Champagne is enjoying a resurgence in sales and has bounced back after a lukewarm 2020. It might be known as the universal celebratory drink but there is more to Champagne than that. A glass of bubbly is often misunderstood but widely popularized while the first thing that you should know about Champagne is that it is sparkling wine and that it contains three grape varieties: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. Thus to make your choice easier, we have picked the best champagnes for your try out as after all, it’s the drink which is the epitome of pomp and glamour.
Dom Pérignon is a name synonymous with champagne but here we are pining for the 2010 vintage since it is not common for champagnes to go vintage as most are non-vintage. 2010 was a different year and that prompted Dom Pérignon to release a vintage. In 2010 it was challenging with incessant rain changing had botrytis mold being developed on the grapes, mostly on the pinot noir. Dom Pérignon acted quickly and recovered plots of pinot noir grapes, which resulted in the Dom Pérignon Vintage 2010. Various tropical fruits and citrus shine through while it tastes purposeful and gives rich flavors.
It is a champagne house run by a member of its founding family and that means Philipponnat is steeped in history and producing champagne since the 16th century. Champagne Philipponnat was founded in 1910 by Pierre Philipponnat and today it has a limited production run while having its own distinct fan following. Our choice is the Clos des Goisses which is amongst the strongest and the best in terms of its flavor. It uses grapes from the most famous vineyards plus also the steepest. Hence, it is a powerful wine with a unique taste.
Bollinger traces its origins to 1829 when it was founded by Hennequin de Villermont, Paul Renaudin, and Jacques Bollinger. It is a famous champagne house that is also independent. Our choice is the La Grande Année 2012– the second vintage after 2008. This 2012 vintage contains a robust quantity of Pinot Noir which gives it distinct flavors. The 2012 vintage of La Grande Année and La Grande Année Rosé embody what Bollinger stands for and has a creamy/rich layer of texture that filters through. It is surely also a collector’s item also.
Charles Camille Heidsieck introduced the United States to champagne and was known as “Champagne Charlie“. A popular story, being part of champagne folklore, their wines are aged more and have a complex yet layered taste. Its nonvintage Brut Réserve is our pick for its rich flavor and enhanced texture. Compared to other champagne houses, the house uses up to 40 percent portion of reserve wines and that forms a big part of its appeal. The cuvée is the fruit of a unique blend and 60 is the number of hand-selected crus going into this blend.
The Krug champagne house was founded in 1843 by Joseph Kurg and is one of the world’s foremost authorities when it comes to champagne catering to the luxury space. It is known for its masterful blends with the popular “Grande Cuvée” being the favorite. Unlike other champagne houses, Krug’s “Grande Cuvée” features all three types including hand-picked Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier. This is a non-vintage wine having a blend coming from 120 crus after a 15 years harvest. It has a complex flavor and a sweet nose which makes this one of the best champagnes around.
A favorite with the Hollywood stars and a popular choice due to being excellent value for money, the Taittinger Brut reserve (non-vintage) offers a unique blend being taken from 35 crus and also having a higher amount of Chardonnay. That enables it to deliver a fruit and brioche-filled aroma along with having a creamy texture. Hence this is why this non-vintage blend is so balanced and consistent.