EP 891 Head to Head Tasting of Growers Champagnes

Gary Vaynerchuk picks 2 under the radar, small production grower’s Champagnes for a side by side tasting.

Wines tasted in this episode:

Moutardier Brut Nature Pure MeunierFrench Brut Nonvintage
Jose Dhondt Blanc De BlancFrench Brut Nonvintage

Latest Comment:

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luca bercelli


line of the day – ‘I feel like I’m drinking a cloud’

Really enjoyable show – it usually is when GV is drinking bubbles. Definitely makes me want to go out and try some immediately. Love the way he pronounces Pinot Meunier as Pinot Manure!

Tags: Champagne, French, review, sparkling, Video, white, wine, wines

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  • NY Pete

    damn Gary, that Dhondt must be good … 2 swallows, impressive.

  • NY Pete

    best champagnes were Dom P twice …
    way back when, when we bought our house …
    and more recently, when we found out we were going to be grandparents …
    which leads us to the QOTD2 … Abby's 1st birthday party!
    life is good

  • NY Pete

    and btw … are you guys getting anymore of that Dhondt? or did SS Chris buy it all??

  • lawrenceleichtman

    Went to work in Roswell NM for 3 weeks so mostly what I brought with me including 2 bottles of Kermit Lynch Beaujolais, Black Kite Pinot Noir and 2 Chablis but tonight it was a margarita with ribs.

  • jsums

    QOTD – Just got back from a weekend get-together with the in-laws. Lots o' beer, crabs, and pork. Time for salad week.

  • jsums

    mmm… crawfish pizza

  • jsums

    Agreed, except for me it was the '95.

  • waynooo daaa wino


  • waynooo daaa wino


  • Pierazzo

    cristal 1999

  • Hey Gary

    Great show – I love growers Champagne. I honestly can't stand the big brands' NV offerings. I look at Moet, Veuve etc and see and high-end versions of Yellow Tail and Jacob's Creek – brands that care more about 'brand' than beverage and are all about marketing rather than style. Champagne prides itself on the consistency of NV offerings, but isn't this what we shouldn't be looking for in wine??? Isn't wine about vintage as well as terroir???? Oh and how can you get terroir with all that blending??? HOW IS MOET DIFFERENT FROM YELLOW TAIL (the only answer I can think of is that at least Yellow Tail puts a vintage on their wines…). Sorry about the rant, but for me Grower's Champagne is the only Champagne.

    QOTD 1: I'm sure you've asked this a few times before… 1. Pascal Ponson Champagne 2. Ca'del Bosco Franciacorta Brut 3. Clover Hill Vintage for 'everyday' drinking!

    QOTD 2: Going to Dubai!


  • weinologe

    I am having a double Magnum Künstler Domdechaney 2007 with some thirsty friends 🙂

  • Hey Gary! I have not try too many sparkling wines, but so far the best one I had is “Maschio Prosecco Extra Dry” from Veneto-Italy , is very refreshing, floral/citrus nose, nice medium acidity, citrus/white flowers on palet, delicious ! I can drink it all day long . The next one I would like to try is the Val D'oca Prosecco Blue – Veneto .
    This weekend we had two great wines ! first wine from Sicilia , Alastro 2005 – Planeta (Chardonay-Grecanico) Great straw yellow color, nice honey/peach meet chamomile on the nose, good acidity and viscosity, peach/mineral/ honey and a wonderful finish that reminds me the taste of chewing a hay straw. 2nd wine a Barolo 2004 – S.ORSOLA , I think this wine has potential, however it needs at least 3hrs in decanter to open up, challenged on the nose, wiht hints of plum,liquorish /smokiness, on the palate aggressive tannins, I think was not ready to drink, however got better after awhile, black cherries,tabaco, and earthiness.. its like a minor league prospect power hitter that has attitude and needs to be disciplined to make it to the big leagues.. See you on the next show Gary !

