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The Society's Champagne Brut NV

Champagne from France - Champagne
For an all-purpose foodie Champagne, we recommend this house favourite! The house style of Alfred Gratien, providers of Society bubbles for over a century, is influenced by longer fermentation, oak ageing and bottle maturity, and the resultant rich, rounded flavours make it a glorious accompaniment to all manner of courses and cuisines.
Price: £34.00 Bottle
Original price: £204.00 Sale price: £170.00 Case of 6
In Stock
Code: CH331

Wine characteristics

  • Champagne
  • Bone dry
  • Pinot Noir Meunier Chardonnay
  • 12.5% Alcohol
  • Oak used but not v. noticeable
  • 75cl
  • Champagne cork

Champagne Alfred Gratien

The Wine Society first started working with Gratien in 1906, making it one of our oldest suppliers. To mark the 100th anniversary of our business relations in 2006 we launched a centenary cuvée which was a resounding success with members.

Based in the heart of Epernay, Gratien has deservedly earned its place as a top Champagne house over the years and its approach is very much quality-driven. Indeed its owner, Alfred Gratien used to compare his Champagne to haute couture. For much of this time, the company was family-owned but then was sold to the German sparkling wine specialist, Henkell & Söhnlein, who immediately began to use their extensive wealth to good effect, making essential repairs, buying vineyards and allowing for modest expansion, without in any way challenging Gratien’s devotion to the old methods of making great Champagne.

These include fermentation in small oak casks, which are bought second-hand from the Chablisienne cooperative in Chablis. Each cru is vinified apart and such is Gratien’s reputation that they are able to buy grapes from top producers and from choice grand and premier cru villages. Though ownership has changed, the cellar master has not: indeed, this all-important job has been in the same family for four generations. Nicolas Jaeger, the present cellar master is very much in charge, though his father is still influential in perpetuating relations with grape suppliers.

The Jaeger family comes from the small village of Reuil in the Marne...
The Wine Society first started working with Gratien in 1906, making it one of our oldest suppliers. To mark the 100th anniversary of our business relations in 2006 we launched a centenary cuvée which was a resounding success with members.

Based in the heart of Epernay, Gratien has deservedly earned its place as a top Champagne house over the years and its approach is very much quality-driven. Indeed its owner, Alfred Gratien used to compare his Champagne to haute couture. For much of this time, the company was family-owned but then was sold to the German sparkling wine specialist, Henkell & Söhnlein, who immediately began to use their extensive wealth to good effect, making essential repairs, buying vineyards and allowing for modest expansion, without in any way challenging Gratien’s devotion to the old methods of making great Champagne.

These include fermentation in small oak casks, which are bought second-hand from the Chablisienne cooperative in Chablis. Each cru is vinified apart and such is Gratien’s reputation that they are able to buy grapes from top producers and from choice grand and premier cru villages. Though ownership has changed, the cellar master has not: indeed, this all-important job has been in the same family for four generations. Nicolas Jaeger, the present cellar master is very much in charge, though his father is still influential in perpetuating relations with grape suppliers.

The Jaeger family comes from the small village of Reuil in the Marne Valley where pinot meunier is the majority grape and has an important role to play here. The meunier works well with barrel fermentation but only if the malolactic fermentation – the conversion of sharp, malic acidity to softer, lactic acidity after the alcoholic fermentation – is suppressed. Gratien wines do not undergo the malo and because of that, they need longer cellaring to enable acidity levels to settle. Non-vintage bottlings, for example, are not released until 3 years after the end of the final stage of production. Nicolas’s mother comes from Le Mesnil where some of the best chardonnay is grown so, not surprisingly, chardonnay is also an important element especially in the long-lived vintage wines.

For such a small house, Gratien produces numerous cuvees, including non-vintage, demi-sec and non-vintage rosé, examples of each of which are sold under The Society’s label. The prestige Cuvée Paradis is a non-vintage blend of chardonnay and pinot noir, drawn from the best vats of grand cru wines. The vintage wines come exclusively from grand cru vineyards and, with their immense complexity and capacity for ageing, are the flagship of the house.
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Oz Clarke's 250 Best Wines for 2012

