The wines of Champagne Marc Chauvet
Impressive, well priced grower Champagnes from the Montagne de Reims

Champagne Marc Chauvet, 3 Rue de la Liberté, 51500 Rilly-la-Montagne , France

Clotilde Chauvet, winemaker

Based in Rilly-la-Montagne, in between Reims and Epernay, Champagne Marc Chauvet is an old family business with 13 hectares of vines in the Montagne de Reims area.

Work here is divided between brother and sister team Nicolas (vineyards) and Clotilde (winemaking) Chauvet. I met with Clotilde to taste through some of their wines, and also with their sister Isabelle, who while not fully employed in the family business, helps with marketing and communication.

Clotilde has a remarkable accent. She speaks English with a heavy New Zealand accent, which, combined with the French accent, is quite extraordinary. This is because she’s spent many years in New Zealand. In 1992 she took over from Rudi Bauer as winemaker at Rippon, in Central Otago. Then, in 1996 she helped Rudi set up Quartz Reef. She was involved here for a number of years, but got out four or five years ago because it became too complicated.

100 years ago the Chauvet family split the vineyard holdings from the cereal farming. At the time, Champagne was in a slump, and this seemed a fair division. These days, it seems very unfair, with the astronomic prices for Champagne vineyards. The extended Chauvet family is a big one—Clotilde has 33 first cousins. When they get together, it’s still a bit of a sore point with the side of the family that got the cereals. 

‘The style of the house is no malolactic fermentation,’ says Clotilde. ‘This gives a lot of freshness, so we age for longer on the lees.’ The wines are disgorged a number of times each year as they are sold. Chauvet is a member of the Club Tresors de Champagne ( , and produces a Special Club bottling, which is their top wine. I didn’t try this here.

I was really impressed by all these Champagnes, which are pretty serious and offer stunning value for money. They are available in the UK from The Real Wine Company (


Champagne Marc Chauvet Brut Tradition NV
This is a roughly equal blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Mainly 2008 with about 30% reserve wine from 2007. Tight and citrussy but also some peach and toast richness. Nicely aromatic with real depth of aroma. The palate is taut and toasty with nice precision and freshness, showing pure pear, peach and citrus notes. Lovely wine. 91/100 (£19.99)

Champagne Marc Chauvet Brut Sélection NV
60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay, all 2006. Tight, intense and quite structured with broad, lively apple and citrus fruit. Precise, full and concentrated with lovely richness and structure, as well as good acidity. Some subtle toastiness. Very fine. 93/100 (£24.99)

Champagne Marc Chauvet Vintage 2004
60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay. Very fine, elegant nose showing rich toast and almond notes with subtle white peach fruit. The palate is bold and dense with good structure and lovely toasty notes. Fresh and rich at the same time, showing real finesse. 94/100 (£29.99)

Champagne Marc Chauvet Brut Rosé NV
This has 20% red wine added, and as a result it’s quite deep in colour. Intense and quite structured with some cherry and berry fruits. Fresh with some green herbiness in the background, and lovey lively fruit. This has spent 3 years on its lees. 91/100 (£24.99)

See also:

Taittinger Comtes de Champagne vertical tasting
Champagne offline with some high end fizz

Wines tasted 11/12  
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