  • My wife and I took a champagne tour when we were in France last year. What a great experience. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes Champagne. The grower we visited was Godme. Absolutely amazing. And like Gary said the quality was unbelievable for a very affordable price.

  • Carlitos

    Hey, Gary! I LOOOOVE how you pronounce Meunier as if it was “manure”. You are just hilarious! I wonder if some Americans will think of it as the “Crappy Pinot”. 😀

    Keep it up!

  • paryb

    Jeez, finally got time to sit down and watch this one.

    Gary, pretty low key for such a high rating. 95 is the highest I've ever seen you rate I think. Except when you gave Robert Mondavi an honorary 100. Great show with the bubs though, I'm going to seek that Jose Dhondt out.

  • AllanJonassen

    I'm gettin' thirsty, let's have some vinoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!! ;0)

  • Love the Champagne reviews Gary very Privé!

  • castello

    Let's get ready for THUNDER!!!!!!!!

  • good show.

    QOTD: Nothing really stands out.

  • waynooo daaa wino


  • waynooo daaa wino


  • AllanJonassen

    Where is the Thunder-Man?

  • AllanJonassen

    I'm affraid it's not gonna happen today……….?

  • AllanJonassen

    I certainly do not drink all the time. I have to sleep you know. 🙂

  • AllanJonassen


  • AllanJonassen

    “Learn to work the saxophone, i play just what i feel,
    Drink scotch whisky all night long, and die behind the wheel……”

  • Don Simpson

    I need to try that champagne, sounds incredible!

    QOTD: Went up to Maine to meet my sisters newborn baby Carter!!!!

  • RobinC

    qotd: I guess Duval Leroy is my favorite so far. I like the Perrier Jouet Fleurs bottle a lot, but the champagne is just not my favorite.
    The weekend that just passed, I went to a wine shop's tasting of value (I guess) Spanish wines that were quite disappointing. The food was good though-turkey and ham rolls, cheeses, crackers, fruit.

  • waynooo daaa wino


  • Emmcclelland

    I'm not planning on having anything soon but I recently had a 2007 Ueberroth Zin by Turley. Not bad… Slightly overpriced in my opinion…

  • ex_Cuse88

    We had a great bottle of Argyle Brut Rose 2007 a couple of nights ago. Perfect on the deck “on a hot summer's night” (to steal a line from Meatloaf, hint hint nudge nudge, know what I mean, know what I mean)

  • ex_Cuse88

    BTW,the Argyle Brut Rose is 57% Pinot “Manure”

  • Eirikpm

    QOTD: “Lanson Gold Label Brut Vintage 1999” is the best sparkling wine a have tasted. But if you want to try a really good sparkling, that`s not that expensive, you should try “Davenne Crémant de Bourgogne Extra Brut”! It`s as good as a nice bottle of champagne 😀

  • Nik_B

    QOTD1 – probably the first time I ever had Pol Roger NV

    QOTD2 – last weekend was filled with wine.. Alsace pinot blanc, Australian viognier/marsanne, French (from Collioure) white blend, German riesling, Italian barbera, New Zealand (chilled) pinot noir, Spanish albarino and cava.

  • Champagne Fluteau

    Thanks Gary for talking up Grower Champagnes ! It's good to see people in the States becoming more curious about champagnes other than the big houses. Love your show, but don't know if they'd allow it here in France, where the governement is including wine in its “anti-alcohol” laws….

  • T

    Nice Show. I must admit, when I am picking a wine, I don't tend to lean toward the bubbles. But I did go to a sushi restaurant with my wife a couple of months ago, and I bought 2 half bottles. #1 champagne, and #2 a premium cold sake. The night was epic, sushi amazing, along with the wines.
    Side note, Sushi Mike is incredible. You just tell him what you like, and he makes you platter after platter until you tell him to stop. Unbelievable.
    Tanoshii in the Andersonville neighborhood in Chicago
    QOTD: Schramsburg 2001 Reserve Best that I have had, although I might have been swayed by the caves and the 3 million bottles down there.
    Anyone else ever seen the caves at Schram?

