Get to Know Champagne

A Useful Guide to Champagne

Everything You’ve Always Wanted to Know About Champagne But Were Afraid to Ask

Champagne being poured into a glass with a lot of bubbles Photo by Steve Daniel on Unsplash

Is all Sparkling Wine Champagne?

Champagne is a sparkling wine produced in the Champagne wine region of France using the Methode Champenoise (as defined below). In America, many people use the word Champagne to describe any sparkling wine. The Comité Champagne fiercely defends the name, so when you see bubbly wine in America that isn’t from Champagne, it isn’t labeled as Champagne — it’s labeled as Sparkling Wine or with one of a number of other terms.

How Does Champagne Get Its Bubbles?

There are different ways to get bubbles into wine to make it sparkling, but Champagne gets its bubbles during the fermentation process by way of something called the Methode Champenoise. This method is multi-step and quite complicated, leading to complex wines with great ability to age.

Here is a list of commonly used methods to make sparkling wine sparkle.

Method Description Terms to look for on a bottle
Champenoise; Traditional Method or Classic Method (when used outside the Champagne region) After primary fermentation, a secondary fermentation is initiated in the bottle the wine will be sold in. Eventually the bottle is reopened and modified before receiving its permanent cork and cage. Cava, Franciacorta, Crémant, and Metodo Classico, in addition to Champagne.
Charmat Rather than a secondary fermentation in the bottle, these wines undergo secondary fermentation in a tank prior to bottling. It’s the closest you’ll get to Champagne without those hefty price tags. Tank Method. The most familiar wine using the Charmat method is Prosecco.
Ancestral This is the oldest method of making wine sparkle. In this method, the wine is bottled before it completes fermentation. It yields fresh and funky sparkling wines. There is a hot trend right now to use this method, often called Pét Nat, but it stands for Pétillant-Naturel.

What does Champagne taste like?

How a Champagne tastes is a combination of the grapes used, the winemaking style chosen, and Dosage (the addition of wine and sugar to reach the desired final flavor profiles). The most common flavor profiles of Champagne include: apple, pear, peach, mango, and brioche. Learn more about the aromas of Champagne from the Comité de Champagne.

Sparkling wine is made from the same kinds of grapes as still wine and can be made from any wine grapes. Champagne is typically made from some combination of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Meunier, though it never tastes like any of these grapes in particular.

Pinot Noir and Meunier are red-skinned grapes with white flesh. If the skins are removed quickly at the beginning of the winemaking process, the wine will be white. We call these Champagnes Blanc de Noirs (White of Blacks) as opposed to sparkling wines made from Chardonnay which we call Blanc de Blancs (White of Whites). If the skin is allowed come in contact with the grapes briefly during the primary fermentation process, the Champagne will "blush" and become a rosé.

Champagne Aroma Guide from Comité de Champagne Image courtesy of Comité de Champagne

As with all wines, the grapes used contribute to its overall flavor, but winemaking has a lot to do with those aromas and flavors winemakers and critics wax poetic about in their tasting notes. With Champagne, there are two primary styles of wine which create different tasting profiles: oxidative and reductive. As with all things in life, most Champagne lies somewhere on a continuum of oxidative to reductive and is not 100% either.

The Oxidative Style

In this method, a controlled amount of oxidation (exposing the wine to oxygen) is allowed to occur during the winemaking process. It is typically associated with oak barrel fermentation (as opposed to stainless steel fermentation) and usually produced with Pinot Noir as the dominant grape in the blend. The oxidative style makes medium-to-heavy-bodied Champagne taste “yeasty” and “biscuity.” Commonly known Champagnes made in this style include Bollinger, Selosse, Krug, and Veuve Clicquot.

Explore Champagne Made in the Oxidative Style

  • Veuve Clicquot
  • Bollinger Brut Special Cuvee Champagne N.V.
  • Vilmart & Cie Grande Réserve Brut Champagne Premier Cru N.V.
  • Drappier Carte d'Or Brut Champagne N.V.
  • Piper-Heidsieck Cuvee Brut Champagne N.V.
  • Gosset Brut Excellence Champagne N.V.
  • Lanson Black Label Brut Champagne N.V.

Veuve Clicquot "Yellow Label" Brut Champagne N.V.

Region: Champagne, France
Grape Varieties: Pinot Noir (50-55%), Chardonnay (28-33%), Meunier (15-20%)
Suggested Retail: $45-60

92 points, Wine Spectator "A well-cut and lacy Champagne in an elegant, aperitif style, with hints of chalk and graphite underscoring the lively Honeycrisp apple, cherry and lemon curd flavors. Offers a sleek, minerally finish. Drink now through 2021." Nov 2018

The strength of this golden-yellow wine is immediately pleasing to the nose while its complexity explodes on the palate. The initial notes of fruit are followed by more discreet aromas of brioche and vanilla when the wine is allowed to age in the bottle. Brut Carte Jaune offers a perfect balance of finesse and forcefulness. Information provided by Veuve Clicquot.

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Bollinger Brut Special Cuvee Champagne N.V.

Region: Champagne, France
Grape Varieties: Pinot Noir (60%), Chardonnay (25%), Meunier (15%)
Suggested Retail: $55-70

96 points, Decanter "...sourced from more than 300 crus, including 85% grands and premiers crus; 15% fermented in old oak barrels. The complexity and richness of Special Cuvée is unparalleled among the entry non-vintage blends of every Champagne house, short of ascending to the mesosphere of Krug. Its grand recipe explains why, built on incredible depth of 50%-60% reserves. Triumphant complexity is a given at Bollinger, but it’s the dynamic freshness and vitality that really set it apart as one of the most affordable Champagne benchmarks."

Also: 93 points, Wine Spectator, 93 points, Jeb Dunnuck, 92 points, Wine Enthusiast, 91 points, Wine & Spirits, and 91 points, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

A golden color, distinctive of black grape varieties. Very fine bubbles. On the nose, it has a beautiful aromatic complexity, ripe fruit, and spicy aromas, with hints of roasted apples, apple compote, and peaches. On the palate, there is a subtle combination of structure, length, and vivacity. The bubbles are like velvet. Flavors of pear, brioche and spicy aromas, notes of fresh walnut. — Information provided by Wine.com

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Vilmart & Cie Grande Réserve Brut Champagne Premier Cru N.V.

