Champagne from Three French Vines

The sparkling wine category has grown in leaps and bounds in the last two decades. Champagne from the great houses set the standard and everything else was an also-ran. However the growth of the method traditionnelle wines throughout the world have seen wonderful wines created, and many of these carry much prestige. Advances in quality with the likes of Cava wine from the Penedes in Spain has seen this style grow in acceptance. Consumer preferences have also broadened, and the simpler Prosecco wines have become much more appreciated for their accessibility, such that it must be one of the world’s most popular sparklings. And within Champagne there has been a quiet revolution, with small houses and grower Champagnes coming to the fore. It all adds up to incredible diversity and choice for the consumer.

Here, in New Zealand, Andrew and Marie Lindsay have set up ‘Three French Vines’, as specialist importer of several small Champagne houses. I review wines from four producers. The Jean Josselin family have been winegrowers since 1854 and established their house in Gye sur Seine. The Monmarthe family have been in Ludes since 1737, and founded their house in 1930, with access to premier cru vines. Maurice Vesselle began his enterprise in 1930 and the family work grand cru vineyards in Bouzy and Tours sur Marne. Cristian Senez acquired vines in the early 1950s and made his first wine in 1973. The Senez house is based in Fontette.


  • Jean Josselin ‘Cuvee des Jean’ Champagne NV
  • Jean Josselin Champagne Blanc de Blancs 2011
  • Jean Josselin ‘Audace’ Champagne Rosé NV
  • Monmarthé ‘Coup de Cours’ Champagne Premier Cru Extra Brut NV
  • Maurice Vesselle ‘Cuvee Reservee’ Champagne Grand Cru Brut NV
  • Cristian Senez ‘Cuvee Renoir’ Champagne Brut NV

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