Sommelier Maryse Chevriere has a not-so-secret identity. When she isn't pouring at San Francisco's Petit Crenn, she's reigning on Instagram as @freshcutgardenhose, the world's foremost visual interpreter of wine tasting notes. For New Year's Eve, F&W asked her to doodle the flavors of three top Champagnes.
NV Georges Laval Cumières 1er Cru Brut Nature Rosé Champagne (above)
Tiny production, organic viticulture, pressing by way of a small old-school Coquard press, natural fermentation via indigenous yeasts, little to no dosage and minimal use of sulfur: these are just a few reasons why this small grower-producer has achieved cult status among cork dorks. Of course, what's in the glass deserves credit too: Champagne with incredible ripeness and depth.
NV Marie Demets Cuvée 19ème Siècle Brut Champagne
Formed in 1987 by husband and wife team Alain Demets and Marie Brement, this small house in the southern Aube region is known for its exceptional Pinot Noir-driven Champagne. You can often snag it for less than what you might pay for peers of comparable quality.
1976 Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne
Ruinart has long been a high-end Champagne powerhouse. The Dom Ruinart label is their "tête de cuvée," a.k.a. the brand's top (and most expensive) bottling produced only in the best years and from a the finest juice.