Celebration-Worthy Sips: Champagne Camille Savès à Bouzy


We moved into a new office this week—it feels like a new home, really, where we'll be writing and editing and cooking and eating (and drinking!) and working on exciting new projects. After most of the Ikea furniture was assembled and the boxes unpacked, it was time to celebrate our new digs (and try a wine worthy of a celebration.)

Domaine Camille Savès has been around since 1894, and is in the fourth generation of family ownership. This isn't just champagne, but grower-produced Champagne—while most bottles of well-known bubbly are made from grapes purchased from hundreds of different growers, only a small percentage of growers actually produce wine from their own vineyards. These site-specific wines are more likely to give you a taste of place.

The grapes for the Camille Savès nonvintage Carte Blanche grow in chalky soil, and the mineral flavors come through, but they're wrapped in bright lemon-lime notes. Biscuity yeast adds body, and there's a hint of spice in there too, like cinnamon apples. If you're accustomed to leaner, steely champagne with more musty flavors, or less complex bubbly from the big names, this wine is an eye-opener (and a treat.) It retails between $40 and $50.

We received this bottle from an Oregon-based wine importer who's so passionate about grower Champagne that they've started a Champagne club to introduce people to these wines. The wine we tried will be included in the October shipment. Members of the club (anywhere where wine shipping is legal) receive a package of six bottles twice a year, each with a unifying theme so you can explore and learn, and a 20-page tutorial to help guide you. (For example, some shipments will allow you to compare wines from different villages, while others will contrast wines with different amounts of Chardonnay vs. Pinot Noir.) It's a pretty educational way to invest your wine budget—plus, you'll always have bubbly on hand for celebrations.