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Stéphane Coquillette, Premier Cru “Carte d’Or”Champagne, France MV (750mL)  |  FREE Shipping on any 6 bottles!

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Stéphane Coquillette, Premier Cru “Carte d’Or” Champagne, France MV (750mL)

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My heart was heavy last month when I learned that after 70 uninterrupted years of dedication to Champagne Saint-Chamant, Christian Coquillette, the humble yet grand old man of the Côte des Blancs, had passed away. A longtime disciple of tradition, his handcrafted Grand Cru wines matured in his ancient wine caves, and each one was individually disgorged by his own gnarled hand. To say that Christian Coquillette was an unwavering champion of “old-school” authenticity, or that his vintage releases ranked among my all-time favorite bottlings is a vast understatement. He will be greatly missed in the world of fine wine.

But there is a silver lining to be had here: Decades ago, when his son Stéphane was just 25 years of age, Christian enthusiastically encouraged him to start his own estate and thus began a lifetime of mentorship. Over the years, Stéphane’s wines, too, have blossomed to display the inimitable charm, precision, and sublime minerality of his father’s. His “Carte d’Or,” a masterful blend of four Grand and Premier Crus, has become a brilliant, tightly allocated benchmark around our industry, but today it also serves to memorialize his legend of a father.  

To say that fourth-generation winemaker Stéphane Coquillette hails from good stock would be quite an understatement. His late father personally crafted—down to the hand-labeling and disgorging of bottles—one of my favorite Grower Champagnes in the world. And although his son, Stéphane, has created major buzz for some time, the spotlight is now fiercely shining upon him. He’s ready. He’s been ready. Although his style is his own, Stéphane’s Champagnes mirror the family’s commitment to time-honored tradition and precision in every glass.

Stéphane is dedicated to meticulous winemaking in both the cellar and the vineyards, the latter of which is where he employs a steadfast commitment to organic farming. Trellising, pruning, and harvesting is all done by hand, and each of his unique parcels is hand plowed. Today’s “Carte d’Or” blends Stéphane’s premier sites: two-thirds Pinot Noir from Grand Cru Aÿ and Premier Cru Maureil-sur-Aÿ and one-third Chardonnay from Grand Cru Chouilly and Premier Cru Cuis. A note regarding the two Premier Cru villages: these are two of the highest-rated 1er Crus in all of Champagne and would have my vote to be upgraded if there was ever a re-classification. In the cellar, it’s simple, honest-to-goodness work: slowly ferment the grapes, blend the wine, allow ample lees aging in bottle, and disgorge it with a light five-gram dosage. 

Stéphane crafts wine that is simultaneously broad and layered while being precise and delightfully energetic. The fact that we can offer a wine of this immense quality and lineage for less than $50 is nothing short of a miracle. “Carte d’Or” splashes into the glass with a generous mousse and after dissipating, drop-dead gorgeous aromatics emerge. This is fine Champagne, without question—nowhere else in the world can a sparkling wine replicate this level of purity and finesse. Expect vibrant waves of fresh yellow and green apple, Rainier cherry, pear, candied citrus peel, white peach, brioche, lees, lemon verbena, honeysuckle, crushed chalk, oyster shell, and a touch of vanilla bean. The palate is impressively expansive, refreshing, and sublime to a fantastic degree. Just like Saint-Chamant, it delivers numerous dimensions of crushed minerality and delicately ripe fruits that leave a lasting impact. It shows best after five minutes of air, in an open-mouthed Champagne or all-purpose stem. Please, avoid a tall, thin Champagne flute at all costs—these aromas are too mesmerizing to be stifled. Cheers, and rest in peace, Monsieur Christian.



Stéphane Coquillette, Premier Cru “Carte d’Or” Champagne, France MV - SommSelect

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  • CountryFrance
  • RegionChampagne
  • Sub-RegionGrand Crus Chouilly & Aÿ; Premier Crus Cuis & Mareuil-sur-Aÿ
  • SoilChalk & Clay
  • FarmingPracticing Organic
  • BlendPinot Noir 67%, Chardonnay 33%
  • Alcohol12%

  • CountryFrance
  • RegionChampagne
  • Sub-RegionGrand Crus Chouilly & Aÿ; Premier Crus Cuis & Mareuil-sur-Aÿ
  • SoilChalk & Clay
  • FarmingPracticing Organic
  • BlendPinot Noir 67%, Chardonnay 33%
  • Alcohol12%
  • Temp.Serve at 50-55° F
  • GlasswareAll-Purpose
  • DrinkingNow-2023+
  • PairingCrispy Fried Calamari

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