• Club Trésors de Champagne: La Boutique, Reims

    The Club Trésors de Champagne has existed since 1971, and many champagne lovers around the world are familiar with the iconic Spécial Club bottling, which represents the prestige cuvée for each of the Club’s member estates. However, aside from being associated with that special champagne, the Club has rarely had a unified presence—it hosts a couple of tastings each year, but these are largely inaccessible to anyone outside of the Champagne region, and even its public tasting during April’s annual champagne week has only existed for the past few years.

    Club Trésors de Champagne, Quartier de Boulingrin, Reims

    In May of thi
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    1. Photo by Michel Jolyot, Collection Association Paysages du Champagne

      Yesterday in Bonn, 21 representatives of the State Parties to the UNESCO World Heritage Convention unanimously voted in favor of placing Champagne’s hillsides, houses and cellars on the UNESCO World Heritage List, together with 11 other sites around the world, including the climats and terroirs of Burgundy.

      This distinction is the culmination of eight years of work by the Association des Paysages du Champagne, whose president, Pierre Cheval of Champagne Gatinois, has been particularly active in championing this cause. Champagne is being included in UNESCO’s Cultural Landscapes category, and the village of Hautvillers, as the spiritual birthplace of
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      1. Bertrand Gautherot of Vouette & Sorbée, in his Aube vineyard of Vouette

        The Aube estate of Vouette & Sorbée is, at least temporarily, sans Vouette. These were the estate’s oldest vines, planted between 1962 and 1967, but after the 2014 harvest, Bertrand Gautherot decided to replant this half-hectare parcel.

        “It does seem kind of odd to pull up my oldest vines,” he admits, “especially in one of the original vineyards of my estate. It was planted with a very good massale selection of pinot noir from Volnay, too, because historically, my family always had closer relationships with Burgundy than with the Marne. The problem was that it was planted on [the rootstock] SO4, which was chosen more for production than for quality. Every year, the grapes wer
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        1. 1975 Fred Leroux Champagne

          Last week, I visited Jean-Paul Hébrart of Marc Hébrart, in the company of his American importer, Terry Theise. We had a magnificent tasting—in fact, while I already have a very high opinion of Hébrart’s wines, I would go so far as to say that this was the most impressive tasting of Hébrart’s current releases that I’ve ever experienced in my ten years of visiting the estate. I’ll put new tasting notes up soon, but for now, I’ll say that if you don’t know Hébrart’s champagnes, you really ought to seek them out.

          After tasting an extensive array of his wines, Jean-Paul asked us if we would like to taste “something else”. He admitted that it wasn’t from his estate: “I know you like old
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          1. Champagne Henriot Cuve 38 La Réserve Perpetuelle Brut Blanc de Blancs

            Henriot has released a new and unusual champagne, one that represents 25 years of both creative and technical skill on the part of the house. Called Cuve 38, it’s bottled exclusively in magnum, with just 1,000 magnums available for the entire world. Yesterday, the house’s president and managing director, Thomas Henriot, was in New York City to present the new wine to a small group of journalists and wine professionals.

            The story of this wine begins in 1990, when Thomas’s father, Joseph Henriot, identified and earmarked a particularly promising blend of chardonnay from the grand cru villages of Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, Avize, Oger and Chouilly. This was put in reserve, stored in a 467-hectoliter stainless stee
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