During the holidays – and especially for New Year’s – many of us will pop open Champagne. Recently, thanks to my wife and a recommendation from wine expert Francis Fecteau of Libation, Inc. I discovered a sensational non-vintage French Champagne that sells here for about $43 but drinks like a million bucks: Roger Coulon Heri-Hodie 1er Cru Brut Champagne.
The Coulon family is part of the old guard of grower Champagne producers from Vrigny and the surrounding villages in the northwest corner of the Montagne de Reims, and has been making bubbly for eight generations. The average age of the Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines which produce Roger Coulon Champagne are 38 years, which is fairly rare in the Champagne region where “old vines” are often seen as unwanted. Coulon is one of only six growers in the prestigious élite Trait d’Union – an association committed to expressing terroir and working as naturally as possible. The Roger Coulon vineyards were certified organic in 2019.
Roger Coulon makes six different styles (and prices) of Champagne, as well as a range of still wines. Heri-Hodie is aged for three years before being disgorged, a somewhat unusual blend of 90% Pinot Meunier and 10% Chardonnay. The Champagne is full-bodied, concentrated and elegant, with fresh floral notes and flavors of yellow apples, apricots, and marzipan with bright acidity. I’ve heard it referred to as “bargain Veuve Clicquot.” But in my opinion, Roger Coulon Heri-Hodie is better than Veuve.
Simply put, if there’s a better Champagne value than Roger Coulon Heri-Hodie 1er Cru Brut Champagne, I’ve yet to find it.
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THIS CONTENT IS FROM UTAH BITES NEWSLETTER.
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Originally trained as an anthropologist, Ted Scheffler is a seasoned food, wine & travel writer based in Utah. He loves cooking, skiing, and spends an inordinate amount of time tending to his ever-growing herd of guitars and amplifiers.