Region: Montagne de Reims, Champagne, France
Grape Varieties: Pinot Noir (70%), Chardonnay (30%)
Suggested Retail: $45-55

93 points, Wine Spectator "A vivid Champagne, offering richness married to restraint, creating a pleasing tension that frames flavors of ripe nectarine and slivered almond, accented by an aromatic skein of lime blossom, ground anise, ginger and saffron. Finely detailed in texture, with a lingering finish. Disgorged February 2019. Drink now through 2025.—A.N."

92 points, Wine Advocate "The Vilmart NV Grande Reserve represents a blend of relatively young vines of Chardonnay with around 20% Pinot Noir. These are from vintages 2009 and 2010, though the result displays a surprising degree of lees autolysis in the nose, joined by smoky and chalky nuances that come out more emphatically on the silken, finely effervescent palate. Suggestions of jellied red currant along with apple and lemon – as well as a faint aura of barrel – put me a bit in mind of Chassagne-Montrachet. This finishes with bursting brightness, ringing clarity, mouthwatering salinity, cheek-pinching piquancy, and consummate refreshment. It should fare deliciously for at least the one or two years. - Wine Advocate (Nov 2013)"

The first olfactory impression is marked by a fine intensity. It opens with aromas of biscuit, ripe wheat, pear and cherry. After a few seconds, the nose becomes more ample. Iris, oak, celery, white pepper and fine mineral notes bring complexity and depth. — Information provided by Vivino.

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Drappier Carte d'Or Brut Champagne N.V.

Region: Champagne, France
Grape Varieties: Pinot Noir (80%), Chardonnay (15%), Meunier (5%)
Suggested Retail: $35-45

92 points, Wine Spectator "This bright and zesty Champagne is lightly juicy and appealing, offering flavors of Honeycrisp apple, ripe white cherry, biscuit and pickled ginger. Balanced and lacy in texture, with a lingering, spiced finish. Drink now through 2022."

90 points, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate "Disgorged in June 2019, the latest rendition of Drappier's NV Brut Carte d'Or is showing well, bursting with pretty aromas of peach, honeyed orchard fruit and white flowers. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied, chalky and incisive, with fine depth and tension and a penetrating finish."

Also: 91 points, Burghound, 90 points, Wine Enthusiast

With a very high proportion of Pinot Noir one is savouring what is nearly a Blanc de Noirs. A Champagne of great aromatic richness. The taste begins with stone fruits such as white vineyard peaches. A spicy note emerges in a powerful and complex mouthfeel. A vinous Champagne of grand complexity, with a characteris-tic touch of quince jelly. — Information provided by Drappier

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Piper-Heidsieck Cuvee Brut Champagne N.V.

Region: Champagne, France
Grape Varieties: Pinot Noir (50-55%), Meunier (30-35%), Chardonnay (15-20%)
Suggested Retail: $45-60

92 points, Wine Spectator Lithe and vibrant, this graceful Champagne is driven by well-knit, racy acidity, carrying flavors of ripe black cherry, grated ginger, toast point and mineral on the satiny mousse.

91 points, Jeb Dunnuck Crisp and clean, with a classic bouquet of orchard fruits, toasted bread, and a touch of minerality, the NV Champagne Cuvée Brut was disgorged in March of this year. It's beautifully textured and has a solid mid-palate, good density, and a clean, crisp finish, all making for a high-quality Champagne to enjoy over the coming 5-7 years.

Also rated 90 points by both Robert Parker's Wine Advocate and Wine Enthusiast.

The Brut NV represents the epitome of the Piper-Heidsieck style: a classic, well-structured, and fruit forward champagne. A majority blend of Pinot Noir provides structure to the composition while Pinot Meunier expands the wine with its brilliant fruit expression and fleshiness and Chardonnay bring elegant tones and acidity. Notes of almond and fresh hazelnut accompany the precise ascent of its bubbles. It is lively, subtle and light, leaving a deliciously incisive sensation of smoothness, marked by the pureness of fresh pear and apple and a delicate hint of citrus fruits. — Information provided by Wine.com

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Gosset Brut Excellence Champagne N.V.

Region: Champagne, France
Grape Varieties: Pinot Noir (45%), Chardonnay (36%), Meunier (19%)
Suggested Retail: $18-25

91 points, Wine Spectator Vivid acidity drives the baked white cherry, brioche, lime blossom and ground ginger flavors in this well-balanced, expressive Champagne. Lightly chalky in texture, with a lasting finish.

90 points, Wine Enthusiast and 90 points, Wine & Spirits

Founded in Aÿ in 1584 by Pierre Gosset, Champagne Gosset is the oldest wine house in Champagne. For more than four centuries, the preservation of style, elegance and family traditions in the making of Gosset champagne has been paramount. Champagne Gosset’s reputa­tion for high-quality starts in the vineyard, where they source grapes almost entirely from premier cru and grand cru vineyards. Unlike most champagne produc­ers, Gosset carefully avoids malolactic fermentation and uses extended lees aging to expose the terroir and produce dynamic, age-worthy cuvées.

With a clear, bright, pale-yellow gold color, and a nose that reveals yellow fruits such as apricots, peaches and dried fruit, this cuvée is ideally suited to be enjoyed in the summer months. — Information provided by Wilson Daniels

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Lanson Black Label Brut Champagne N.V.

Region: Champagne, France
Grape Varieties: Pinot Noir (50%), Chardonnay (35%), Meunier (15%)
Suggested Retail: $35-45

92 points, Decanter 50% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay and 15% Meunier from 100 villages in all, and including 30% reserves from 10 vintages back to 1995; a small proportion now being produced with malolactic. Black Label remains the confident barometer of Lanson, and Hervé Dantan’s first blend is a class act, a resounding statement of his talent in preserving the style and integrity of the house while meticulously polishing the edges. It’s a very important cuvée in the grand scheme of Champagne: one of the best and most consistent of the bargain set.

