In the 1970s, Kermit was the first to begin importing artisanal, grower Champagne, and the Lassalle’s have been in the KLWM portfolio longer than anyone. Today, Kermit Lynch is proud that the relationship has continued into the third generation of the Lassalle family. Champagne J. Lassalle works with all three varietals authorized in the region (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier) on eleven hectares of vineyards, all of them premier cru. These tough, hardworking women continue to follow the vinification methods established by Jules in the forties: they use the same wooden basket press he installed in the winery over fifty years ago, pressing and vinifying the individual plots separately. It is one of the rare Champagnes that has been allowed to finish its malolactic fermentation, just like the great whites from the Côte d’Or. Every bottle is riddled by hand, and all cuvées are aged extensively once in bottle—even the non-vintage cuvées, which are a minimum of five years old. This results in an astonishing complexity and depth from the beginning of their range up to the luxury cuvées. Don’t miss their Blanc de Blancs, sourced uniquely from premier cru Chardonnay grown on the Montagne de Reims. It is a classic vin de terroir that ages beautifully.