The Champagne Club Awards’23 [terroir of the Year]

Champagne Club

Champagne Club

Or shall we call it ‘The Richards’ ?! Instead of ‘The Champagne Oscars’ ? We want to sum-up the year of 2023 from a Champagne perspective. In 20+ categories we hand out awards for this years most memorable Champagnes & Champagne related topics!

[featured partner – vigneron.se]

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

‘In an increasingly warmer climate, the cooler locations on the north side of the Montagne de Reims become more important than ever.

No other village can demonstrate this better than the ascetically beautiful Verzenay with its pure belemnite chalk both from growers and from famous champagne houses.’

Champagne Club by Richard Juhlin

Historical winners

2023Verzenay Grand Cru
2022Aÿ Grand Cru
2021Ambonnay Grand Cru
2020Avize Grand Cru

Verzenay Grand Cru

Puisieulx, Sillery and Beaumont-sur-Vesle have, as I mentioned earlier, received their Grand cru status thanks to their proximity to Verzenay.

From its 420 hectares the village produces the blackest grapes in all Champagne. Its one of the wine worlds mysteries how northerly slopes from one of the worlds northernmost wine villages can produce such rich, peppery and masculine Pinot wines. Most of the villages so-called northern locations are actually north-easterly and are exposed to the suns rays for a greater part of the day. Just as in Mailly, the vine-yards are warmed by a local hot airstream.

Some of the villages most famous vineyards are owned by Bollinger, Mumm, Roederer and Heidsieck & Monopole and lie directly under the historic mill of Moulin de Verzenay. Even the Chardonnay grapes that are grown in the village have had Grand cru status since 1972.

Unfortunately more and more growers make blended champagnes instead of concentrating on what theyre best at, namely Pinot Noir! Jean-Paul Morel even makes a blanc de blancs from the village. As a Pinot village Verzenay is definitely the star of Montagne-de-Reims. Perhaps the wines from the village dont have the soft aromatic richness of Aÿs champagnes, but they contain a greater weight with age and are vital as the backbone for major cuvées such as Bollinger R.D. and Roederer Cristal. The perfume that pure Verzenay champagnes have is very strong and unique. Tones of iron and pepper are mixed with the grape aroma itself. The aftertaste is hard, tough for many years before it softens out to its conclusion. Vin clair from Bollinger and Krug are majestic.

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