• Rising Star in Verzy: Champagne Adrien Renoir

    Rising Star in Verzy: Champagne Adrien Renoir

    What is the most exciting element of grower-champagne today? Finding thoughtful vignerons and introducing them to the best-suited palates. On a trip to Verzy in October 2019, Adrien Renoir, just 29 years old, was someone I knew I should meet. My first impression of his champagnes left me with a thirst to learn more (and drink more). The most unmistakable quality in these wines is their balance and shimmering sense of composure. It's apparent Adrien has already found a way to fine-tune the wines from these Grand Cru vines in Montagne de Reims to highlight their elegance.

    Over the last several years, I've been so impressed by what I've seen from this younger generation in Champagne as they have immediately made their mark. Like Adrien Dhondt of Dhondt-Grellet, Renoir is an ideal example of the under-the-radar stars in the progressive grower-champagne scene.

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    Posted by Max Kogod
  • An Expression of Champagne's Ecueil

    An Expression of Champagne's Ecueil

    If one Pinot Noir-focused Champagne name has emerged onto the scene with the greatest impact over the last couple of years, it's undoubtedly Frederic Savart. With only 4 hectares in the Montagne de Reims, Savart's style is one which has won over his fervent fan base in sweeping fashion, seemingly overnight. Rarely do a range of these cuvées escape the New York restaurant scene, but...

    Enthusiasm is not something capable of being contained by Frederic. He's happy when he meets you, and he's really happy when you see what's up in the glass. He's avid about ensuring we understand terroir expression is the primary objective. But, unlike many who walk that high road, he brings a flair and delicious factor that's compelling immediately.

    Located in the Premier Cru village of Ecueil, Savart's parcels have distinct sandy topsoil above clay and chalky bedrock. Certainly, this is part of the story of why finesse is the first thing you recognize. But, in the cellar, larger format aging in wood brings an oxidative influence that's really about soft contours of texture, and not about the flavor of wood. Waxing poetic, easy. Executing, very difficult.

    Savart's Champagnes remind me of that rare breed that makes their brilliance known upon first sip, no matter the taster. They are low in dosage (4.5 grams/liter here) and brimming with energy, yet each cuvée has a unique luscious fruit profile that's completely intoxicating.

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    Posted by Max Kogod