Berserker's Favorites - CHAMPAGNE - Vote!

Y’all know the rules now. Vote for your five favorite current producers of Champagne, in ranked order, with a few words of explanation for each vote. Big house, grower - anyone is eligible.

Due to the holiday, I’ll keep this vote open until next week.

This is a good one. I’ll take a stab. My list will (mostly) be based on what I drink on a regular basis, thus QPR plays a role.

  1. Larmandier Bernier - So very much in my wheelhouse, love the stuff.

  2. Krug - Because its Krug

  3. Savart - One of the best QPRs out there in my opinion

  4. Roederer - Brut Premiere is a readily available (even in grocery stores) sure thing and a late disgorged 1996 Cristal changed my life

  5. Agrapart - Love the whole range

HM: Salon (would have made the list if it was remotely in my price range), Bollinger, Pierre Peters, Tarlant, Chartogne Taillet, I could go on and on…

This was surprisingly hard to narrow down. So much good champagne out there

Pierre Peters - From the NV to the Chetillons, I love the wines
Taittinger - a '79 Comte de Champagne is what converted me to aging Champagne (thanks a lot Josh).
Benoit Lahaye - they made me realize how good Brut Nature can be. Each bottling is distinct and great
Bereche - perfect mousse. Beautifully complex wines.
Prevost - love the complexity of the Beguines and how it evolves with air

There are a lot of others jostling to be included but these are certainly my current favorites.

Cool. Here’s mine:

  1. Pierre Peters – Les Chetillons is my favorite “reasonably” priced fancy cuvee, while the Blanc de Blancs Brut Cuvée de Réserve is among my favorites in the ~$40 range
  2. Vilmart – I particularly like the Roses; good QPR (although prices are rising disproportionately)
  3. Billecart-Salmon – we drink more bottles of the NV Rose in 375 than any other WINE in our cellar
  4. Louis Roederer – Probably uncool to say, but I like them; the NV Brut Premier is consistently good, and the 1996 Cristal was a memorably spectacular (if very uncool) choice to celebrate our engagement
  5. Egly-Ouriet – entirely for the “Les Vignes de Vrigny” 1er Cru – the most intriguing Champagne I’ve ever had

Charles Heidsieck - House - The 3 best champers I’ve ever had of vintage, rose, and NV have been from this house
Paul Bara - Grower - Love the NV rose
Andre Clouet - Small House/Grower? Great throughout the line. The 1911 cuvee is special
Duval-Leroy - Large/Medium sized house - always solid

and tied for 5th.
Pommery/Jacquart - houses - Like these. Both have great QPR on the NV. Jacquart rose NV with the 96 base year was my first wow champers. Pommery is good throughout the line and i like the style.

No ties! Five votes and five votes only.

  1. Krug- the entire lineup is good. Even the MV.
  2. Selosse
  3. Salon
  4. Dom- with age
  5. Cristal- with age

Moet & Chandon - Mainly because of DP. The quality and consistency of DP is unrivaled. Nobody has had a better run of vintages from '59 thru '76. Top Rose cuvee as well. Added bonus - Old Moet can be great too.

Krug - Nobody makes five cuvees better than Krug. Clos du Mesnil has been my wine of the vintage three times since '79. Grande Cuvee ages better than any other NV that I have experienced. The only negative is the pricing especially for the Ambonnay and Mesnil.

Pol Roger - The Churchill can rival any cuvee in some vintages. The straight vintage is a great QPR as is the vintage BdB.

Taittinger - Solely because of the Comtes. Their BdB is consistently one of the best in its category and sells at a very fair price. The CdC Rose is no slouch either.

Billecart-Salmon - Solid portfolio including the NV Rose, BdB, Grande Cuvee and occasionally the N.F.

I really wanted to put a grower on the list and would have gone with Pierre Peters. Unfortunately, I have little experience with their other wines besides Les Chetillons.

