Grower Champagne Club – November 2015

Roland Champion, Blanc de Blancs, Special Club Grand Cru 2008
Like so many small Champagne producers, the Champion family were long-time growers, dating back to the 18th century, before they began producing their own wines. In 1929 André Champion launched the family label and also worked to increase their vineyard holdings. But his early death required his eldest son, Roland, to take over the estate at the tender age of sixteen. Today the estate, based in the Grand Cru Côte des Blancs commune of Chouilly, is run by Roland’s children and grandchildren. They own about 40 different parcels, with about 70% planted to Chardonnay, and the rest to Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier from holdings in the Marne Valley. They age their wines in their underground caves, carved into the chalk soil where the temperature averages about 50 degrees. Roland Champion is one of the 26 members of the Special Club, whose wines we have featured from time to time in the past. Each year the members gather to judge each other’s wines over several blind tastings (just after blending, and again after several years aging) to select the absolute best wines from each vintage. The wines (if any) that they all feel represent the highest standards of what grower Champagne can be are then packaged in specially designed bottles. This offering is beautifully rich and structured—a gorgeous expression of the chalky soils of Chouilly—with a soft, full roundness on the palate. It is a perfect wine to celebrate the holidays with, or for any special occasion over the next five to seven years. It is $75