  • Jaccar

    Hey Gary,
    I don't know if you get this one over in the US but you definitely have to try the Moet & Chandon Nectar Imperial! This really is one beautiful sparkling wine. Lightly sweet really really nice.

    BTW: Love the show. Here over in Switzerland the “fan base” is starting to grow… 🙂

  • DCaragher

    GV – HOLY CHAMPAGNE! We're on a roll baby…funny story, I went to Sherry Lehmann in NYC not too long ago looking for a grower's champagne (a reccomendation for you) and the gentlemen at the store flat out told me there is no difference between grower's and big brand bubbles! HA!

    QOTD: Favorite bubbles the 1988 Dom Ruinart and this past weekend I drank the 2006 Anne Amie L'iris!

  • QOTD: Cliqot Brut is my hands-down favorite.

  • tibor

    Qotd: My experience with Champagne, sparkling, Prosecco, Cava etc is VERY limited but I enjoyed the 1990 Dom Perignon I shared with friends on my 40th Bday. My question to Gary or any Vayniacs in the know… is will it still be good in 4 years time (for my 50th. bday) or should I drink it now?

  • John__J

    Qotd: so far a 96 La Grande Dame, but I haven't had a ton of sparkler's.
    2: working, especially on reformatting the wine list where I work

    Love the spotlight on grower Champagne's, and not to be obnoxious Gary, but pinot meunier is pronounced pinot min-yay

  • pawncop

    Good show and I must expand my horizon.

    Many years since I have tried Champagne or any sparkling wine. Cannot recall any details.

  • plcb

    A head to head with chardonnay vs pinot meunier isn't completely fair. Pinot meunier is not your typical champagne. And btw it's 'mun-yay' not 'manure'.

    QOTD: The weekend has passed so I'll talk about this coming up weekend when I'll see dear friends that live up your way (North NJ/NY area). They'll be in the Phila area. Also I'll be working at 'my' PA Wine & Spirits shop answering questions the best I can. It's a fun job/hobby!

    My wine class today focused on Southern France, regions south of Rhone and Bordeaux, SE and SW. We had rose, plenty of reds and I tasted Banyuls for the first time. Interesting class. No sparkling Limoux tasting today.

  • Dougholden

    dude. I live in Korea and have been following along regularly for over a year…
    Oh, yeah, I'm from NJ! Anyhoo, it's darn hard finding affordable wine here, needless to say, I've ceased trying.
    To answer your QOTD: I've just had some Manfredi Barolo, DOCG 2005 – it's a solid effort, if ever there was one. On sale over here for roughly 50 bones.
    As far as the “best” sparkling wine goes… well, at the moment I've been true to Cava (regardless of the maker) here happens to be Monasteriolo, it's a traditional method and for under twenty bucks, fantastic!
    However, it merely brings us to the “best” sparkling wine I've ever tasted. It happens to be a bottle of Ferrari, like the car. My ex-girlfriend is a wine seller here in Korea and had gotten ahold of a bottle of this stuff (the exactitudes, elude me) however it was the creamiest, most heavenly bottle of sparkling wine I've ever had… to top it off, we had it straight from the bottle while walking along the riverside here in the city – utter class

