Champagne if the individually distinctive flavors of terroir-driven wines matter more than the lowest-common-denominator pap served up by the mega conglomerates in the "luxury goods" business.
You should drink it because it's honest REAL wine grown and made by a vintner-by a FAMILY just like yours-by a "him," not by an "it." You should drink it because it's better to buy wine from a person than from a company.
You should drink it because its price is honestly based on what it costs to produce, not manipulated to account for massive PR and ad budgets, or to hold on to market-share.
You should drink grower-Champagne because, like all hand-crafted estate-bottled wines, it is not a mere Thing but is indeed a BEING, expressive of where it grew and who raised it. In drinking it you help protect DIVERSITY, and diversity leads to VITALITY. And if you'd rather eat a local field-ripened summer tomato rapturous with sweetness instead of some January tomato you buy at the supermarket hard as a stone and tasting of nothing, then you should be drinking farmer-fizz!"
- Terry Theise
$50 nv roger coulon “heri-hodie” brut
aged for three years prior to being disgorged; a blend of 50% Pinot Meunier, 25% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay; selected from vineyards situated in Vrigny, Coulommes and Pargny. A modest dosage is applied at the time of disgorgement to render a fresh, floral, but still full-bodied Champagne.
$35 NV CHAMPAGNE H.BLIN BRUT
80 % pinot Meunier, 20% chardonnay. Fluid and fleshy, ample, shows a beautiful freshness bringing finesse and elegance in a sweet and sensual appearance. This is our go to Champagne for the price.