Also: 91 points from Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast and 90 points from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate and Wine & Spirits

Black Label's brilliant color recalls the characteristic straw tones of the Pinot Noir, with glints of amber. It is lively in the flute, with a fine stream of persistent bubbles. Its fresh aromas combine the impression of vitality and spring-time scents, together with hints of toast and honey. On the palate, bouquets of ripe fruits and citrus create a sensation of opulence yet lightness. — Information provided by Wine.com

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The Reductive Style

In this method, as little oxygen is exposed to the wine as possible. Fermented — typically — in stainless steel vats, these Champagnes get the rounded mouthfeel and have stronger notes of florals and fruit. This lends itself to lighter-bodies wines and is the style of choice for Chardonnay-driven Champagnes like Taittinger, Ruinart, Moet & Chandon, Billecart-Salmon, and Louis Roederer.

Explore Champagne Made in the Reductive Style

  • Moët & Chandon Impérial Brut Champagne N.V.
  • Taittinger Brut Réserve Champagne N.V.
  • Ruinart Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne N.V.
  • Laurent-Perrier Brut Champagne N.V.
  • Louis Roederer Brut Premier Champagne N.V.
  • Billecart-Salmon Brut Réserve Champagne N.V.
  • Pol Roger Brut Réserve Champagne N.V.

Moët & Chandon Impérial Brut Champagne N.V.

Region: Champagne, France
Grape Varieties: Pinot Noir (30-40%), Meunier (30-40%), Chardonnay (20-30%)
Suggested Retail: $40-50

92 points, Tasting Panel This spectacular wine replaces White Star as the flag bearer for the brand. It is a stunning improvement with a lovely citrus nose that shows hints of white flowers, minerals and brioche; it is smooth textured with graceful structure, bright acidity and showing long, precise and vivid flavors.

Also: 90 points, Wine & Spirits, Wine Spectator, and Decanter

An elegant color, golden straw yellow with green highlights. A sparkling bouquet. The vibrant intensity of green apple and citrus fruit. The freshness of mineral nuances and white flowers. The elegance of blond notes (brioche, cereal, fresh nuts)." — Information provided by Moët & Chandon

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Taittinger Brut Réserve Champagne N.V.

Region: Champagne
Grape Varieties: Chardonnay (40%), Pinot Noir (35%), Meunier (25%)
Suggested Retail: $50-60

92 points, Wine Spectator

Taittinger Brut Réserve is made from 40 % Chardonnay, 35% Pinot Noir and 25% Pinot Meunier, using perfectly matured grapes harvested from over 35 different vineyards. This subtle blend results in a light, elegant and balanced champagne. The high proportion of Chardonnay, allows the Brut Réserve to reach its full aromatic potential after maturing for 3 to 4 years in the cellars. It is unusual for a non-vintage blend to have such a high quantity of Chardonnay, and this is what makes this non-vintage blend so balanced, consistent and world-renowned. — Information provided by Taittinger

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Ruinart Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne N.V.

Region: Champagne, France
Grape Varieties: Chardonnay (100%)
Suggested Retail: $80-100

93 points, Wine Spectator A graceful Champagne, sleek and finely knit, with a subtle range of nectarine, lemon curd, almond blossom and ground ginger flavors, expanding on the silky mousse. Offers a lingering, mineral-laced finish. Drink now through 2024.

93 points, James Suckling A very appealing and satisfying style that fully captures the elegance and poise of chardonnay. The aromas here are all based around lemons, grapefruit, honey, fresh floral notes, stone fruits and toasty autolysis – which is somewhat of a signature for this Champagne. The palate delivers a ripe, flavorsome impression of peach custard and lemon crème brûlée. The acidity is nicely placed and the the finish upbeat with vibrant fruit expression.

Also: 92 points, Wine Enthusiast and 90 points, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

The wine shows a superb, golden yellow color with a beautiful luminosity and a fine and persistent mousse. The nose is clean and intense with warm, rich notes of brioche, French toast and roasted almonds. On the palate the wine is very supple and harmonious, with notes of honey and minerals on the long, sustained finish. Ruinart Blanc de Blancs is produced from a blend of 100% premiers crus Chardonnay grapes from the best of recent vintages. Grapes from the estate vineyards in Sillery and Brimont (ancestral home of the Ruinart family) are joined by carefully selected grapes from other premiers crus vineyards in the Côte de Blancs and the Montagne de Reims. — Information provided by Wine.com

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Laurent-Perrier Brut Champagne N.V.

Region: Champagne, France
Grape Varieties: Chardonnay (50%), Pinot Noir (35%), Meunier (15%)
Suggested Retail: $40-50

91 points, Wine Enthusiast Laurent-Perrier’s dry style is reflected in this crisp, elegant and fine Champagne. The character is mineral, taut, with a great burst of citrus and white fruit acidity. The ensemble creates a delicious food-friendly wine. Best Buy.

Also: 90 points, Wine Spectator, Wine & Spirits, and Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Laurent-Perrier Brut is the standard-bearer for the house style of Laurent-Perrier. Crisp, fresh and elegant, Brut cuvée reflects the fundamental essence of their Champagnes. The color is a pale golden hue, with fine and persistent bubbles. The nose is fresh and delicate, showing good complexity with hints of citrus and white fruit. — Information provided by Wine.com

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Louis Roederer Brut Premier Champagne N.V.

Region: Champagne, France
Grape Varieties: Pinot Noir (40%), Chardonnay (40%), Meunier (20%)
Suggested Retail: $50-60

94 points, Decanter The rise and evolution of this cuvée over the past 15 years, and particularly since the construction of its dedicated facility in 2007, has showed no sign of slowing today, as Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon continues his fanatical regime of experimenting, tweaking and refining every detail. I’ve long adored Brut Premier, a grand pinnacle and dependable bargain in the non-vintage Champagne stakes. JS93

93 points, James Suckling This has a core of fresh, extremely fleshy and attractive peaches and lemons from a ripe year. The delicacy and purity of this Champagne is stunning, as is its gently powerful nature. Such great purity here. In great form!

