It’s been over a century since the first bottling of Champagne Salon in 1905.
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.
Champagne: The Essential Guide to the Wines, Producers, and Terroir of the Iconic Region by Peter Liem, Ten Speed, 2017. Pre-order $47, .