Champagne Laurent Lequart, Millésime
Champagne Laurent Lequart, Millésime

Champagne Laurent Lequart, Millésime

Champagne, France 2012 (750mL)
Regular price$70.00
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Champagne Laurent Lequart, Millésime

Revealing a “new” Champagne is always cause for celebration at SommSelect, but the hubbub over this 2012 vintage bottling has our office in pure pandemonium. Simply put, high-quality Champagne in this vintage, at such a friendly price, is a rare and virtually extinct breed. Just hearing the words “2012 Champagne” is enough to command the attention of all wine cognoscenti: It was a vintage of perfect proportions that earned comparisons to the legendary years of 1996, 1990, even 1947.

So how can a wine born from this vintage, which aged six months in oak and seven years in bottle, come in at $70? I’ll reveal the ace up Lequart’s sleeve below, but for now just revel in the opportunity to acquire powerful, vinous, dozen-year-old Vallée de la Marne Champagne without breaking the bank. Quantities are very limited and this currently isn’t being retailed anywhere else in America—do not miss out!

The secret weapon that makes today’s 2012 Millésime such a steal is a Champagne-specific wine phrase that you’ve likely never seen/heard: Récoltant-Coopérateur. Let’s break it down, shall we? “Récoltant’ means they are a “grower,” so they independently own and farm all of their vines—11 hectares spread across the Vallée de la Marne village of Passy-Grigny. That’s part one of the formula. 

Part two is “Coopérateur.” This means they sell their crop to a local co-op that produces various Champagne brands—but they don’t sell off the entirety of it. Upon distributing the year’s yield, they are able to retain a small portion, enough to produce a small lineup of their own, and that amounts to just 500 cases for their 2012 Millésime cuvée.

This is their top bottling, produced from an equal split of Chardonnay and Meunier from their oldest vine holdings (45 years) in Passy-Grigny. In 2012, their manually harvested and sustainably farmed grapes fermented in stainless steel before being transferred into used French oak barrels for six months. In June 2013, the wine was blended and transferred into bottle without filtration. From there, it matured on its fine lees until disgorgement in the spring of 2021. It was given a five-gram dosage before being fitted with a natural cork.

Two additional years of post-disgorgement aging have placed this 2012 Millésime in a fascinating drinking window. And yet, there is still so much raw energy and power that will keep integrating further with another 2, 5, 10+ years in bottle. This reveals a vivid yellow-gold in a Burgundy stem and returns dense and lifted aromas of apricot, dried white and yellow flowers, honeyed toast, sous bois, brioche, sage, crushed limestone, citrus curd, Rainier cherry, Mirabelle plum, and wisps of smoke. The palate is full and muscular with sublime, savory, deeply vinous descriptors that often accompany fine wines without bubbles. Although a dozen years have allowed this vintage Champagne to evolve gorgeously, it’s done so with impressive patience, and I don’t think another dozen is out of the question. My advice? Secure no less than three bottles and uncork one every few years—it’ll be worth it!

Champagne Laurent Lequart, Millésime




Enjoying the greatest wines of Beaujolais starts, as it usually does, with the lay of the land. In Beaujolais, 10 localities have been given their own AOC (Appellation of Controlled Origin) designation. They are: Saint Amour; Juliénas; Chénas; Moulin-à Vent; Fleurie; Chiroubles; Morgon; Régnié; Côte de Brouilly; and Brouilly.

Southwestern France


Bordeaux surrounds two rivers, the Dordogne and Garonne, which intersect north of the city of Bordeaux to form the Gironde Estuary, which empties into the Atlantic Ocean. The region is at the 45th parallel (California’s Napa Valley is at the38th), with a mild, Atlantic-influenced climate enabling the maturation of late-ripening varieties.

Central France

Loire Valley

The Loire is France’s longest river (634 miles), originating in the southerly Cévennes Mountains, flowing north towards Paris, then curving westward and emptying into the Atlantic Ocean near Nantes. The Loire and its tributaries cover a huge swath of central France, with most of the wine appellations on an east-west stretch at47 degrees north (the same latitude as Burgundy).

Northeastern France


Alsace, in Northeastern France, is one of the most geologically diverse wine regions in the world, with vineyards running from the foothills of theVosges Mountains down to the Rhine River Valley below.

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