Montagne de Reims

This month's selections both come from the same area: Montagne de Reims. Reims could be considered the unofficial capital of Champagne. Many historic maisons such as Veuve Cliquot, Tattinger, Bollinger and others have their headquarters here. The town is steeped deeply in French history as for over a thousand years the kings of France were crowned here, and Champagne is rightly considered the king of wine.

Montagne de Reims most planted grape is Pinot Noir – owning 56% of the acreage, followed by Chardonnay (30%) and Pinot Meunier (14%). The Montagne de Reims lies between the Marne and the Vesle Rivers, forming a broad, undulating headland of forests and thickets that stretches east-west for about 19 miles and north-south for 3-6 miles. The territory of Montagne de Reims is far from monolithic. For one thing, it’s not even really a mountain. Rather it’s a broad plateau (the Grande Montagne) with a series of hills and valleys encircling Reims. The vineyards hug its western and northern flanks, planted in a huge semicircle that extends from Louvois to Viller-Allerand.

 The Grande Montagne is where the villages with the best vineyards are located, with 13 Premier Cru and 10 Grand Cru designated areas. The wines from this area tend to have a richer body and intensity due to the presence of Pinot Noir and from the soil composition, with high percentage of heat retaining chalk that help to ensure the grapes ripen properly.

Don’t need to have a crown to be a king or a queen, just a bottle of great champagne!

À vôtre santé!

La famille PlumpJack

Champagne Pierre Paillard, Les Parcelles XVI Extra-Brut, Bouzy Grand Cru N/V

From: Bouzy



About the Winery:

Pierre Paillard is a small grower‐producer of Champagne located in the village of Bouzy, one of the 17 villages in the Champagne region that has been classified as Grand Cru, the highest classification that can be awarded.

The Paillard family purchased the vineyards in 1768 and have been cultivating vines in this prestigious village since. Today, Antoine and Quentin Paillard represent the eighth generation in the family and the fourth generation to produce and bottle the wines under their family name. The Paillard estate covers 11 hectares - all organically farmed since 2011. In the 20 years prior to the switch to organic farming, sustainable practices were used to gain a balance of soils. No fertilizers have been used for over 15 years and they wait two years after each harvest before replanting any vines.


For the vinification, each plot is harvested and vinified separately in stainless steel vats. Fermentation is carried out at lower temperatures to retain aromatics and the wines are kept in tank on their lees until the spring.

Les Parcelles is a blend of 22 plots exclusively sourced in the Montagne de Reims Grand Cru village of Bouzy. This is a Pinot-dominant blend (70%) with Chardonnay (30%), with 30% reserve wines added to the 2016 base.


This cuvee spent four years on the lees in their cave 16 meters (52.5 ft.) below ground before disgorgement.

Residual sugar:  1 g/l

Tasting notes: The color is pale yellow gold. Freesia, beurre blanc and marzipan are some of the olfactory distinctive notes. A saline chalky minerality is the first impact on the palate, followed by a citrus accent that vanishes into a clean freshness. No sharp edges here, only a nice pleasant finish.



Benoît, Antoine and Quentin Paillard



Price per bottle / Price per case:

$54/bottle           $583/case



Suggested Food Pairing: Shellfish row or cooked; lox and bagel; scallops eggs Benedictine; enchilada suizas



Champagne Henriet-Bazin, Rose’ Brut Grand Cru, N/V

From: Verzenay-Verzy

About the Winery:

Champagne Henriet-Bazin traces its origins to two families with deep roots in the Montaigne de Reims. The Bazin family came from the village of Verzenay where they cultivated vineyards and supplied grapes to some of the large houses. Toward the end of the 19th century, Gaston Henriet married Eugénie Bazin and soon began making his own champagnes, a gutsy move at a time when very few independent Champagne producers existed in the region.In 1968, the family moved to the village of Villers-Marmery. This village, in the eastern part of the Montagne de Reims, is the only village planted with a majority (98%) of Chardonnay in a sea of Pinot Noir.

Since the beginning of the millennium, the firm has been run by Marie-Noëlle Henriet-Rainon (the 5th generation) and her husband Nicolas Rainon.The estate currently totals just over 6 hectares divided into 36 plots over three villages (Villers-Marmery, Verzy and Verzenay). They own 20 plots (2.72 hectares) in Villers-Marmery planted solely with Chardonnay. Here, the soil is mostly composed of chalk gravel rather than silt and clay, offering Chardonnay that is both floral and mineral.​


Henriet-Bazin farming practice can be defined as biodynamic even if they don’t have an official certification. Abandonment of weed killers, respect for insects, grassing of the vines, sowing of plants to replace fertilizers, work in harmony with the lunar cycles - those are the mantras followed in the vineyards.

This Rose’ Brut is 50% each Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, including 19% vinified as red wine. The old vineyards were planted in 1963 and the most recent in 2015. The chalky sub-soil is covered by silt and clay. 70% of the wine comes from 2016 harvest and 30% is a solera reserve of wines from 1968 to 2015. The vinification occurs in enamel vats.


Minimum 36 months on the lees before disgorgement.

Residual sugar: 7 g/l

Tasting notes: Strawberry flesh in color with a persistent perlage. Watermelon sour candies, pomegranate, pink lady apple, definitely red fruit profile on the nose. Those fruity sensations are confirmed at the taste but with a mature intensity and elegance. Very long finish, very fascinating.


Marie-Noëlle Henriet-Rainon


Price per bottle / Price per case:

$55/bottle           $594/case


Suggested Food Pairing: Lobster; charcuterie and aged cheeses; and yes Turkey Dinner!

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