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Vintage Champagne

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Vintage Champagne
Vintage Champagne and vintage sparkling wines contain grapes from a single vintage only, as opposed to a blend of grapes from various vintages. Vintage Champagnes and sparkling wines aren't made every year. Instead, they are made only during very good vintages.

Vintage Champagne: A champagne made from grapes from a single harvest versus a blend (Cuvee) from several harvest years. The year of the vintage can be found on the label.
Vintage Port: (Portugal) very fine young port,bottled young and require long cellaring (8-40 years); needs decanting ...

Vintage Champagne is made from grapes harvested within a specific year, thus it carries the characteristics of that harvest year. Non-vintage Champagne is made with blended wines from different year.

The grapes for vintage Champagne that show a year on the label were harvested from one year only, while non-vintage Champagne are grapes and wines blended from many years.

The wines in a ~ come only from the year designated on the label. ~s are only made in top years. Prestige are each firm's top-of-the-line wine. It too will only be made in great years and the grapes will come only from the firm's best vineyards.

What is the difference between vintage and non-~?
The major difference is that ~ is made from the grapes of only one year's harvest, whereas non-~ is a blend of many different years' wines.

Nonvintage Champagne should be served a little warmer, from 43 to 48 degrees, and superpremium Champagnes from 46 to 51 degrees. Do not chill your bubbly in the freezer because it tends to lose its effervescence.

To get you started, I blind-tasted three non-~s that are found nearly everywhere. I didn't love all three, but that doesn't mean you won't - again, everyone is different. Hopefully you'll get something out of my brief notes to guide you toward or away from a particular bottle.

Cristal has a golden hue and honeyed nuances that carry on in a lingering finish. Cristal is a prestige ~ by family-owned Louis Roederer.
Franciacorta is Italy's answer to Champagne. While slightly less golden than Cristal and more simple on the palate, the style is just as rich.

This blending practice is utilized to try to get a very consistent style of wine from year to year. In exceptional years, a ~ or vintage Port will debut due to ideal growing conditions and you can expect that these particular vintage wines will garner a pretty penny.

Caviar: Champagne
If you are going to splash out on Caviar you may as well go the whole hog and serve it with Champagne, or better still a ~.

The event is conducted by the SAQ; Quebec's provincial wine and spirits monopoly. I was delighted with many of the wonderful tastings, but one stood out as a real surprise. Among the tastings of classified Bordeaux, and ~, we enjoyed several wine... Read More ...

The phrase translates from French as "head blend." Unofficially, it's used to refer to the top sparkling wine blend within a given Champagne house. For instance, Moet & Chandon's tete de cuvee is Dom Perignon, a ~ and Moet's finest production.
Texture ...

The vast majority of the Champagne produced each year is designated non vintage (that is, the blend may contain wines from several different vintages). The wines in a ~ come only from the year designated on the label.

See also: See also: What is the meaning of Champagne, Vintage, Region, White, Pinot?

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