Grower Champagne Club – December 2012

2006 A. Margaine, Special Club, Brut
We’ve included a number of “Special Club” bottlings in the past. These represent the best of the best, the tête-de-cuvée, from a small group of dedicated Champagne grower-producers that formed in 1971 to promote the expression of regional terroir in Champagne. Special Club bottlings are produced only in superior years, and only those wines that meet the entire club’s exacting standards can be released in the unique format. As these wines represent the entire club’s judgment and taste, only truly exceptional Champagnes receive the designation.

Exceptional just begins to describe this wine, from A. Margaine, a tiny estate in the town of Villers-Marmery, in the eastern end of the Montagne de Reims region. Although this is typically Pinot country (mostly Noir, with some Meunier), this village grows predominantly Chardonnay. In fact, Arnaud Margaine’s estate is planted to about 90% Chardonnay (the rest to Pinot Noir). Of Margaine’s wines, importer and grower Champagne evangelist, Terry Theise says, “These are some of the most hauntingly beautiful and original Champagnes you can ever drink.” Margaine’s are full-bodied, with a signature richness and elegance. The 2006 Special Club comes from some of the same parcels as the almost-as-amazing 2004, much of it from an 86-year-old vineyard called Champs d’Enfer (the “field of hell”). Some of it is cask-aged, which contributes to the depth and complexity that Margaine’s wines are known for. This one, at $75, is simply stunning and, to quote Theise again, “extravagantly passionate”. A perfect wine to celebrate the holidays with.