Updated: Mar 30, 2020
In this COVID-19 era there is no better way to lift spirits than popping open some champagne over facetime. And there is no better time to support the smaller producers of Champagne who, just like you are stuck in confinement. There are around 4,000 récoltants manipulants (RM) in Champagne and yet only about 100 are available in the lucky country. So if your cellar is not already stocked, we recommend jumping online with the following retailers to find your new favourite farmer fizz.
Prince Wine Store
With a whopping 237 different cuvées available Prince have one of the best selections in the country. They bring in André Clouet, Vilmart & Cie and Pierre Péters. Three growers who are definitely worth the detour.
They have locations in Melbourne and Sydney and deliver to metro areas. And if you're in Melbourne, they can even arrange some of Belotta's sumptuous dished to pair with your champagne.
Based in Sydney and shipping Australia wide, United Cellars has closed to 100 different champagnes with a great selection of smaller producers. Drappier being their direct import is excellent value, but you can also get a selection of Laherte Frères, Lebrun de Neuville, Henriot, Jacquinot and many more. www.unitedcellars.com/au/champagne
City Wine Shop
Their selection includes Ulysse Collin, Jacquesson, Vouette et Sorbée, and Egly Ouriet. One of their exclusive imports in the sensational Doyard from Vertus, who produce less than 100,000 bottles and make some stunning chardonnay focused wines.
They deliver Australia wide, and have often publish offers on interesting tasting packs.
More info here: www.citywineshop.net.au
Nick's Wine Merchant
With 238 different cuvées, Nick's is a force to be reckoned with. Highlights include direct import Henriet Bazin as well as Frerejean Frères, Hugues Godmé, Savart and Cédric Bouchard. www.nicks.com.au
This Sydney CBD retailer has just under 100 different champagnes, but their selection is one of the most diverse. The owner Joe is passionate about growers and small production cuvees, and you'll be pleased to find a range of single vineyard wines like 1995 Krug Clos d'Ambonnay, Jerome Prevost La Closerie and Frerejean Freres VV26 Blanc de blancs. And they deliver nationwide. We highly recommend taking a look here.
David Donald has been importing a selection of the best champagnes you have never heard of for the better part of a decade. David has a soft spot for the members of an elite group of grower-producers known as the ‘Club Trésors de Champagne’ or ‘Special Club’, a group of 28 growers going above and beyond for limited quantity cuvees. You can't go wrong with anything from his range. If you're looking for something extra special, check out the 'Rare and Unusual' section as well as the tasting packs.
Champagne de Vignerons
Award winning photographer Victor Pugatschew has been travelling to Champagne for two decades discovering some of the most underated producers, and snapping away in the process. Victor was the first to bring in cult wines like Champagne Bourgeois-Diaz, Eric Rodez, Philippe Glavier, Marie-Noelle Ledru and has an extensive list on his website.
Another one man band, or one woman band, run by the 2018 Vin de Champagne finalist Sally Hillman. Great selection of cult growers including Georges Laval, Vouette & Sorebee, Laherte Freres amongst many others... https://sallyhillman.com.au
Aussie start up Vinomofo bring in a selection of respected smaller houses as well as the new kids on the block. Nicolas Maillart is always a winner, as well as Francois Secondé from grand cru village of Sillery. They also currently have the range of Veuve Fourny, Guy Larmandier, Hatt & Soner vintages as well as the acclaimed Charles Heidsieck Blanc des Millénaires.
More info at www.vinomofo.com.au