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5 of the best: Vintage Champagnes

Champagne Service

While I doubt most people need an excuse to pop a bottle of Champagne, the week ahead offers plenty. An important part of selling more Champagne is to offer more options. Stock magnums, stock different styles and stock vintage!

Consumers are increasingly willing to spend more so why not give them the opportunity to do so? A perfectly formed Champagne offer would cover a white non-vintage brut, a white non-vintage extra-brut, a rosé non-vintage, a magnum option and a vintage champagne.

Upping the choice and availability to consumers increases the opportunities for premiumisation yet we often only see non-vintage available in the trade. With that in mind, we’ve taken a look through our range to bring to you 5 superb vintage Champagnes we think your customers will love as much as we do. Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Bouché Père et Fils Grande Réserve Brut

First up is an option that proves you don’t need to break the bank for a quality vintage Champagne. Family owned Champagne Bouché runs a 30-hectare vineyard in some of the best terroirs the Champagne region offers. From vineyard to pressing, blending and bottling, everything is carried out at the winery and controlled by the family.

The 2004 vintage we currently stock offers exceptional quality for less cost than many non-vintages. Selected exclusively from Grand Cru vineyards, this superb Champagne is made with 50% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir and 20% Pinot Meunier. The wine has aged six years on the lees which gives it a great aromatic complexity. This vintage is now fully mature and drinking magnificently.

Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut

Few wines have the record this Champagne has at the yearly wine awards. This 2006 vintage has taken Gold at the International Wine Challenge, Gold at the International Wine & Spirit Competition and Gold at the Sommelier Wine Awards. Produced in the cellars of the former 13th century Saint-Nicaise abbey in Reims, Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs is lavished with care and attention.

The Champagne is only produced in years when the harvest is of exceptional quality with only wine from the first press used. Made exclusively from Chardonnay grapes from Côte des Blancs Grand Cru villages, after blending the Champagne is aged for 8 to 10 years in the Saint-Nicaise chalk pits. For those who appreciate the sublime elegance and lightness of this style of Champagne, this is the perfect wine.

Piper-Heidsieck Rare Brut

Only eight vintages of this wine have ever been made since the heat wave in 1976 which inspired Piper-Heidsieck to make Rare in years influenced by extraordinary weather conditions. Piper-Heidsieck winemaker Régis Camus has won the International Wine Challenge Sparkling Winemaker of the Year trophy 9 times – an amazing personal achievement and one which highlights the quality of this house’s wines.

The 2002 vintage we currently stock is, unusually for Piper-Heidsieck, dominated by Chardonnay. It makes up 70% of the blend (the balance being Pinot Noir) which comes from the Montagne de Reims region, more famous for its Pinot Noir grapes: the winemaker Régis Camus describes the Chardonnays from this region as being nervous like a thoroughbred horse, but capable of settling beautifully with time. Silky-textured; with exotic, rich, tropical fruit flavours including pineapple, kiwi and passion fruit; it’s backed by a fresh minerally finish and rediscovered spice notes.

Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque Rosé Brut

The appetising colour and aromas of Perrier-Jouët Belle Époque Rosé draw you in, to be enjoyed on its own or with sweet indulgent desserts. Crafted only in remarkable years, the 2006 vintage stocked is the result of a September that brought with it perfect weather, ripening the grapes after what had been difficult year up until then. The blend is 45% Chardonnay mostly from Cramant and Avize, 50% Pinot Noir mostly from Mailly and Verzy and 5% Pinot Meunier; about 8% of the blend is red wine from Ambonnay and Aÿ.

Presented in the famous Emile Gallé designed Art Nouveau bottle with its painted anemones, the clear glass lets the wine's colour shine through. Inside you’ll find elegant aromas of strawberry and redcurrant with notes of honey and freshly baked bread on a balanced and complex finish. Very limited availability.

Krug Grande Cuvée Brut

Krug remains at the very summit of the Champagne-making art, producing outstanding wines with no concession to commercial pressures. The most expensive bottle on this list, this amazing champagne is made to their time-honoured, uncompromising standards.

2003 was a truly unique year with particularly challenging circumstances. They named this vintage “Vivacité Solaire” (vivacious radiance) to relate the unexpected story of a hot year that surprised the winemaking team at Krug. The resulting wine is very rich, with notes of pastry dough, toast, nuts and white fleshy fruit such as peach, pears and apple. It has a honeyed finish with more than a hint of lemon tart with incredible length and complexity. A wine truly reflective of the world's best-rated Champagne house.

You can find more information about the Champagnes we stock here. If you want to stock any of the wines mentioned, click here to place an order online now, or here to request an account with us; and don’t forget we’re here to support you with everything you need to ensure that your wine range is a success, from free menu design and print services to staff training.

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