How This Site Works
The site is arranged in a series of producer profiles. Each profile begins with a background in which to set the wines in context. This is followed by my descriptions of the overall style of wine that you can expect from this producer, as well as detailed tasting notes for champagnes currently in release. I have tasted most of the wines multiple times, although I try not to make composite notes, preferring to judge each individual bottle on its own merits, and in all of the reviews I note the most recent date of tasting.
All of the wines in this guide have been tasted and reviewed by me, and the opinions expressed are mine alone. While I live in the Champagne region, I am not connected or affiliated with any champagne house, grower or producer, nor do I accept any payment or advertising from any wine producer. Neither do I have any affiliations with any importer, distributor or wine merchant in France or abroad, and thus I remain an independent journalist.
All material in this guide falls under copyright restrictions, and may not be reproduced or redistributed by any means without prior consent of the author. Members of the press and of the wine trade may quote selected portions of this guide provided that all quotes are properly attributed to Peter Liem and ChampagneGuide.net. The use of any material without proper attribution is not only blatantly illegal and subject to prosecution, but is also horribly bad for your karma, so please attribute it properly. If you would like to download a ChampagneGuide.net logo to use with wine reviews and quoted material, please click here.
I have chosen not to assign numerical scores to wines, as I wish to avoid the false sense of precision that points convey. Wines are better experienced and assessed for their individual merits, rather than "sacrificed on the altar of competition," as Jasper Morris, MW so eloquently puts it, and point scores often fail to properly convey the true worth of a wine. However, I recognize that some sort of ranking system is helpful to single out wines of particular quality. To that end, I employ a three-star system to serve as a general guide:
* One star denotes a wine of particular quality and distinctiveness of character, one that stands out among its peers in some significant way.
** Two stars means that this wine is outstanding in its class, showing a marked quality, expression and refinement of character.
*** Three stars indicates a champagne of the highest class, demonstrating a completeness and expression of character that places it among the very finest wines within its context. Needless to say, these wines are uncommon.
In some cases I have used a half star, as in (*), to indicate the possibility of potential development for the future. Note also that while not all wines are marked with a rating, just because a wine receives no stars does not necessarily mean that I think it’s not worth buying. The text of the note should indicate how I feel about the wine, and stars are there simply to designate the truly exceptional examples.
While it would have been helpful to indicate relative prices for the wines, the international nature of this guide makes this exceedingly difficult, if not downright impossible. After much deliberation, I have chosen to omit prices altogether, out of sensitivity to the requests of champagne producers. Pricing for individual champagnes is widely available online, and can easily be targeted to your local market, which is well beyond the scope of this guide.