Champagne Saint Chamant was established in 1930 by Pierre and Hélène Coquillette. Their son, Christian, took over the estate in 1950. Located in Épernay, the house’s unsigned, unassuming exterior in no way hints at its labyrinthine cellar, built in the early 19th century, which is a mile long—and lined with hundreds of thousands of carefully aging Champagne bottles.
Charmingly mustached and quite dapper, octogenarian Christian specializes primarily in Blanc de Blancs with more than 28 acres of Chardonnay vineyards in Grand Cru Chouilly. The house also makes a small amount of rosé, from 92% Chardonnay and 8% Pinot Meunier from Épernay.
This Brut Blanc de Blancs is an archetypal example of the style, albeit with more richness and savor than is typical thanks to extended lees aging. In the glass, it’s a bright, reflective yellow-gold with silver streaks at the rim, with aromas of yellow apple, citrus pith, lemon curd, brioche toast, white mushrooms, raw hazelnut and crushed stones. There’s a terrific push-pull of crisp, citrusy freshness and doughy, creamy roundness—a beautifully realized blanc de blancs all around, perfect as an apéritif with passed appetizers but capable of holding its own on the dinner table as well.