© 2017 by Peter Liem. Published by Ten Speed Press.

It’s been over a century since the first bottling of Champagne Salon in 1905.

Peter Liem
April 20, 2017

While the majority of champagnes continue to be blended, the past thirty years have seen a remarkable emergence of single-­vineyard and single-­terroir champagnes. This movement has included some of the region’s most respected houses, such as Krug and Jacquesson, as well as grower-­producers like Tarlant, Larmandier-­Bernier, Jérôme Prévost, and Marie-­Courtin. A couple of estates, in fact, make nothing but single-­vineyard champagnes: Ulysse Collin currently has four, plus a rosé, while Cédric Bouchard is even more extreme at his Roses de Jeanne estate, bottling no fewer than seven different single-­vineyard wines. Chartogne-­Taillet and Marguet are two other producers who are placing increasing emphasis on single-­vineyard and single-­cru champagnes.

Below is a list of some notable releases.

1905: This is officially regarded to be the first vintage of Salon, although the house’s champagnes wouldn’t be commercially available for another two decades.

1935: Philipponnat makes the Clos des Goisses for the first time.

1952: Cattier makes a wine based on the Clos du Moulin in Ludes.

1971:  Pierre Péters introduces Cuvée Spéciale from Les Chétillons, first made as a Spécial Club.

1975: Drappier begins making the Grande Sendrée from a vineyard above the village of Urville.

1979: Krug begins bottling Clos du Mesnil from a walled vineyard in the center of Le Mesnil-­sur-­Oger.

1982: Tarlant bottles its Cuvée Louis.

1985: Jean Milan makes Terres de Noël in the village of Oger.

1989: Egly-­Ouriet introduces a blanc de noirs from a parcel of old vines in Ambonnay’s Les Crayères; Vilmart inaugurates its Coeur de Cuvée, from the vineyard of Blanches Voies in Rilly-­la-­Montagne; Pierre Callot bottles Avize Les Avats for the first time.

1990: Larmandier-­Bernier bottles a pure Cramant from the estate’s oldest vines; it eventually evolves into the Vieille Vigne du Levant.

1993: Veuve Fourny isolates a parcel outside its estate in Vertus called the Clos Faubourg Notre Dame.

1994: Anselme Selosse of Jacques Selosse purchases a small parcel of pinot noir in Aÿ’s Côte Faron and begins bottling it as a separate cuvée called Contraste. Also, Georges Laval begins making Les Chênes, from the Cumières vineyard of the same name. Larmandier-­Bernier creates Terre de Vertus.

1995: A remarkable number of single-­terroir wines emerges during what is the first high-­quality vintage since 1990. Jean Vesselle begins bottling Le Petit Clos from a tiny vineyard in Bouzy; Diebolt-­Vallois introduces Fleur de Passion from some of its oldest vines and finest terroirs in Cramant; Agrapart et Fils makes L’Avizoise, from two parcels on the hillside above Avize; Pierre Callot bottles the Clos Jacquin, also in Avize; Jacquesson makes chardonnay from the Corne Bautray vineyard in Dizy as an experiment; Krug isolates a small, walled parcel that it calls Clos d’Ambonnay; Billecart-­Salmon makes a wine from Clos Saint-­Hilaire in Mareuil-­sur-­Aÿ.

1996: Jacquesson isolates the Vauzelle Terme in Aÿ, making a wine that plants the seeds for a radical rethinking of the house’s philosophy.

1998: Jérôme Prévost bottles the first vintage of Les Béguines.

1999: David Léclapart bottles L’Apôtre from his oldest parcel of vines, planted by his grandfather. Tarlant creates two other single-­vineyard wines—­La Vigne d’Antan, a chardonnay from ungrafted vines, and La Vigne d’Or, from an old parcel of meunier vines.

2000: Cédric Bouchard of Roses de Jeanne begins making Les Ursules.

2001: Agrapart et Fils adds Vénus to its lineup, named for the horse who plows the parcel from where it’s sourced.

2002: Emmanuel Brochet begins making wine from his vineyard of Le Mont Benoît. Taittinger also begins making Les Folies de la Marquetterie.

2003: Anselme Selosse begins a remarkable exploration of the terroir of six single-­vineyard sites; Vouette & Sorbée makes a Saignée de Sorbée for the first time.

2004: Vouette & Sorbée makes Blanc d’Argile from chardonnay vines in Buxeuil. Ulysse Collin begins bottling Les Pierrières (labeled simply as Blanc de Blancs).

2006: In the Aube, Marie-­Courtin makes Resonance and Eloquence, and Coessens begins making wine from Largillier. From a walled vineyard within Reims itself, Lanson makes the Clos Lanson. Chartogne-­Taillet bottles Les Barres for the first time, from a parcel of ungrafted meunier vines.

2008: Marguet inaugurates a new series of single-­vineyard champagnes with the first bottling of Les Crayères.


Reprinted with permission from , copyright 2017 by Peter Liem. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Photography copyright 2017 by Gentl and Hyers.

 

© 2017 by Peter Liem. Published by Ten Speed Press.

Champagne: The Essential Guide to the Wines, Producers, and Terroir of the Iconic Region by Peter Liem, Ten Speed, 2017. Pre-order $47, .

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