Our Top Five Champagne Picks for 2015


Peter Liem is the author of ChampagneGuide.net, an award-winning online guide to the wines
and wine producers of Champagne. His writings on Champagne and other wines have also
appeared in publications such as Wine & Spirits, The World of Fine Wine, The Art of Eating, and
the San Francisco Chronicle.

Read his article about grower Champagne in our winter issue. Below is a selection of
Champagnes for 2015 that reflect a distinctly modern style, illustrating the contemporary focus
on viticulture in the region. 

Photo courtesy of Peter Liem

1. Agrapart & Fils - 7 Crus Brut

his non-vintage brut from one of Champagne’s top grower estates is based largely on chardonnay, and sourced from seven different villages. It’s lively and fragrant, offering excellent value. (57, Avenue Jean Jaures, 51190; Village: Avize, Cotes de Blanc; Importers: Beaune Imports, Polaner Selections; Where to buy: Wineworksonline.comChambersstwines.com; Price: $58)

2. Marguet Père et Fils - Rèserve Grand Cru Brut

Benoît Marguet is an ardent believer in organic viticulture, and this non-vintage blend of pinot noir and pinot meunier is generous and inviting, emphasizing its ripe fruit flavors. (1 Place Barancourt, 51150; Village: Ambonnay; Where to buy: Hdhwine.comGillettewine.comAnconaswines.com; Price: $60) 

3. Franck Pascal - Reliance Brut Nature

From one of the few Champagne growers to be certified biodynamic, this shows the opulent fruit and deep, soil-expressive character typical of the best modern Champagnes. (Near Chatillon, but 4 hectares scattered across several villages; Where to buy: nowhere in the United States)

4. Louis Roederer - 2009 Brut Rosé

This is based on Roederer’s biodynamic pinot noir vines in the village of Cumières, blended with a little chardonnay. It’s silky and refined, with lots of energetic red-fruit flavors. (Village: Reims; Importers: Maisons Marques & Domaines USA Inc.; Where to buy: 2007 at Cedar Green Wine and Cheese in Cleveland, Totalwine.com; Price: $85) 

5. Vilmart & Cie. - Grand Cellier Brut

Certified sustainable by an organization called Ampelos, this chardonnay-based Champagne contrasts a voluptuous depth of fruit with vibrant acidity, feeling polished and sleek. (5 Rue des Gravières, 51500; Village: Rilly-la-Montagne; Where to buy: Shopperswines.com and Allstarwine.com; Price: $82)