Grower Champagne can be a minefield of variable quality, but Decanter's Christelle Guibert has picked out five outstanding performers that can be bought for the same price as the big brands...[img]http://keyassets.timeincuk.net/inspirewp/live/wp-content/uploads/sites/34/2016/12/phenomenal-value-grower-champagnes-christmas-300x210.jpgWhile we are all familiar with the Champagne brands of the Grandes Marques (think Bollinger, Veuve Clicquot, Taittinger), the quantities they produce demand that they buy in grapes from growers across the region, which is then blended to achieve a house style. These producers dominate the market, so although there are over 15,000 growers in Champagne, only around a third produce their own Champagnes. As grower Champagne is made in very small quantities, often coming from just one or a handful of local vineyard sites, it canÂ reflect its terroir much more ably than a large-scale blend. Unlike the Grandes Marques,Â there is rarely any money spent on advertising, and many will only sell at the cellar door. These comparativelyÂ tiny overheads and modest margins ensure that there are some incredible value grower Champagnes out there.
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Grower Champagne for Christmas: And related content Â
Champagne resident and expert Pieter Liem picks out 10 top grower Champagnes to try.
How to identify the Champagne you are drinking: Every bottle of Champagne has a small code on the label that can immediately tell you what you are drinking, althoughÂ they are no indication of outright quality. The most common are listed below: NM