Also: 92 points, Wine & Spirits, Wine Spectator, and Robert Parker's Wine Advocate and 90 points, Wine Enthusiast

Refined and well-integrated, with hints of tropical fruit paired with poached apple and almond pastry. An expertly blended, 91-point rated Champagne with notes of passion fruit and pineapple. Refined and well-integrated, with hints of tropical fruit paired with poached apple and almond pastry, with a lengthy finish. Information provided by GiftTree.

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Billecart-Salmon Brut Réserve Champagne N.V.

Region: Champagne, France
Grape Varieties: Meunier (40%), Pinot Noir (30%), Chardonnay (30%)
Suggested Retail: $50-60

95 points, Decanter A fine straw-gold colour with great finesse of bubble flow and mousse. Joyful aromas of apple blossom and ripe pear. A full, defined palate demonstrates richness that will help to give this a long life in the cellar.

Also: 91 points, Wine Spectator, Wine & Spirits, and James Suckling and 90 points, Wine Enthusiast and Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Fine bubbles which rise slowly, persistent mousse. Straw-colored. A nose of ripe pear with some touches of cut hay. Full fruit, but clean in the mouth. This cuvée contains 40% Pinot Meunier, 30% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay. All wines from the best sites in the department of the Marne, from more than twenty top vineyards in Champagne. The overall composition of this cuvée has not changed much for almost fifty years. — Information provided by Wine.com

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Pol Roger Brut Réserve Champagne N.V.

Region: Champagne, France
Grape Varieties: Pinot Noir (~33%), Chardonnay (~33%), Meunier (~33%)
Suggested Retail: $45-55

92 points, Wine Spectator An elegant Champagne, with a smoky, minerally underpinning and subtle flavors of poached pear, toast, candied lemon zest and ginger riding the finely detailed bead. Harmonious, and hard to stop sipping. Drink now through 2020. 10,000 cases imported.

92 points, James Suckling A complex, reliable Champagne that would show well in all occasions thanks to its freshness and class. Drawing on all three grapes (chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier), this has a complex grilled-nut and autolysis character overlayed across red berries and citrus fruits. Definitely a lot of reserve wine character here. The palate delivers lemons, grapefruit, peaches and mangoes in a refreshingly pure, fleshy style. The bright acidity, handy balance and tannins smoothly frame the finish.

Also: 92 points, Wine & Spirits and Robert Parker's Wine Advoate, 91 points, Decanter, and 90 points, Wine Enthusiast

Pol Roger, one of a few luxury Champagne firms still family-owned, was established in Epernay in 1849. Pol Roger owns 200 acres of vineyards, which provide about 45% of their needs. Pol Roger's cellars extend over four miles of winding chalk passageways on two levels. The second or deeper cellar maintains a constant 9.5º C (50º F), one degree lower than the first level and most others in the region. This lower temperature slows the second fermentation, encouraging a finer mousse or bubbles. Pol Roger Champagne also spends two to three times the allowable minimum in the cellar before disgorgement, or about three years for the non-vintage and up to seven for the luxury cuvées. The long, slow maturation contributes greatly to the complex aromas, which distinguish these superb Champagnes.

The Brut Non Vintage blend is traditionally composed from about 30 to 35 still base wines, drawn from different vineyard sites, grape varieties and vintage years. It usually contains wines of at least two vintages, often three or four. Reserve wines compose between 20-30% of the traditional blend. The Brut NV is never sold until the youngest component is at least three years old, which gives it more character and body.

Pale gold with a very fine bead; flowery, delicately toasty aroma with fruit and complexity; creamy, beautifully balanced with a dry, harmonious finish. — Information provided by Wine.com

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Is Champagne Dry or Sweet?

The last major component of a Champagne’s taste profile is the step called Dosage. This step is first and foremost about topping off the wine that may have been lost during disgorgement (the phase where the lees are removed from the Champagne bottles). Older vintages are blended in to add balance to the bottling. Whether targeting sweetness or roundness, a small amount of sugar may be added to the Champagne at this phase. This creates a spectrum of sweetness in Champagnes. Not surprisingly this is tightly-regulated in Champagne and Wikipedia defines each of the levels thusly:

  • "Brut nature" contains zero dosage and less than 3 grams sugar per litre
  • Extra Brut (less than 6 grams of sugar per litre)
  • Brut (less than 12 grams)
  • Extra Dry (between 12 and 17 grams)
  • Sec (between 17 and 32 grams)
  • Demi-sec (between 32 and 50 grams)
  • Doux (50 grams)

If you want to do a deeper dive into Champagne house styles — useful for finding new Champagne to suit your preferences — I recommend this article at Vinfolio.

Does Champagne Come in Pink (Rosé)?

Champagne also comes in Rosé bottlings. These are my personal favorites. I love the fruitiness that comes with the extra dry finesse of a rosé Champagne. It’s often my go-to when I look at a wine list and I’m not thrilled with what I see — I’m never disappointed by a glass of rosé bubbles (and, pro tip, when you order bubbly in a restaurant you can always tell if it was recently opened).

Explore Rosé Champagne

  • Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé Champagne N.V.
  • Duval-Leroy Prestige Rosé Champagne Premier Cru N.V.
  • Laurent-Perrier Brut Cuvée Champagne Rosé N.V.
  • Moët & Chandon Impérial Rosé Brut Champagne N.V.
  • Perrier-Jouët Blason Rosé Brut Champagne N.V.
  • Piper-Heidsieck Rosé Sauvage Brut Champagne N.V.
  • Ruinart Brut Champagne Rosé N.V.
  • Veuve Clicquot Brut Rosé Champagne N.V.

Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé Champagne N.V.

Region: Champagne, France
Grape Varieties: Chardonnay (40%), Pinot Noir (30%), Meunier (30%)
Suggested Retail: $75-100

94 points, James Suckling A gorgeous rosé Champagne with sliced strawberries, orange peel and hints of cream and pie crust. Medium body, tight and integrated tannins and a long and flavorful finish. Tangy acidity. The texture shows a fine bead and lightness. Long and intense. Drink now.

93 points, Wine Spectator A lovely rosé in an almost vinous style, with mouthwatering acidity and a fine, lacy mousse carrying appealing flavors of ripe raspberry, white cherry fruit, star anise, mandarin orange peel and honeysuckle. Lightly chalky on the lasting finish. Enjoy with food. Drink now through 2020.

