80% Chardonnay, 20% Pinot Noir. Villers-Marmery is an anomaly in the Montagne de Reims, an island of Chardonnay in a sea of Pinot Noir creating near Blanc de Blancs and giving the most simply delicious Champagnes in this portfolio. These can be some of the most hauntingly beautiful and original Champagnes you can drink. The clone of Chardonnay used by Margaine in Villers-Marmery is specific to this area and cannot be found in other parts of Champagne. Arnaud Margaine took over this six-and-a-half-hectare estate from his father Bernard in 1989 and is the fourth generation of his family to work these vineyards in the Montagne de Reims. The methods at this estate are not formulaic and Arnaud continues to experiment with new ideas in both the vineyard and the cellar. He prefers to make decisions in the cellar based on what he feels the wines need, rather than what was done in the previous year. Arnaud is preventing malolactic fermentation in a higher proportion of the wines, saying that he finds that non-malo wines have more freshness of the fruit. Their Rose Brut is a vibrant, intensely perfume wine. The Chardonnay comes through with a clean vein of chalky minerality and tons of energy, the higher proportion of Pinot brings the richness and fruit. This is a champagne that demands to be taken seriously and enjoyed with food. It’s a champagne that makes us believe this is one of the finest grower-producers in Champagne.