Vintage

Vintage French Champagne is the produce of a single year's harvest, with the year stated on the label, aged for a minimum of three years on its lees (although the better houses will give it longer). Like port, vintage wine should be theoretically only be made in the best years, maybe three or four times a decade, but it seemingly takes a spectac...

Vintage French Champagne is the produce of a single year's harvest, with the year stated on the label, aged for a minimum of three years on its lees (although the better houses will give it longer). Like port, vintage wine should be theoretically only be made in the best years, maybe three or four times a decade, but it seemingly takes a spectacularly rotten vintage to dissuade everybody from producing a vintage wine.

On average, vintage wines are released at around five years old (but barely more than three is not unknown, sadly). They don't really come into their own until after eight to ten years. Bear this in mind when you buy it, these wines are too expensive to waste by drinking them immature. The reward is deep, richly complex, honeyed wines, often having the aroma of freshly baked bread or brioche, the best suitable for drinking with food.

Some of the best French Vintage Champagne producers to consider are: Taittinger, Bollinger, Moet & Chandon, Lanson, Veuve Clicquot, H Blin, De Venoge and Henriot. 

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