As Christmas and the New Year get closer, Champagne becomes even more popular. That is why we have put together this exceptional selection, which is an ode to Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and the other varieties used in the region. You’ll find a magnificent selection of non-vintage Champagnes, great cuvées and little gems. What is more, nearly a quarter of the bottles are new releases. Find your Champagnes for the end of the year and beat the rush.
Non-vintage Champagne: the flag bearer for the houses and winemakers
A non-vintage Champagne showcases the unique style of each Champagne house. The cellar master recreates this style each year to produce a Champagne that is nearly identical to the ones made in the past. This means that you can buy the same Champagne year after year knowing that the taste will not have changed and that the vintage doesn’t have much of an impact on the end product.
There is also a strategy behind making non-vintage Champagnes. They represent the majority of a domain’s production and tend to be sold at a relatively accessible price (and are the domain’s least expensive cuvée). Most Champagne houses will include high-quality grapes in their blends. If a Champagne house’s premium bottles (their vintage Champagne, for example) strengthen their prestige status, then it’s their non-vintage Champagne that determines their position in terms of overall quality.
Here are some of the most renowned non-vintage Champagnes you’ll find in this sale:
- Carte d’Or from Champagne Drappier
- Brut Réserve by Taittinger
- R by Ruinart
- Spécial Cuvée from Bollinger
New releases and Champagne gems
Four partner domains to discover are:
- AR Lenoble: This is a small house, producing high-quality Champagnes that are deep and round with only a little dosage and certain cuvées are aged in barrels. All the reserve wines spend time aging in magnums which have been sealed with a cork. Most of the vines grow in Chouilly (a Chardonnay Grand Cru and a Pinot Noir Premier Cru) in the Côte des Blancs.
- Suisse-Laval: This is the business run by Janick Suisse, who is married to Alain Suisse and is Georges Laval’s sister. The domain has quite a classic style, crafting lively Champagnes with fine bubbles and a chiselled aspect that comes from the terroir. The Rosé Brut Nature is particularly exceptional, creating an explosion of red fruits on the palate. The vines grow in Cumières (one of the 44 Premiers Crus) in Vallée de la Marne.
- Pehu Simonet: This Champagne house isn’t very well known in France, as it exports 90% of its bottles. Its cuvées all come from Grands Crus (five hectares), except one which is from a Premier Cru (Verzenay) in Montagne de Reims. This winemaker has just gained an organic certificate and is someone to watch.
- Brigandat: This Aube winemaker mainly makes Champagnes from Pinot Noir (except for the Blanc de Blancs). It creates some pure Champagnes which are very attractive thanks to their price.