One of our aims at Eli’s List is our ongoing quest and discovery of the smaller, exclusive wines and champagnes for our clientele and we take great pride in having the best-kept secrets in Burgundy, Piedmont and Champagne. To that end, we have increased the grower champagnes we have to offer and since this is the season to be most jolly, we thought we would offer up two of the following grower champagnes.
Because grower champagnes are produced by the same estate that owns the vineyards, they are much more artisanal and terroir-based and tend to drink more like fine wines.
Saint Charmant is a house established by Pierre and Helene Coquillette in 1930 in Chouilly, a village near Epernay that is classified as Grand Cru in the Côte des Blancs. Specializing in Blanc de Blancs, Saint Charmant produces a real quality champagne, very age-worthy and with extremely fine bubbles. Currently, the house is run by Christian Coquillette, who took over the estate in 1950. A firm believer in aging champagne, he is a charming, dapper gentleman who has thousands of bottles of champagne in a labyrinthine cellar built beneath his modest family home in the 19th century. The domaine is spread over 11.5 hectares of almost exclusive Chardonnay vineyards.
Saint Charmant -- $56
Also in Chouilly is the estate of Stephane Coquillette, a fourth-generation winemaker and Christian’s son, who was sent off to start his own estate when he was 25. Assiduously committed to organic practice, Stephane works by hand, including pruning. He works 10 different parcels, producing several single-vintage and single-vineyard champagnes.
Mentored closely by his father, Stephane developed a different style for his wines that are cleaner and fresher. His Cuvee Diane is 100% of Chardonnay made from chardonnay vines planted in 1964. It is composed of a blend of Grand Cru and Premier Cru. Pale golden in color, it is a delicate and feminine champagne that has fine bubbles with a creamy mouth feel.
Stephane Coquillette -- $66
Happy Holidays! Randall