A Swarovsky edition of Moët & Chandon Imperial. Image: Wesley Vieira Fonseca
True champagne may only come from the Champagne region of France, following the Champagne Appelation that stated only sparkling wine from this region can take the name. As a result, one might be inclined to think there aren’t all that many to try. Of course, we’re all aware this isn’t the case. A staple for luxurious dining, long associated with celebration, we thought we’d share four champagnes you really ought to try.
Moët & Chandon Imperial
One of the most prestigious wine houses in the world, founded by Claude Moët in 1742. It Claude’s grandson who was one of the early pioneers that exported champagne oversees. This could be the reason that Moët & Chandon today stands as one of the world’s most famous and well known houses associated with champagne. This particular champagne, the Imperial, is a luxurious one created from over 100 different wines to produce the cuvée. It features Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay in the assemblage with a delicious fruity flavour.
Krug Clos d’Ambonnay
Next up is one of the most expensive champagnes at around £1500 per bottle, Krug Clos d’Ambonnay. This champagne blanc de noirs from the Krug champagne house is produced from only the Pinot Noir grape variety, which makes it unique to many other champagnes. Its hefty price tag is probably due to the fact only 3000 bottles are made and the grapes come from a small hectare of vineyard near Ambonnay making it an extremely rare Grand Cru Champagne. This expensive wine is loved by many and certainly one that you must try.
Cooperative Les Pionniers 2004 Brut
Most certainly a leftfield choice, but the Cooperative’s Les Pionniers 2004 Brut is now seen as a household name. It won three prizes at the Champagne & Sparking Wine World Championships in a blind test, one of which was for ‘Best Vintage Blend’. It is made at the Piper and Charles Heidsieck champagne house in France which is led by famous wine maker, Régis Camus. Created from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and left to mature for 10 years, it is a true vintage champagnes. Many expert believe it will only get better with age, so it might be an idea to grab this bargain, at just £25, and store it for a truly special occasion.
Bollinger Special Cuvée
Bollinger has pedigree. It originally dates back as far as the 1500s, while the Bollinger house itself was formed in the 18th century. It is most certainly one of the most famous houses of Champagne worldwide, not least due to its association with James Bond having been referenced in ‘Diamonds Are Forever’. The Special Cuvée is a non-vintage champagne which uses grapes from a given year, blended with reserve wines. The blend is made from all three grapes; Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier. They have been producing this champagne for over 100 years and it’s still going strong. Definitely a must try, if only to feel a little like Bond himself.