I like champagne. And I like grower champagne even more. So when S asked me to come and try some new stuff I was fairly excited. S and D had returned from champagne with a bunch of samples from different producers to see if any would be suitable for import. Why they asked someone with such an unrefined champagne palette like my own along I am not too sure, but there was no way I was declining this invitation.
Grower champagne is essentially a wine made by an estate that owns the vineyards from where the grapes are from, and abides by the rules of the champagne appellation. For example: is Moet & Chandon a grower champagne? No it’s not, because Moet & Chandon source the majority of their grapes from vineyards owned by other estates.
Grower champagne is generally produced from smaller vineyards and the person who makes the wines also grows the grapes. What can make these wines special is they display specific characteristics of their own terroir. The wines show personality, in other words.
The first clue to a grower champagne is the letters RM (Récoltant manipulant) will appear on the label (usually very small text at the bottom of the label). This means the grower makes the wines from there own grapes. Keep in mind under this RM classification a maximum of 5% of grapes can be purchased from other estates.
While I would have liked to produce a detailed list of the wines with informative tasting notes, I was far too relaxed drinking bottles of unique grower champagne with friends. I will say this, all of these wines showed difference, personality and uniqueness I have not experienced in entry level grand marques champagnes. Does this mean they are better quality wines? I’m not sure, I just prefer them.