Also: 93 points, Decanter, 91 points, Wine Enthusiast, and 90 points, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

A pale yet radiant pink colour adorned with warm glints of gold. This cuvée unveils a subtle aroma leading to an elegant, delicate bouquet of fine notes of red berries and zest of citrus fruits. Its special method of vinification gives this cuvée a light, elegant flavour, followed by a fresh finish with a taste of raspberry. — Information provided by Billecart-Salmon

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Duval-Leroy Prestige Rosé Champagne Premier Cru N.V.

Region: Champagne
Grape Varieties: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir (undisclosed ratio)
Suggested Retail: $70-80

92 points, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate The NV Rosé Prestige Brut Premier Cru is a generous and well-structured blend of Pinot Noir (90%, from Vertus, the Marne Valley and the Montagne de Reims) and Chardonnay (Côte des Blancs) that shows a very nice, medium-intense salmon color. The wine opens with a delicately aromatic but also spicy-flavored nose of red fruits (raspberries, cherries) and reveals a delicate and fresh yet intense, round and elegant palate with a very fine mousse and a good, cleansing finish. There are juniper flavors in the long finish.

Also: 91 points, Wine & Spirits and 90 points, Wine Spectator

Duval-Leroy Rosé Prestige is made only from grapes with a Premier Cru designation and then aged a minimum of three years, a hallmark practice of the Duval-Leroy Champagne house. Made primarily from Pinot Noir with a touch of Chardonnay, this wine has alternating layers of light chalky texture and firm acidity with flavors of white raspberry, rich pastry, lemon zest and ginger. — Information provided by Wine.com

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Laurent-Perrier Brut Cuvée Champagne Rosé N.V.

Region: Champagne, France
Grape Varieties: Pinot Noir (100%)
Suggested Retail: $80-90

96 points, Connoisseurs' Guide Elegant and fruity at the same time with a quick invitation from bright, pure cherryish notes and then filled out handsomely by whiffs of chalky soils and well-integrated, rich and uplifting yeast-driven scents, this wine manages to be both vigorous and layered at one and the same time. Its bubbles are insistent, finely carved and add to the early sensations of lightness and energy yet also carry the wine long into a balanced, refined finish. And its latter palate grip is exactly what one should expect from the genre. While service with light foods would be our first choice, this one has the beauty to stand alone.

Also: 93 points, Tasting Panel and Wine Spectator, 92 points, Wine & Spirits and James Suckling, and 92 points, Wine Enthusiast

Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé is truly remarkable for its highly expressive bouquet, stemming from very careful preservation of fresh fruit aromas during the wine making. Made with 100% Pinot Noir from 10 different "crus " (or villages), from the North and South areas of the Montagne de Reims, as well as the famous village of Bouzy. Grapes from carefully selected plots are meticulously sorted and de-stemmed before going into the vats, and the controlled maceration helps with the color extraction and the development of the full aromatic richness of the Pinot Noir. Intensely fruity flavors, clean and slightly sharp, the wine opens to the sensation of freshly picked red berries: strawberries, Morello cherries, black currants and raspberries. The finish is supple and rounded. — Information provided by Wine.com

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  • $74.99 at Vivino
  • $79.99 at Wine.com
  • $82.97 at Wired For Wine ®

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Moët & Chandon Impérial Rosé Brut Champagne N.V.

Region: Champagne, France
Grape Varieties: Pinot Noir (40-50%), Meunier (30-40%), Chardonnay (10-20%)
Suggested Retail: $70-80

91 points, Wine Spectator Delicate verbena and candied pink grapefruit zest accents lead to macerated blackberry, toasted nut and saline notes in this balanced and creamy rosé, with well-cut acidity. Drink now through 2022.

Also: 93 points, Tasting Panel, 91 points, Wine & Spirits, James Suckling, and Decanter

A glowing color, pink with amber highlights. A bewitching bouquet. A lively, intense bouquet of red fruits (wild strawberry, raspberry, cherry). Floral nuances of rose. A slight hint of pepper. — Information provided by Moët & Chandon

Fun Sizes Available!
Size: mL for $27.00 at Wired For Wine ®
Size: 1.5L magnum for $156.99 at Wired For Wine ®

Perrier-Jouët Blason Rosé Brut Champagne N.V.

Region: Champagne, France
Grape Varieties: Pinot Noir (50%), Chardonnay (25%), Meunier (25%)
Suggested Retail: $70-80

92 points, Wine & Spirits Succulent strawberry flavors give this a round, supple richness. The finish is perfumed with red fruit, ending bright and sweet without any candied character. Mouthwatering and complete, this is a delicious rosé to serve with shrimp tempura.

91 points, Wine Spectator Rich accents of smoke and pastry underscore the flavors of kumquat, raspberry and ginger in this finely knit rosé Champagne, with a satiny mousse. Firm and minerally on the finish. Drink now through 2020

Also: 90 points, Connoisseurs' Guide, Decanter, and Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

The color is medium salmon with copper highlights. The bouquet displays aromas of ripe strawberry and bright red raspberry,with notes of light spice hinting at Hawaiian pink ginger, Mandarin orange, and honey with a touch of earthiness. On the palate, the wine shows freshly crushed strawberries with citrus and earth notes on the very long, persistent finish. — Information provided by Wine.com

Piper-Heidsieck Rosé Sauvage Brut Champagne N.V.

Region: Champagne, France
Grape Varieties: Pinot Noir (50-55%), Meunier (30-35%), Chardonnay (10-20%)
Suggested Retail: $65-85

92 points, Wine Spectator A deeply-hued, vinous rosé, almost garnet in color, this distinctive version offers dried cherry and currant flavors, accented by delicate dried thyme, graphite and singed orange peel notes. Well-recommended for food, this is firm and lightly chalky in texture, with a lingering, mineral-laced finish. Drink now through 2023.

Also: 93 points, Tasting Panel, 90 points, Wine & Spirits, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, Decanter, and Jeb Dunnuck

Rose Sauvage, meaning Wild Rose in French, is not your typical Champagne Rose. A high proportion of Pinot Noir results in a bold, deep-hued rosé and a palate that is structured, full-bodied, and yet distinctly elegant. This unique, fruity Champagne, carefully crafted from over 100 crus, is guaranteed to delight all the senses.

