Whilst all of our Champagnes are hand-selected on their liquid merit alone, some are also noteworthy for their comely encasements.
As we head towards warmer weather and coveted garden get-togethers and celebrations with friends and family, it's the perfect time to pick up an eye-catching cuvée in preparation for those cork-popping moments that lie ahead.
From £30-£150, here’s our top 10 bottles, beautiful inside and out…
1. Henriet-Bazin Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut
It might be at the lower end of the pricing spectrum but the label screams elegance and class, with cursive fonts and styling that harks back to the Maison’s origins in 1890. Fast-forward 130 years and the estate now has HVE (High Environmental Value) status and creates wonderful wines like this Chardonnay, boasting chalk with notes of cuttlefish, orange peel and salinity on the finish.
2. Jean Velut Lumie et Craie
Another classy and classically styled bottle with a beautiful pewter coiffe and matching label and neck band. Produced by one of the very few growers in the village of Montgueux, the wine itself is fascinating – creamy, layered and complex, it is made solely from reserve wines with no base year.
3. Pierre Deville Chardonnay
You could be forgiven for steaming off the label and mounting it on the wall. Fortunately, what’s inside is even better! Striking, straight and pure front end, the palate leads perfectly and remains strict but with ample black fruits on the mid to late with a nice layer of sugary fruit on the finish.
4. Domaine Vincey La Premiere
It might be their first release, but we think the husband-and-wife partnership at Domaine Vincey nailed the styling. The bottle itself is a gorgeous voluptuous article with a striking red coiffe that is picked out on the labelling beneath. The wine itself is no less beautiful showing a light straw gold and tiny bubbles in the glass that create a wonderfully layered and complex experience on the palate.
5. Bertrand Delespierre Saignee Des Terres Amoureusses 2013
We couldn’t compile a list like this without at least one Rosé and, judging by the tongue-twister of a name, you might be better off calling it just that! Presented in a clear glass bottle really does justice to the gorgeous hue of this beautiful Pinot Noir, whilst the palate is fabulously juicy, with apples, loganberry and spice.
6. Margaine 2013 Special Club
The name is in reference to ‘The Club Trésors’ – an elite collection of just 28 artisan wine makers, selected for the quality of their work – and the bottle perfectly captures this prowess, with its robust, squat shape, embossed glass and gold lettering on the label. Unsurprisingly, the Champagne itself is also pretty special.
7. Gaspard Brochet Lion Tome II
Special wines deserve special labels and this manages both with aplomb. It’s hard to believe this is only Gaspard’s second release – complex, deep and refined, it’s a wine that reigns supreme, so what better animal to grace the label than the King of the Jungle. It’s so popular we struggle to keep this cuvée in stock, so if you see it available, grab one while you can!
8. Vincent Charlot L’Or des Basses 2013
The first 3-digit wine on the list and it shows it with a label that’s a world-away from understated. In fact, they’ve done away with a label entirely favouring a gold plaque instead! It’s a showstopping bottle but the wine more than lives up to the hype, with one of the finest mousses we’ve ever experienced, alongside fresh citrus notes and hints of nuts and a brooding rich and powerful finish.
9. Demière Egrég’Or
A bottle that encapsulates the Spring season perfectly, with flowers on the label and clear glass displaying a bright golden wine. This Champagne is made from old vine Meunier with no malolactic fermentation, delivering an incredibly rich and toasty wine with a beautiful creamy palate.
10. Goutorbe-Bouillot Clos de Monnaies 2011
The top of the table from price point, but one of the most understated bottles of the lot. Nevertheless, there is a real beauty and charm to this bottle that can’t really be appreciated until you hold it. The rough circular label with raised text, the wax seal on the neck and the slender elegance of the bottle allude to something serious within. It’s a standout cuvée from a family that can trace their winemaking credential back unto the early 18th Century.