Not an everyday luxury but a different drink to NV Champagne, seriously sophisticated.
What you should know
Champagne producers (known as houses) don’t make a ‘vintage’ champagne every year; they blend the different crops together in order to get a standard blend. However in years where they consider the wine to be good enough they ‘declare’ the vintage and make a champagne using only that year’s wine.
Vintage champagnes are likely to be richer and more complex than a NV champagne due to the fact that they are aged longer.
As champagne is aged it goes from being very light and crisp to having more savoury flavours, it’s often referred to as ‘biscuity’ and can smell a bit like baking bread.
At the pinnacle of vintage champagnes are the ‘Cuvee Prestige’ labels of the big champagne houses like Louis Roederer’s Cristal, Möet and Chandon’s Dom Perignon and Veuve Cliquot’s La Grande Dame. These are the best of the best but you pay a lot of money for them.
Top Tip – The vintage really does make a difference to the style and quality, you can find lists on the internet, look out for 1995 and 1996 which can be found now and are considered to be among the best.
The world of fine champagne can be expensive and confusing. You have to know a bit about vintages, champagne houses and the names they give their wines. This cuts through all of that to offer out and out value. It's not the most complex, high end wine but it's under £20!