On the palate: A brisk, original and juicy wine which simultaneously offers black cherry, blackberry, pink grapefruit and blood orange notes. This structure and fruitiness are enriched with warm, spicy notes of Espelette pepper, tea, and liquorice. — Information provided by Wine.com

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  • $61.97 at Wired For Wine ®
  • $62.99 at Vivino

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Ruinart Brut Champagne Rosé N.V.

Region: Champagne, France
Grape Varieties: Pinot Noir (55%), Chardonnay (45%)
Suggested Retail: $90-110

92 points, Wine Spectator Raspberry and nectarine fruit flavors are ripe and appealing in this elegant rosé Champagne, with a fine, satiny mousse, neatly layered with accents of ground ginger, blanched almond and blood orange pith. Lightly mouthwatering, offering a lingering finish. Drink now through 2021.

92 points, Wine & Spirits Fragrant with raspberry and hibiscus, this is a vibrant rose. Light pink in color, the wine has touches of sweetness that don't get in the way of its powerful personality. It shares the Middle Eastern spice notes of the Blanc de Blancs, here matched with delicate red fruit. Pour it with lacquered duck.

Also: 91 points, Wine Enthusiast

Ruinart Rosé first presents itself to the eye, revealing a pomegranate color edged with orange reflections. The nose is subtle and fresh, first offering an original palette of exotic fruits (guava, lychee), and small red fruits (raspberry, cherry, wild strawberry). Notes of rose and pomegranate complete this complex and intense aromatic profile, dominated by little evolved primary aromas. On the palate, the attack is frank, the palate silky and fleshy, carried by aromas of pomegranate, guava and lychee, pink grapefruit and peppermint. Ruinart Rosé deploys a complex aromatic bouquet, woven with echoes and correspondences - so many notes ready to reveal their singularity during exotic meals. — Information provided by Ruinart

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  • $84.97 at Wired For Wine ®
  • $91.99 at Vivino

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Veuve Clicquot Brut Rosé Champagne N.V.

Region: Champagne, France
Grape Varieties: Pinot Noir (50-55%),Chardonnay (28-33%), Meunier(15-20%)
Suggested Retail: $70-90

93 points, Wine & Spirits This is the same base wine as Yellow Label, with the addition of 12 percent red wine to boost the color and the wine’s depth of wild raspberry flavor. It’s Burgundian-rich, a pinot noir as a serious Champagne with complexity, muscular structure and vinous length of spicy fruit.

92 points, James SucklingThe non-vintage edition of Veuve's rosé‚ Champagne has a bright-strawberry and raspberry-fruit thread on the nose with a gently spicy edge too. The palate's big on flavor and really exuberant thanks to expressive strawberry and hints of pink grapefruit.

Also: 91 points, Wine Spectator and 90 points, Decanter

The wine has a luminous color with attractive pink glints. The nose is generous and elegant, with initial aromas of fresh red fruit (raspberry, wild strawberry, cherry, blackberry), leading to biscuity notes of dried fruits and Viennese pastries (almonds, apricots and brioche).

The fresh attack is followed by a fruity harmonious sensation on the palate. The wine is perfectly balanced in the best Veuve Clicquot style of pink champagnes, combining elegance and flair. The wine works its magic—this delectably full champagne can be enjoyed as a true delicacy. A deliciously fruity wine in earlybloom, this is a wonderful aperitif to be shared as a twosome or simply with friends. — Information provided by Wine.com

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  • $68.97 at Wired For Wine ®
  • $69.97 at Wine.com

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What is NV Champagne?

In Champagne, a wine labeled with a year on it (Vintage) must only contain grapes grown in that year. But vintages vary from every vineyard and for every kind of wine grape harvested, so to maintain a consistent house style from year to year — something Champagne is particularly renowned for — they blend various vintages together to make the Champagne taste the same each year. These Champages are labeled as N.V. and it is recommended they be consumed within 5 years of production.

On the flip side, when a Champagne house has a great year (the French term is millésime) in the vineyard they might make a single vintage Champagne and label it as such. Fun fact: Dom Perignon is only ever sold as Vintage Champagne. Vintage Champagne typically costs more — often 100% to 1000% more — than its NV cousins and is prized for its ability to age (practically) indefinitely.

If you’re brand loyal, Champagne houses like Veuve Clicquot offer a variety of options at a variety of prices. Their N.V. Champagne is their “Yellow Label” which you can find anywhere wine is sold and they offer both a “regular” Vintage Brut and their ultra-premium La Grande Dame. This can be a fun way to explore a "house style" but compare NV vs “a very good year” when they do a Vintage bottling.

Why does Champagne age so well?

By regulation, Vintage Champagnes must go through a longer period of maturation “on the lees” which imparts significantly more structure in the wine, enabling long-term ageability. Nerdy side note: The lees are a byproduct of fermentation that contain mostly yeasts from the primary fermentation and the natural grape sugars that feed those yeasts.

Need help choosing your style? this guide from the Comité Champagne will help flesh out what you’ve learned here.

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Why is Champagne so expensive?

The main costs associated with any wine (other than vanity pricing for brands with high ratings or cult-like followings) are the cost per acre to grow and harvest the grapes; the costs to make the wine from the grapes (ferment, store, etc.); the costs of bottling; and, in the case of wine from outside the US, the costs of importing. Why Champagne is so expensive:

  • Champagne is a tricky region to grow grapes in, so yield on grape harvests are low.
  • Champagne undergoes two fermentations which are time consuming to implement.
  • Rosé Champagne usually costs a little more — both because it’s popular and because it utilizes even more labor during production.
  • Champagne houses producing NV wine store old Champagne for blending.
  • Champagne must age for at least 15 months, so storage costs are high, too.
  • Champagne bottles are taxed by US Customs upon arrival (current high tariffs on French wine are compounding the matter).
  • High-volume producers can charge less for their wares, though they often don’t. There are two good reasons:
    • Protecting their brand. For example, Veuve Clicquot “Yellow Label” costs more than Moet & Chandon Brut, of similar quality and production.
    • These producers often are buying fruit from other vineyards rather than growing all of their own. This is an additional cost.
  • Vintage Champagne is only created in exceptional years, so these gems cost even more.
  • Champagne is highly-prized by collectors, so collectible Vintages of superlative houses get dizzyingly high prices assigned to them by the market.