I'm often asked who my favourite Champagne producer is, and if I had to average out the last 20 years, I might well put the small but perfectly formed house of Alfred Gratien at the top. They...
I'm often asked who my favourite Champagne producer is, and if I had to average out the last 20 years, I might well put the small but perfectly formed house of Alfred Gratien at the top. They don't make much, but they've had a long-standing agreement to make a special blend for the Wine Society, and year by year it delivers triumphantly. This is still young – you can age Alfred Gratien non-vintage for 5–10 years – but it has loads of class and character. The wine positively foams and has a warm, full flavour of baked Bramley apples wrapped in a richness of flaky butter croissants, crème fraîche and nut syrup. That may sound sweet, but it isn't, and it's all tied tightly together by the acidity of Bramley skins and twisted lemon zest.
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The Guardian

, author and playwright (Noises Off, Copenhagen), has just published a new novel, called ‘Skios’. In today’s Guardian … ‘Frayn said he has buried his own teaser inside...
, author and playwright (Noises Off, Copenhagen), has just published a new novel, called ‘Skios’. In today’s Guardian … ‘Frayn said he has buried his own teaser inside Skios: a seven-word-long private joke. "All you need to have done to understand it is have read my complete works – my 10 novels and 15 plays," he said. To the first reader who correctly identified it, sending him the answer care of his publisher, Faber, he would dispatch a bottle of the finest Wine Society champagne – "the same champagne that I had a small glass of to celebrate the Booker longlist".’
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Michael Frayn

The Wine Gang

Made by Alfred Gratien for The Wine Society, this very high quality blend of the three Champagne varieties has a bell-like clarity of flavour with an almost bracingly refreshing acidity (the geekier...
Made by Alfred Gratien for The Wine Society, this very high quality blend of the three Champagne varieties has a bell-like clarity of flavour with an almost bracingly refreshing acidity (the geekier among you may be interested to know that there’s no malolactic fermentation here). There’s a canny Christmas offer of six bottles for the price of five, which brings the price down to £22.50 a bottle, and there can be few better priced festive fizzes if you’re doing any entertaining this year.
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91/100

The Times

Buy your festive bubbles early as this superb fizz, a mix of chardonnay and pinot meunier, has a dash more pinot noir in the blend now, so its bold, oaky bouquet, creamy palate and nutty finish is even...
Buy your festive bubbles early as this superb fizz, a mix of chardonnay and pinot meunier, has a dash more pinot noir in the blend now, so its bold, oaky bouquet, creamy palate and nutty finish is even more seductive than before. The Wine Society has bought its champagnes from the revered house of Alfred Gratien for years and it is very hard to beat this Epernay producer’s traditional methods. Enjoy this bold, bouncy champagne now and during the festive season — or put it away for future celebrations taking place over the next three to five years for even richer, toastier flavours to emerge.
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(Jane MacQuitty)

Belfast Morning Telegraph

Everything you couldask for in an easy drinking style … blessed with a generous bouquet of toastynuts and yeast, a full and fruity palate with good acidity, and enough powerand finesse to stand up...
Everything you couldask for in an easy drinking style … blessed with a generous bouquet of toastynuts and yeast, a full and fruity palate with good acidity, and enough powerand finesse to stand up to the occasion, the toasts and the ubiquitousrendition of Auld Lang Syne.
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- Sam Wylie Harris

Newcastle Journal

…richly satisfying,brilliant own-label Champagne.

- Helen Savage

matchingfoodandwine.com

I hadn’t tasted thechampagne for a while and had forgotten just how good it is: incredibly richand toasty, just like vintage fizz. (It’s aged for 4 years before release).Delicious with Tesco...
I hadn’t tasted thechampagne for a while and had forgotten just how good it is: incredibly richand toasty, just like vintage fizz. (It’s aged for 4 years before release).Delicious with Tesco Orkney Crab pâté.
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- Fiona Beckett

Birmingham Post

Superb with a nose ofsweet brioche, citrus and apples with a touch of fennel. The taste is similarwith doughy brioche flavours and a long dry citrus finish

. - Andrew Cambell

The Daily Mail

What makes thisdifferent (in a good way) is that it's partly fermented in oak barrels, to givemore nuttiness, weight and flavour. Seriously good.

- Helen McGinn

France Magazine

The Wine Society hasbeen buying sparkling wine from Epernay champagne house Alfred Gratien for morethan 100 years. Its own-label champagne is considerably more serious than onemight imagine, with a fine,...
The Wine Society hasbeen buying sparkling wine from Epernay champagne house Alfred Gratien for morethan 100 years. Its own-label champagne is considerably more serious than onemight imagine, with a fine, delicate, butter-biscuity nose blending with whitespring blossoms and strawberry syllabub. The crisp and fresh palate is infusedwith star anise and the essence of baked lemon. The Champagne has a remarkablyrich and dense intensity of flavour.
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- Sally Easton

Wiltshire View/Hampshire View

Complexing savouryflavours from long lees ageing, combined with floral notes, aromatic spices andbaked summer fruits.

