Vintage Champagne is truly the pinnacle of Champagne. One winemaker. One Maison. One expression. One year. If you want to truly understand what the essence of a Champagne is and the critical role climate plays, then start with a vintage.
The third in our series of vintage tasting cases takes six bottles from 2010 to 2016, showcasing Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and even Meunier – each richer, more engaging, more emblematic than the last. Coming in at just over £63 per bottle, it’s the most comprehensive and cost-effective way to get to the heart of vintage, artisan Champagne.
Made from old vine Meunier with no malolactic fermentation, this wine is incredibly rich and toasty, with a beautifully creamy palate. There is an amazing energy that unlocks itself with a minute or two in the glass and, as it does so, you are given so much more depth and structure, with layer upon layer of fruitiness.
100% Chardonnay, 8g/ltr. Made from a single vineyard in Rilly la Montagne. A proper tropical treat even in a vintage as troubling as 2011. There’s loads of fiery pineapple, roasted nuts and oak. The palate remains strict and compact to start, then broadens out with a touch of the vegetal and notes of aniseed, mint and liquorice. You are blessed with an amazing length and a wine that develops beautifully in the glass.
A fabulous expression of the village Villers Marmery, this Champagne is 100% Chardonnay from three vineyards; Levois, Grands Arbres and Montmedy and 30% vinified in oak barrels. Round, opulent and generous up front with notes of oyster shell, fresh orange peel and sea salt, the palate is vivacious and gripping with an amazing energy and playful dough notes. The mid palate shows a surprising chalky edge alongside some blackcurrant and gooseberry and even some kumquat and lemon rind. As it opens further a wave of delicious toastiness hits you with a brilliant zesty end note. It finishes with superb acidity and that yummy oyster shell returns alongside orange peel.
A pure vintage from the year 2014. 100% Chardonnay from the lieu dit of its name. 0g/ltr. Powerful tropical nose – huge! Baked apple with a sprinkle of sea salt, with a tremendous level of complexity on the front end, bringing some candied notes to the apple. The first sip is sensual and full of finesse, followed by a brooding, oaky power. On returning to the glass, you are hit with more tropical notes, layered with the oak. There is so much texture and lateral weight and it gives so generously, loading up with more sea salt and lime peel. A super impressive first wine from these guys!
100% Pinot Noir, 2g/ltr. Some use of oak in this, the 2015, has brought another dimension to a fabulous wine. There is greater richness, a more engaging mid palate with an intense and brilliant finish. A delightful primary fruit comes to the fore, with notes of blackcurrant, blueberries and a delicious toasty element, good tension and a gripping, saline nature. With so many layers, such rich fruit and a persistent and embracing finish, what’s not to like?!
Made from three parcels in the village of Bouzy. Huge nose – so impressive, with an amazing concentration of primary and secondary fruit. Blackcurrant, tobacco and violets, with a palate that is intense, perfumed and integrated. The wine is clearly youthful, but with so much going on you can’t help but be impressed. Such complexity, such engaging fruit and the balance… just perfect. An amazing wine to finish this collection!