So, how much does Champagne cost?

Champagne has a rep for being pricey — ”Champagne wishes and caviar dreams,” anyone? This reputation is not without merit as true Champagne rarely costs less than $30 a bottle in the U.S. (hence the immense popularity of other Sparkling wines that are more modestly priced).

Champagne prices range from $30-40 for "entry level" N.V. to $60-100 for Vintage and N.V. rosé to $250+ for Vintage and special bottles from premium brands.

How do I get a good deal on Champagne?

When it comes to Champagne prices and finding a deal, it’s important to think about whether you want N.V. or Vintage. A Vintage Champagne is definitely a special-occasion treat for most of us, but if you know where to look you can often find a great price for a NV specimen — turning any occasion into a special occasion.

Deals are always available and turn up in surprising places. We recommend exploring sources like Vivino and value-focused brands to get a better understanding of accessibly-priced Champagne. Pro Tip: one of the best ways to find Champagne Under $30 is to shop Vivino's wine marketplace.

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Here a few of the N.V. Champagne deals under $30 Vivino has listed right now:

Champagne Vintage Deal Price
Andre Clouet Grande Réserve Brut Champagne Grand Cru 'Bouzy' N.V.$29.99Buy It
Autréau de Champillon Brut Champagne Premier Cru N.V.$29.99Buy It
Bernard Remy Carte Blanche Brut Champagne N.V.$29.99Buy It
Breton & Fils Tradition Brut Champagne N.V.$29.99Buy It
Charles de Cazanove Brut Classique Champagne N.V.$29.95Buy It
Charles de Cazanove Tradition Millesimé Brut Champagne N.V.$27.99Buy It
Charles de Monrency Réserve Brut Champagne N.V.$29.00Buy It
Chassenay d'Arce Cuvée Première Brut Champagne N.V.$29.99Buy It
Magic Door La Cle de La Femme Brut Champagne N.V.$29.99Buy It
Pannier Sélection Brut Champagne N.V.$29.99Buy It
Piper-Heidsieck Cuvée Sublime Demi-Sec Champagne N.V.$29.95Buy It
Trouillard Extra Sélection Brut Champagne N.V.$26.99Buy It

Here a few of the Vintage Champagne deals under $75 Vivino has listed right now:

Champagne Vintage Deal Price
Pierre Gimonnet & Fils Cuvée Gastronome Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne Premier Cru 20142014$72.99Buy It
Deutz Rosé Brut Champagne 20132013$66.95Buy It
Le Mesnil Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne Grand Cru 20122012$54.99Buy It
Pierre Gimonnet & Fils Cuvée Gastronome Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne Premier Cru 20122012$64.89Buy It
Roland Champion Special Club Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne Grand Cru 'Chouilly' 20122012$64.99Buy It
Louis Roederer Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne (Vintage) 20112011$69.94Buy It
Roland Champion Special Club Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne Grand Cru 'Chouilly' 20112011$69.99Buy It
Lallier Millésime Brut Collection Mémoire Champagne Grand Cru 'Aÿ' 20102010$69.97Buy It
Andre Clouet Millesimé Brut Champagne Grand Cru 'Bouzy' 20092009$75.00Buy It
Baron-Fuenté Grand Millesimé Brut Champagne 20092009$46.99Buy It
Louis Roederer Brut Premier Champagne 20092009$71.99Buy It
Laurent-Perrier Brut Champagne 20082008$68.99Buy It
Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Brut Champagne 20082008$74.99Buy It
Nicolas Feuillatte Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne (Millésime) 20082008$54.98Buy It
Laurent-Perrier Brut Millésimé Champagne 20072007$62.99Buy It
Paul Bara Millesimé Brut Champagne Grand Cru 'Bouzy' 20072007$69.99Buy It
Collet Collection Privée Brut Champagne 20062006$70.00Buy It
Nicolas Feuillatte Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne Grand Cru 'Chouilly' (Millésime) 20062006$49.99Buy It
Philipponnat Grand Blanc Brut Champagne 20062006$73.99Buy It
Nicolas Feuillatte Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne Grand Cru 'Chouilly' (Millésime) 20042004$39.99Buy It
Lanson Brut Vintage (Gold Label) Champagne 20022002$59.99Buy It

What is Luxury Champagne?

The world of ultra-luxury Champagne is fascinating — and both Dom Pérignon and Cristal are cheap in comparison to what some people are willing to pay for the rarest Champagnes of all. There are more than a handful of creme-de-la-creme Champagnes over $1,000.

Champagne starts to get super pricey when one of the following happens:

  • An old vintage gets really popular
  • A famed Chateau offers special bottlings
  • A famous person starts drinking it notoriously

Luxury Vintage (and N.V.) Champagne typically ranges in cost from $200-300. This would include Dom Pérignon, Cristal, etc. Vintage Rosé Champagne typically costs more — up to $500 or $600. Then there's the universe of special bottlings, ranging from $300 to $1,500.

Explore Expensive Champagne
Please note: fine Champagne is often sold in gift box at the same or similar price as the bottle alone, so we list gift box and bottle-only inventory mixed in. We separately list Champagne in Gift Boxes.

  • Dom Pérignon Brut Champagne 2008
  • Louis Roederer Cristal Champagne 2012
  • Louis Roederer Cristal Rosé Champagne 2012
  • Bollinger R.D. Extra Brut Champagne (Récemment Dégorgé) 2004
  • Krug Grande Cuvée Brut Champagne 168<sup>ème</sup> Édition
  • Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 2008
  • Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame 2008

Dom Pérignon Brut Champagne 2008

Region: Champagne, France
Grape Varieties: Pinot Noir (66%), Chardonnay (34%)
Suggested Retail: $150-200

The 2010 vintage is the most recently released, however it is not widely available yet. Vintages will vary in tasting notes, reviews, price, and availability.

Fun fact: The 2009 vintage of Dom Pérignon was released before the 2008 vintage. This was the first time this had ever occurred.

