The Special Club, or Club Trésors de Champagne, was founded in 1971 by 12 of the oldest families of the Champagne region. Since then, the club has expanded to include 26 producers of grower Champagne. The members of the Club act as their own judge and jury. Every year they taste one other’s vin claire or still base wine which is only submitted for review when the producer truly feels it could be something really special. Not every member will submit a vin claire every year. The members of the club taste the base wines “blind”, and together decide which ones have the potential to be truly exceptional Champagne. Once they’re approved, the wines undergo the second fermentation, and a minimum of 3 years of aging (twice as long as is required of other Champagnes) in the uniquely shaped Special-Club bottles. After that time, the Champagne is disgorged and tasted once again by the members of the Club. If it’s up to snuff, it can then be further aged and sold as Special Club Champagne.
Sunday the 20th we will be having a Reservation Only Special Tasting of 5 Special Club Champagnes.
Space for this tasting is limited so contact us at email@example.com. We start at 5:30, have a few snacks to go with and you can still get home for Sunday dinner.
2007 José Michel Special Club Champagne Brut $70
50% Pinot Meunier, 50% Chardonnay
This traditional grower has owned vineyards from 1847 is one of the oldest winegrowing families in the village of Moussy. The grapes for the Special club are The vines are all at least 60 years old and represent the oldest plants in the Michel vineyard.
2006 Pierre Gimonnet Special Club Brut Blanc de Blancs $90
From Grand Cru and 1er vineyards 65% Cramant (Grand Cru) 22.5% Chouilly (Grand Cru) and 12.5% Cuis (1er Cru) 8 years in bottle before disgorgement. Very dry (technically qualifies as Extra Brut).
2008 Roland Champion Special Club Chouilly Grande Cru $75
The big wine from this small grower is located in the Grand Cru Village of Chouilly. Special clubs are only made by a small group of artisan growers who submit their best wine from good vintages to the group.
2007 Gaston Chiquet Special Club Champagne Brut $75
70% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir
From vineyards around the villages of Hautvillers, Dizy and Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, the base wines for this Special Club are aged on lees a minimum of 7 years on average.
2010 Marc Hebrart Special Club Champagne Primier Cru Brut $80
55% Pinot Noir, 45% Chardonnay
The 2010 is a Vallée de la Marne, Coeur de Cuvée (heart of the free-run) blend of old vines that average 55 years of age. Jean-Paul says “Old vines don’t move from one year to the next and the best plots always produce the best grapes”
Madrona Wine Merchants offers free wine tastings featuring 4-5 selections on a theme every Saturday from 2 until the bottles run out and on Sunday we offer a mini-tasting of two wines all day from 11-5.