In our minds, some of the most distinctive Champagnes come not from the well-known "Grand Marque" names, but rather from the small growers, who sustainably farm their own vines and make their own wines.
Until recently, most of these wines never made it past the French border. But that's changed since the arrival of the online wine store Fat Cork.
Since the site's launch in January, the Seattle-based founders, Bryan and Abby Maletis, have been importing some of Champagne's rarest bottles directly. Now, American aficionados have access to obscure small-grower bubbles that aren't sold anywhere else in the nation.
One of our favorite Champagnes offered at Fat Cork is Francis Cossy Premier Cru, a beautifully balanced, equal-parts blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier that is aged at least four years on the lees prior to disgorgement. Proprietor Sophie Cossy is one of Champagne's brightest young winemakers. She farms and makes wine on her own, maintaining a family tradition that began in 1764. At $44, Cossy's sparkling wine is an utter steal.
Purchase this and other Fat Cork wines through the website, or if you're in Seattle, make an appointment to visit its warehouse in person.
Time for a toast, we say.
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