- Sally Easton

Champagne&Sparkling Wine World Championships 2014

Silver medal: Deep lemon colour. Soft andmellow red apple aromas, with fresh, overt, ripe, fleshy fruit on the palateand rich, beautifully clean, yeast-complexed fruit on the finish. Very longwith a firm...
Silver medal: Deep lemon colour. Soft andmellow red apple aromas, with fresh, overt, ripe, fleshy fruit on the palateand rich, beautifully clean, yeast-complexed fruit on the finish. Very longwith a firm acid line leading to true brut finish. Smart winemaking.
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- Tom Stevenson

Decanter

Pleasing lemon andmint fruitiness with a touch of biscuit. Soft and round with fine bubbles andsustained concentration.

- Panel Tasting

The Times

Dreamy, mature, nuttyand smoky, and mostly chardonnay with around a quarter-dollop each of pinotsnoir and meunier.

- Jane MacQuitty

The Mail on Sunday

…has a beautifulrich depth thanks to barrel fermentation.

- Olly Smith

The Oldie

Superbly toasty. 

- Bill Knott

The Times

…delicious,smoky-steely…- 

Jane MacQuitty

Country Life

The house of AlfredGratien uses barrel fermentation to make wine almost Krug-like in its richnessand complexity; this is the source of The Wine Society's Champagne NV.

- Harry Eyres

The Guardian

Brilliant own-label Champagne ... which is made by Alfred Gratien, which, like Krug, is one of the few houses that ferments and ages its wines in oak. 

- Fiona Beckett

Square Meal

With the richness of roast chicken and its crispy skin, not to mention the gravy, a house that is known for richer styles is a brilliant choice for this dish. Step forward Champagne houses that use ...
With the richness of roast chicken and its crispy skin, not to mention the gravy, a house that is known for richer styles is a brilliant choice for this dish. Step forward Champagne houses that use oak barrels when making their wine, because even though there might not be oaky flavour (there usually isn't) it still gives the wine extra oomph and concentration in the mouth. Even better, whether its potato dauphinoise or good old-fashioned roasties accompanying, the classic freshness of Champagne will also be great at cutting through the extra flavour of pimped up potatoes.
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- Jane Parkinson

joannasimon.com

Oak-fermented polish, precision and complexity from Alfred Gratien. Punches way above it's weight.

- Joanna Simon

Good Housekeeping

Buttery with a tasteof baked apple and a flavour that lasts well. A smooth fizz, with fine bubblesand an excellently balanced acidity.

Aberdeen Press & Journal

Dry, full-flavoured,very long and well rounded.

- Donna Ewen

joannasimon.com

Impeccableoak-fermented Champagne made by the small house of Alfred Gratien.Full-flavoured (toast, honey, apricot, coffee bean, cream) and rounded butetched with steely acidity. Ages extremely well.

- Joanna Simon

The Guardian

Like other luxurygoods, champagne is heavily promoted, and with the big brands, that’s whatyou’re paying for. Is Krug at £126 fourteen times better than Tesco’s LouisDelaunay, which ...
Like other luxurygoods, champagne is heavily promoted, and with the big brands, that’s whatyou’re paying for. Is Krug at £126 fourteen times better than Tesco’s LouisDelaunay, which was recently on offer at £9? Not for most of us, no, even if wecould afford it. A case of the Wine Society’s own-label Champagne (12.5 abv) isa better deal than both: like Krug, it is aged in oak and you can order untilmidnight on Tuesday at the equivalent of £19.67 a bottle, saving yourself £59in the process.
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- Fiona Beckett

Three Wine Men

Impeccable.  Asteal for the quality and lashings of personality for the price.

- Olly Smith

ft.com

I love The WineSociety and I love this rich, toasty, oak-fermented champagne, made especiallyfor them by Alfred Gratien, with whom the Wine Society has been in cahootssince 1906.