  • Dougholden

    ps Gary, lots of what I find here in Korea is not found on your show/ in your store. Any comments?
    (Actually I just forgot what I was gonna say…)
    I think I'm just pissed that you don't have such in depth info on the stuff available over here. I mean, when I search online for a bottle I've bought, invariably what comes up is a Japanese website, which immediately makes me dubious. However, the wine game is a global game and this makes me smile (if only a little)… and really when I look for information, it's mostly about what other folks have experienced and where it rates in the grand scheme of things.
    Which brings us back to the global pricing game. Does anyone who may actually be reading this have any insight as to how/where/when/why the “Asian” market in wine developed?
    Because it is still in its infancy, and I've been here nearly 6 years.
    When I first came here wine was off limits, merely due to its cost and the fact you couldn't find it anywhere… and these days every commercial convenience store has their selection from the 12 buck Yellow Tail/ Gato to the 44 buck Jurio, which is the cut-off point.
    And there are a handful of boutique distributors out there and also the big mega-marts push the wine product.
    Still, there is no wine culture as there is in America or Europe.
    And I'm curious as to how, when and why we get certain wines.
    I am aware the Korea and Chile have some sort of Free Trade Agreement and so Chilean wines are the cheapest for their value. That there was some problem with South African Wines due to their (I really don't know – something or other…) that some Koreans weren't going to import from S. Africa! I wonder if that wasn't a marketing ploy by Korean sellers to artificially create a “demand” on S. African wines (as the World Cup was in the spotlight)… because these days, there actually seems to be more S. African wines on the shelves.

    The lack of information and the lack of transparency about wine (& nearly anything else you care about) is at least curious, to me. If anyone has any bit o' light to shed on it for me, please be in touch!
    peace ^^

  • JayZee13

    Awesome! Nice show and very good-to-great wines. I will have to seek out the Jose Dhondt.

    QOTD1: Best sparkling wine for me is the Pierre Peters NV Champagne. Love that producer!

    QOTD2: I'll pretend that it's last Friday. Friday evening I'm playing a softball doubleheader. Saturday evening, I'm going to Blossom Music Center to hear the phenomenal Cleveland Orchestra play Vicali's Four Seasons and Handel's Music for Royal Fireworks. We will picnic on the lawn and drink some good wine as well. Sunday, going to see the Indians beat the Tigers at Progressive Field and then in the evening it's back to Blossom to hear the Orchestra due a Mendelsohn Violin Concerto with a phenomenal violinist, Karen Gomyo of Canada, and also Respighi's Fountains of Rome and Pines of Rome. Oh, yeah, and Beethoven's Symphony No. 1. All in all, it should be a great weekend (and it was!).

  • JayZee13

    Oh, yeah, and the wines… a 2003 Penley Estate Cabernet Sauvignon for Saturday evening and Sunday we had a Gaja 1993 Darmaggi Cabernet and a 1999 Barbaresco. Good stuff.

  • I hear alot of buzz about “Armand de Brignac Brut Gold”, It would be cool if you review this bottle!

    -Thanks man, Just downloaded your Audio-book > Keep it up! & Go Cowboys! =)

  • qotd – Maybe not the best I've ever had, but I opened a bottle of 1998 Argyle Extended Tirage a few weeks ago that was incredible, I went 96 on it, the highest I've rated a wine since I started writing them down. For comparison, I only gave the '98 Dom an 86. Beautiful color, almost pastel-like yellow. Gorgeous nose, cotton candy, fresh laundry, and then like a strawberries and cream type dessert. Laser sharp on the palette with almost red-fruit like flavors on the attack but good acidity and then gives way on the midpalette to melon, starfruit, and kiwi flavors, and then a bone dry finish with brioche or pastry-like bread/yeast flavors and good length.

    Other contenders could be the Pierre Peters nonvintage and the Francois Bedel 'Entre Ciel et Terre.' Interesting note on the last one… I live in Boston now, but I grew up in Jersey and I was visiting my parents this past weekend. I had had this wine about a year ago and have been trying to find it again with no luck. While in NJ I stopped by the Wine Library and sure enough, there it was, so I picked up another bottle. In related news, and to answer part 2, I'm not sure about this weekend, but last weekend, my Dad had a bottle of 04 Banfi Brunello that someone gave him and he didn't know anything about. My parents, my girlfriend, and I opened it up, and it was quite good, but he was curious about the price point. I guessed $70, I saw it at Wine Library for $57 I think, and then when I got back to Boston I saw it again for $85.

    I'm curious why you tasted the Pinot Meunier first as opposed to the blanc de blanc…


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