One of my favorite times of year is around the holidays, not only because it’s festive and you’re usually celebrating with friends and family but in the wine world some of the best Champagne Tastings of the year occur in December. For me that is just as exciting as Christmas with family and friends.
A tasting in San Francisco that I always look forward to and attend is the Grand Champagne Tasting at Arlequin Wine Merchant. This is always not only delicious but a great way for me to learn about a new small Champagne Producer (when I say small I mean not the larger brands the average consumer knows), but smaller grower-producer brands that are just as high quality as something like a Veuve Clicquot or Krug, just a bit less known to the average consumer. See some of the Best Champagnes from small growers that you should know about below.
Champagne Lacourte Godbillon, Premier Cru
Benoit Lahaye, Grand Cru
Eric Rodez Champagne, Cuvee des Crayes
This was one of the most interesting wines I tasted at the tasting. The wines are farmed biodynamically and the Winemaker is the former blender from Krug. I recently visited Krug in Reims (which was spectacular) so tasting these wines brought back fond memories. The wines are complex with rich, creamy complex flavors that do not disappoint…
Pierre Moncut, Grand Cru
Pierre Mycorhize Delos, Grand Cru
Nicolas Maillart, Premier Cru
This is my friend the lovely Angie who owns Birba Wine Bar (Just a few blocks away). Read more about Birba Wine Bars in my Best SF Wine Bar Guide here.
Champagne Gallois, Premier Cru
Champagne Andre Clouet
Champagne Guiborat, Grand Cru
Jean Vesselle, Grand Cru
These were another two of the highlights of the evening. The Oeil de Perdrix (100% Pinot Noir) was beyond lovely and one of my top 3 wines of the tasting.
Egly-Ouriet, Grand Cru
This Egly-Ouriet V.P. was one of my favorite wines of the tasting. My tasting notes described it is extremely rich, creamy and GLORIOUS! I’ve had Egly Ouriet a few times and it consistently impresses me each time I taste it.
Champagne Agrapart & Fils, Grand Cru & George Laval
Me and my friend and wine teacher Tim Marson. Tim is a Master of Wine so we always have a lot of fun tasting together and literally every time we taste I learn something new from him!
Champagne Lahert Freres Champagne & Les Vignes d’Autrefois
Champagne Cazals Claude, Grand Cru
Champagne Lombard, Premier Cru
Hanging with the Arlequin Wine Merchants Team during this fabulous event!
Barnaut Grand Cru, Brut
The Barnaut Wines were anoher I fell in love with last year and was blown away with this year again!