- Jonathan Ray

independent.co.uk

This is a fantasticown-label Champagne from the Wine Society, made by Alfred Gratien with hisdistinctive style: fermenting and aging his wines in oak barrels for addeddepth, concentration and nuttiness....
This is a fantasticown-label Champagne from the Wine Society, made by Alfred Gratien with hisdistinctive style: fermenting and aging his wines in oak barrels for addeddepth, concentration and nuttiness. There’s a lovely mix of light oaksavouriness with a burst of honeyed fruit on the mid-palate, dissolving to along, dry finish. There are well-rounded flavours with a steely, unflaggingacidity. This tension is maintained throughout, making it a brilliant choicefor a lengthy evening of entertaining. -
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Nuria Stylianou

BBC Good Food Magazine

This is all about bigflavours: brown apples, nuts and spicy notes. If, like me, you love BollingerChampagne but can’t afford it, this is the wine for you. The producer, AlfredGratien, is one of the...
This is all about bigflavours: brown apples, nuts and spicy notes. If, like me, you love BollingerChampagne but can’t afford it, this is the wine for you. The producer, AlfredGratien, is one of the few houses along with Bollinger that still age their winesin oak.
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- Henry Jeffreys

Sunday Express

Made for The WineSociety by Alfred Gratien, here's a lively, bright, appley fizz with toastydepth and keen acidity. Very stylish and full of interest.

- Jamie Goode

champagneguru.co.uk

Best value wines forChristmas and the New Year: Fermented in oak casks this wine gets a good dealmore time in bottle than many celebrated names and boasts a rich, spicy,savoury style that works both as a...
Best value wines forChristmas and the New Year: Fermented in oak casks this wine gets a good dealmore time in bottle than many celebrated names and boasts a rich, spicy,savoury style that works both as a great pick me up and with the right sort offood: savoury fishy canapés.
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- Giles Fallowfield

Sussex Express

The Wine Society hasbeen buying Alfred Gratien Champagne for over 100 years. Made with greatattention to detail in small oak barrels, it is aged for at least three years,giving extra depth, complexity and ...
The Wine Society hasbeen buying Alfred Gratien Champagne for over 100 years. Made with greatattention to detail in small oak barrels, it is aged for at least three years,giving extra depth, complexity and length of flavour.
Read more

- Richard Esling

Portsmouth News

Very handily available in half-bottles. Made for The Wine Society by the highly regarded producer, Alfred Gratien, this is a blend of all three classic Champagne grapes. Relatively unusually, the...
Very handily available in half-bottles. Made for The Wine Society by the highly regarded producer, Alfred Gratien, this is a blend of all three classic Champagne grapes. Relatively unusually, the fermentation is carried out in small oak barrels, it has a really inviting bouquet of citrus and hazelnuts along with some toasty notes followed by a nicely textured palate with lively acidity and a persistent finish. A lovely aperitif but would also work with fresh seafood, and oysters in particular.
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- Alistair Gibson

midweekwines.co.uk

OK, not the cheapest champagne but one offering a delightful balance and sophistication that fully justifies paying a little more. With early exuberance and long creamy texture, The Society’s ...
OK, not the cheapest champagne but one offering a delightful balance and sophistication that fully justifies paying a little more. With early exuberance and long creamy texture, The Society’s Champagne  builds on those attributes with ripe lemon and apple flavours, zesty grapefruit acidity, and a gentle backdrop contain neat suggestions of almond biscuits.
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- Brian Elliott

midweekwines.co.uk

Best Champagne, People's Choice Drinks Awards: With noteworthy earlyexuberance, [this Champagne] impressed the judges with the excellent way itszesty grapefruit acidity combines with the red apple...
Best Champagne, People's Choice Drinks Awards: With noteworthy earlyexuberance, [this Champagne] impressed the judges with the excellent way itszesty grapefruit acidity combines with the red apple backbone and the gentleyeasty backdrop that also contains hints of almond biscuits.
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- Brian Elliott

Platinum

Most often, I serve The Society’s Champagne Brut, a sort of poor man’s, or poor woman’s, Krug.

- Joanna Simon

Sunday Telegraph

A “private cuvée” created by the Champagne house Alfred Gratien for The Wine Society and a beautifully balanced drop, rich gold in hue, crisp but with a light spoonful of vanilla ice cream...
A “private cuvée” created by the Champagne house Alfred Gratien for The Wine Society and a beautifully balanced drop, rich gold in hue, crisp but with a light spoonful of vanilla ice cream along with fresh citrus. Destined to give lots of pleasure at summer celebrations.
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- Susy Atkins

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