Champagne Saint-Chamant was established in 1930 by Pierre and Hélène Coquillette. Their son, Christian, took over the estate in 1950 and led the production for an impressive 70 years. After Christian passed away in 2020, his son Stéphane succeeded him as the third generation, committed to carrying on the long traditions that have been established here.
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. Saint-Chamant specializes primarily in Blanc de Blancs with more than 11 hectares of Chardonnay vineyards in the Chouilly Grand Cru. The house also crafts a limited amount of rosé made with a small percentage of Pinot Meunier grown on a ½-hectare plot in Épernay. All grapes are hand-harvested, and the average élevage time is nine months in stainless steel and enamel tanks. The wine ages in bottle between six to ten years for vintage wines. Stéphane is a firm believer in extended lees aging, and he disgorges only once the wines have been ordered.
All Saint-Chamant Champagnes are of a distinctive style and sophisticated quality, reflecting the elegance and refinement that is the estate hallmark. They display a heady, old-time richness and vinosity with extremely fine bubbles.
Associated with luxury, celebration, and romance, the region, Champagne, is home to the world’s most prized sparkling wine. In order to bear the label, ‘Champagne’, a sparkling wine must originate from this northeastern region of France—called Champagne—and adhere to strict quality standards. Made up of the three towns Reims, Épernay, and Aÿ, it was here that the traditional method of sparkling wine production was both invented and perfected, birthing a winemaking technique as well as a flavor profile that is now emulated worldwide.
Well-drained, limestone and chalky soil defines much of the region, which lend a mineral component to its wines. Champagne’s cold, continental climate promotes ample acidity in its grapes but weather differences from year to year can create significant variation between vintages. While vintage Champagnes are produced in exceptional years, non-vintage cuvées are produced annually from a blend of several years in order to produce Champagnes that maintain a consistent house style.
With nearly negligible exceptions, . These can be blended together or bottled as individual varietal Champagnes, depending on the final style of wine desired. Chardonnay, the only white variety, contributes freshness, elegance, lively acidity and notes of citrus, orchard fruit and white flowers. Pinot Noir and its relative Pinot Meunier, provide the backbone to many blends, adding structure, body and supple red fruit flavors. Wines with a large proportion of Pinot Meunier will be ready to drink earlier, while Pinot Noir contributes to longevity. Whether it is white or rosé, most Champagne is made from a blend of red and white grapes—and uniquely, rosé is often produce by blending together red and white wine. A Champagne made exclusively from Chardonnay will be labeled as ‘blanc de blancs,’ while ones comprised of only red grapes are called ‘blanc de noirs.’
Representing the topmost expression of a Champagne house, a vintage Champagne is one made from the produce of a single, superior harvest year. Vintage Champagnes account for a mere 5% of total Champagne production and are produced about three times in a decade. Champagne is typically made as a blend of multiple years in order to preserve the house style; these will have non-vintage, or simply, NV on the label. The term, "vintage," as it applies to all wine, simply means a single harvest year.