1.) Selosse - like the oxidative, rich and spicy profile

2.) Krug - some of the greatest wines I have ever had (1988 Clos De Mesnil is a top 10 wine)

3.) Vouette et sorbee - close to Selosse at 1/3 the price

4.) Cedric Bouchard - especially like the Roses

5.) Ulysse Collin - drink a lot of it and love it

Honorable Mention - Pouillon - recent discovery that is a ridiculous value and I have loved every thing I tried

  1. Salon – can’t afford to drink it often, but the bottles I have had have been spectacular enough to include it on the list.
  2. Taittinger – dollar for dollar, one of the best Champagnes on the market
  3. Dom Perignon (rose and regular) – consistently good and the rose is outstanding with age
  4. Delamotte – loaded up on the 02 and 04 when a local retailer had it for below retail and it is just a very solid wine. Not sure how it will age, but really enjoy these now.
  5. Billecart-Salmon – Like the rose with age and the Nicholas is great but obviously more expensive.

Krug - simply the best around
Pol Roger - love the entire lineup. SWC is almost too good
Charles Heidsieck - the 1985 Champagne Charlie is one of the best champs I’ve ever had
Duval-Leroy - I find really good value from this house
Pierre Peters - my fav grower

Honorable mention to - Dom P, Henriot, Bollinger, philipponnat (CdG), Taittinger (CdC)

That Benoit Lahaye stuff is terrific, isn’t it? They make a killer rose too

  1. Henri Billiot - The NV and Rose are both go-to wines for me in their category.
  2. Vilmart - Primarily for the vintage wines. Now that Cuvee Creation has been eliminated, the vintage Grand Cellier d’OR is simply amazing for the price.
  3. Lilbert - All three Champagnes they make are beautiful.
  4. Louis Roederer - My favorite of the larger houses - especially for vintage wines and Cristal.
  5. Pierre Peters - Moved down for no other reason other than Lilbert being a little more available to be at this point.

edit - (For some reason, I listed VVF as a Roederer wine)

1 Like
  1. Salon
  2. Dom Perignon
  3. Krug
  4. Pierre Peters
  5. Cristal

Yes, they do. I owe Craig Ganzer for this one. He opened the 2007 for us one day in the cellar and I started trying the other bottlings one after the other. Magnums of the Naturessence now alternate with magnums of the Pierre Peters as my almost New Years Champagne.

FYI - for purposes of this vote, I’m making the judgment that Salon and Delamotte are the same producer (as are Cristal and Roederer, or Moët and Dom, but those are more obvious).

  1. Pol Roger – If it’s good enough for Winston Churchill and Queen Elizabeth II, it’s good enough for me!
    Love the rich-biscuity style with age and consistency across the line
  2. Paul Bara – best QPR, and an excellent “house” champagne.
  3. Camille Saves – Great artisanal expression of Pinot Noir grape: elegant concentration, character and grip
  4. Billecart Salmon – the NV rose is ultimate crowd pleaser, but the Elisabeth Salmon cuvee is a thing of beauty
  5. Dom Perignon – almost seems like a cliche at times, but the right bottle, from the right vintage, with the right age, is often revelatory

I drink mostly Grower but dabble in the bigger houses so here goes:

  1. P. Peters - Chetillions is awesome. The NV is a good standby (albeit hit-or-miss IME).
  2. Goutorbre - I’ve had the '04 & '05 SC and love them.
  3. Pol Roger - Good and dependable. The regular bottling is perfect for when I’m craving a richer style.
  4. J. LaSalle - Good balance of precision and cut.
  5. Gaston Chiquet - Another dependable personal favorite.

Dom - great wines for a huge production
Salon - great but too expensive for me these days
Taittinger - Comtes is nice and a great QPR even at the current prices
Vilmart - Coeur de Cuvee is a top tier IMHO and the vintage Grand Cellier is a QPR
Billecart-Salmon - the NV rose is hard to beat

What do I have most of? Lilbert, Peters, Diebolt-V, DomP, Krug, Vilmart.

Which is best? Well it doesn’t work like that.