One of the world’s most iconic wines traces its origins back to the northeast of France. Yes, we’re referring to champagne. Not only is champagne fun to serve and drink, but it also tends to be tied to momentous occasions. If you’re looking to casually sip a glass of fine champagne, we’ve curated a list of the best champagnes.
Champagne is swimming in folklore, from stories of century-old bottles found in sunken ships (in great condition, mind you) to leaders like Napoleon who sabered and sipped the stuff in victory and in defeat. If there’s a wine for the big stage and moments of the greatest magnitude, it’s champagne.
If we don’t count our birthdays or anniversaries as special occasions, ringing in the New Year is one we can always count on breaking out the bubbly to celebrate.
Whether you’re looking for champagne on a budget or are sparing no expense celebrating, we’ve tracked down some excellent champagnes you can be proud to serve at your NYE party. Keep in mind, champagne is synonymous with style and good taste. For that reason, most champagnes that are worthy of raising a glass range from $30 and up. So, stay away from the convenience store “champagne” and check out some of these brands.
Christophe Mignon Brut Nature
Mignon has been dubbed the greatest champagne grower you’ve never heard of by prominent wine voices. This offering shows why an extremely expressive bubbler focused on the Pinot Meunier grape is so detailed that you’ll want to ditch the flute for a broader glass to explore the depth.
Tarlant Zero Brut Nature
Some of our favorite sips of champagne have involved those unique bakery shop flavors of dough, pastry, yeast, and pie crust. This wine has all of that and more, with a kiss of zest and brine that really gives it added personality and balance.
Pol Roger Réserve Brut Champagne N.V.
Are you looking for champagne the likes of the Royal Family and Sir Winston Churchhill drank? Champagne Pol Roger is a Grande Marque Champagne that’s been family-owned and for more than 160 years. It’s a pale-gold bubbly with a very fine bead; a flowery, delicately toasty aroma with fruit and complexity; creamy, beautifully balanced with a dry, harmonious finish.
Delamotte Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne Grand Cru ‘Le Mesnil-sur-Oger’ N.V.
This highly-rated bubbly is exceptionally flavorful for a dry brut. Notes of citrus, bread, and green apple blend into the ultra-fine bubbles. This is a great upper-mid-level wine for celebrating the new year or any occasion.
Lanson Black Label Brut
You may be tired of hearing about the juxtaposition of power and restraint happening simultaneously in wine (it’s a tired descriptor), but it’s really the situation here. The Lanson Black Label is dense and decadent while bashful and without ego.
Roederer Brut Premier
Roederer has become one of the most reliable names in all of Champagne (his house is responsible for Cristal, among other coveted offerings). Better, you can get all the sophistication of a $300 to $400 bottle in this gem at a fraction of the price.
Champagne Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé
This is such a stunning wine that you’ll likely hold on to the bottle once it’s finished as a reminder to buy more. Graceful and flavorful, it shows poached pear, peach, and wild cherry flavors, all dressed up in the most welcoming of textures.
Ayala Blanc de Blancs Brut Aÿ Champagne 2014
Ayala’s Le Blanc de Blancs 2014 is 100% Chardonnay, produced in small quantities in exceptional years only, and fully expresses the superb caliber of great Chardonnay from the best Crus of the Côte des Blancs. Right from the start, this wine is fresh and lively, followed by a broad and appetizing palate of white fruit and acacia honey with subtle pastry and brioche overtones. The finish is long and persistent, revealing a touch of chalky minerality, a signature of the Côte des Blancs, along with hints of grapefruit, blood orange, and a delicate salinity.
Champagne Valentin Leflaive Leflaive CV 17 50
Valentin Leflaive is Olivier Leflaive’s foray into Champagne, bringing a very Burgundian approach to his making a Champagne by focusing on a single grape. The nose is fresh, citrus fruits such as tangerine and lime punctuated by saline notes. On the palate, there is great finesse, it is chiseled with a nice volume.
Krug Grand Cuvée
In Krug’s vast champagne-making history, there really hasn’t been a bad bottle. The Grand Cuvée is always opulent, a lovely wine that’s so well integrated it tastes like the work of magicians.
Champagne Bollinger R.D. 2007
A signature since its inception, R.D. has had a lasting impact on the Bollinger style. This vibrant champagne pushes the craft to the next level with a mastery of time and rarity. The 2007 vintage offers an extraordinary contrast of freshness and complexity from age. As an homage to that legendary first vintage edition of R.D., the newest bottling bears a redesigned label, harkening back to the original 1952 bottle edition with the same material and mythical lettering and font.
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