THE 2002 Champagne Value

Posted by CrushWine

The 02 Champagne Value
2002 Camille Savès Brut Grand Cru
A Vintage Blue Chip

"These are clearly amongst the best-made and most compelling grower-Champagnes that I have ever had the pleasure to taste, and must rank amongst the best values to be found in the entire region these days." - John Gilman, View From the Cellar

I first heard about the 2002 Camille Savès from Brad Baker, America's up-and-coming Champagne critic: "If you can find some 02 Savès, get your hands on it. It will best many wines that sell north of $100," he wrote. As I looked for a case to cellar, I never expected to find the wine at this price. When I did, I bought as much as I possibly could.

Champagne under $50 is one of the most popular categories of wine we sell. Throw the 2002 vintage in there and such high critical praise, and this offer becomes a recipe for a very fast sell-through. As much as we'd like to have this around in the store for a while, this will likely be sold out before the trick-or-treaters arrive.

The 2002 Camille Savès Brut Grand Cru is a throwback to the early days of grower Champagne pricing. Remember when they were so well-priced compared to the big houses' offerings that nearly any occasion was reason enough to drink some serious bubbles? A celebration! Today we offer this darling of price and vintage at the lowest price in the nation: $49.95 a bottle.

The 2002 vintage is the most exciting recent vintage since the legendary 1996, and in 02 Camille Savès produced its best vintage effort since their impossible-to find-1982. The 02 is filled with ripe, juicy red berry notes from the high-proportion of Pinot Noir (80%), along with rich yet precise surges of minerals, cream and citrus-tinged acidity. There's a certain fullness tied with briskness in the mouth, a distinct presence on the palate that lingers into a long finish, all alluding to the pedigree of this wine.

Indeed, Savès' 02 is composed of all Grand Cru fruit from vines that are 35+ years old in the famous Pinot Noir village of Bouzy. The style of the house, run by the fourth generation Hervé Savès, focuses on very low yields and exemplifies the character of Bouzy Pinot with a yeasty and rich red fruit personality that is the stamp of any great Bouzy Champagne. As Richard Juhlin asserts, the house is "definitely one of the highlights of Bouzy. The Savès are among Champagne's most passionate winemakers." The wine does not go through malolactic fermentation and is aged in stainless steel, which balances the chewy, Pinot-dominated palate with great tension and minerality.

Even as we prepare for other 02 releases from big-house Champagne stars, Savès' 02 Brut Grand Cru is a wine that should not be missed - not only for its unbeatable quality-to-price ratio, but also for the fact that the quality here may well stand toe-to-toe with other blue chips of the vintage.

While this bottle is outstanding now and ready for any suitable toasting, it will also sleep peacefully and beautifully for years in the cellar. Our advice would be to stock up for both. To place your order, please email us at or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Chris Cottrell
Specialist, Fine & Rare Wine
Crush Wine & Spirits

2002 Camille Savès Brut Grand Cru

Wine is pre-arrival
NET | No further discount

John Gilman: View from the Cellar: The bouquet is deep and very beautiful, as it offers up notes of pear, bread dough, lemon chiffon, chalk and very delicate notes of almond. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and very polished, with lovely raciness and focus, and great length and grip on the still quite primary, but beautifully balanced finish. This will be terrific.

Brad Baker, The Champagne Warrior: "Vintage after vintage, this wine delivers at an extremely high level, and 2002 is no different. This vintage is filled with rich biscuits, citrus, minerals, and a few red berry notes. A wave of cream melts into the finish to lift this wine even higher. Already delicious now, this wine is built to age and will further improve with time."