New releases from Varnier-Fanniere.
"This impeccably-run estate in Avize may be small in size, but its vineyard holdings are impressive, as all four hectares of vines lie in the grand cru villages of Avize, Oiry, Oger and Cramant...Denis Varnier placed a strong emphasis on the preservation of old vines, and the average age of the estate’s vines is between 30 and 50 years old...The Varnier-Fannière champagnes are concentrated and ripe, but they aren't blockbusters. Their richness is allied with an expressive minerality and always held in a finely-tuned balance, feeling virile and energetic without being top-heavy." - Peter Liem, Champagne Guide
The Fanniere family began tending vineyards in Avize in 1860, but for almost a hundred years it sold those grapes to Moet, Pommery and Roederer. Today, they own ten acres of vines and focus exclusively on Chardonnay, purchasing still Pinot Noir for its Rose from a grower in Ambonnay.
"[Varnier-Fanniere] makes some of the most unique, compelling Chardonnay-based Champagnes readers are likely to come across...At their best, his wines offer exceptional polish, superb definition and tons of minerality...These Champagnes, many of which emerge from old vine parcels, are the embodiment of the great villages in the Cote des Blancs...energy, tension and pure class." - Antonio Galloni, Vinous
In stock and immediately available.
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Varnier-Fanniere Extra Brut Esprit de Craie NV
10 bottles available, $50 per bottle
92 points Vinous: "The NV Extra Brut Esprit de Craie is 100% Chardonnay from chalky soils in Avize, Cramant, Grauves and Mancy. Tense and nervous in the glass the Esprit de Craie certainly lives up to its name. Citrus, white pepper, mint and floral notes are given an extra dimension of salivating brightness in this expressive Champagne."
Varnier-Fanniere Brut Rose $50 per bottle
93 points Vinous: "The NV Brut Rosé is gorgeous. Bright and energetic, with tons of underlying energy, the Rosé is stellar and also a highlight in this lineup. Lifted aromatics and sculpted fruit add character to this airy, gracious Champagne. The Varnier-Fannière Rosé is built on the Brut Grand Cru, with 20% still red Pinot."
Varnier-Fanniere Extra Brut Jean Fanniere Origine $50 per bottle
94 points Vinous: "The NV Extra-Brut Cuvée de Jean Fannière Origine is 100% Chardonnay, vintages 2015 and 2014 from the 50 year-old vines in Chemin de Châlons, one of the most highly regarded sites in Cramant. Rich and ample, the Origine possesses superb depth and resonance that build with time in the glass. The flavors are so remarkably pure. In the glass, the Origine is bold and enveloping to its core, not to mention a Champagne of gravitas ad character. Apricot, tangerine oil, smoke, almond, sage and chamomile linger on the substantial close."
Varnier-Fanniere Brut Grand Vintage 2013 $85 per bottle
Sourced from Varnier’s oldest parcels, which are in Cramant and Avize, this Blanc de Blancs is only made in exceptional years. It ages for five years on its lees before disgorgement.
2266 Central Street #3
Richmond, CA 94801