To the bracing acidity, concision and aromatic purity expected of the 2008 vintage, Dom Pérignon adds depth, density and complexity. The light is warmer and less harsh. The opening bouquet is complex and luminous, a mingling of white flowers, citrus and stone fruit. The overall effect is enhanced by the freshness of aniseed and crushed mint. The final aromas offered by the wine are starting to show spicy, woody and roasted notes. After a long period of reluctance, the wine is finally opening up. There is complete balance between the nose and the palate. Its slender, minimalist, pure, toned, athletic character is now also expressed with warmth. The fruit is pronounced and clear. The vintage's characteristic acidity is remarkably well integrated. Its persistence is mainly aromatic, grey, smoky and highly promising. — Information provided by Dom Pérignon

Tip: Dom Pérignon is widely available in local stores. We get it at our grocery store (Safeway) when they offer a 30% off deal on 6 bottles.

Additional Dom Pérignon vintages (stock confirmed on 10/02/2020):

Champagne Vintage Price & Store
Dom Pérignon Multiple Vivino Compare Prices
Dom Pérignon (with Gift Box) 2010 $199.97 at Wired For Wine Buy It
Dom Pérignon) 2010 $189.95 at Bounty Hunter Wine Buy It
Dom Pérignon (Magnum) 2009 $637.97 at Wired For Wine Buy It
Dom Pérignon 2008 $194.99 at Millesima Buy It

You can always check for Dom Pérignon at Wine Searcher for more buying opportunities.

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  • $189.95 at WineExpress (Wine Enthusiast)
  • $189.97 at Wine.com
  • $209.99 at Vivino

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Louis Roederer Cristal Champagne 2012

Region: Champagne, France
Grape Varieties: Pinot Noir (60%), Chardonnay (40%)
Suggested Retail: $250-300

98 points, James Suckling Such attractive, fresh, floral aromas here with fine bread, hints of white almonds and a lemon edge. White cherries and strong, chalky minerals, too. The palate has a very composed feel. Seamless and quite silky texture with effortless length and flow. Very fluid and composed. Very late, warming almond flavors. This is very long and smooth with a velvety finish. Super long pinot weight. Resolved and drinkable, but will age so well.

98 points, Vinous The 2012 Cristal is another absolutely stellar wine this flight of recent releases. Rich, vinous and beautifully textured, the 2012 has been nothing short of magnificent on the three occasions I have tasted it so far. In the glass, the 2012 is radiant and luscious, yet it possesses remarkable transparency and striking aromatic depth. Light tropical notes develop in the glass, giving the 2012 a real feeling of exotic beauty. The 2012 is the first vintage of Cristal done with 100% organically-farmed fruit, an approach introduced gradually starting with the 2007 that has profoundly changes Cristal, especially in its aromatic breadth. Two thousand twelve is the vintage where endless trials and experiments in farming and winemaking are fully realized. The 2012 is just stunning. It’s as simple as that. Dosage is just over 7 grams per liter, the lowest it has even been for Cristal.

The 2012 vintage is the most recently released. Vintages will vary in tasting notes, reviews, price, and availability.

Cristal is the flagship cuvée from Louis Roederer. 2012 was one of the most challenging and complicated years ever experienced in Champagne. However, difficult conditions often lead to great things... The low yields, due to the unpredictable weather, combined with continental conditions towards the end of the season, gave us unusual levels of maturity, resulting in rich, full-bodied and structured wines worthy of the greatest vintages in Champagne.

Golden yellow in colour with glistening gold tints. Rich and complex aromas with notes of zesty and candied fruit (lemon) mingled with pollen (white flowers), roasted hazelnut and Madagascar vanilla. After aeration, the bouquet develops rich notes of fresh pastries and smoky notes from bottle ageing.A delicious, concentrated and chalky palate. It shows incredible tension and perfectly honed aromatic precision. The attack is powerful, distinctive and concentrated and reveals a silky, mouth-coating texture, characteristic of the ripe Pinot noirs from the 2012 vintage. — Information provided by Louis Roederer

Tip: Cristal is widely available in local stores. We get it at our grocery store (Safeway) when they offer a 30% off deal on 6 bottles.

Additional Cristal vintages (stock confirmed on 10/02/2020):

Champagne Vintage Price & Store
Louis Roederer Cristal Multiple Vivino Compare Prices
Louis Roederer Cristal 2009 $249.95 at WineExpress Buy It
Louis Roederer Cristal 2008 $279 at Millesima Buy It
Louis Roederer Cristal 2008 $275.95 at WineExpress Buy It

You can always check for Cristal at Wine Searcher for more buying opportunities.

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  • $249.99 at Vivino
  • $259.00 at Wired For Wine ®
  • $274.95 at WineExpress (Wine Enthusiast)
  • $289.97 at Wine.com

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Louis Roederer Cristal Rosé Champagne 2012

Region: Champagne, France
Grape Varieties: Pinot Noir (55%), Chardonnay (45%)
Suggested Retail: $500-600

98 points, James Suckling This is a great vintage for Cristal Rosé. The pinot noir finds a band of power and expressiveness. The power here is impressive, very assertive and rich, really mouth-filling and super deep. This is exceptional and has intense, chalky and fresh, white-peach and nectarine aromas, underpinning red flowers and pink fruit. The palate has a scintillating blend of flesh and mineral cut, packed with such sweet, pristine, white-strawberry flavor and texture. This has such incredible potential. So exciting. Will take another two or threw years to resolve. Look out for this! Drink from 2025.

The 2012 vintage is the most recently released. Vintages will vary in tasting notes, reviews, price, and availability.

Over the years Louis Roederer has developed a unique technique for the production of its rosé champagnes. This process, referred to by Roederer as the ‘infusion’ technique, allows us to bring out the juicy, ripe character of the Pinot noirs whilst preserving their exceptional freshness. A small amount of Chardonnay juice is added to the Pinot noir maceration which then ferment together and integrate smoothly and harmoniously.

Salmon pink hue with golden tints. Consistent and incredibly delicate effervescence. The bouquet is poised and remarkably elegant. Its subtle, fleeting aromas are so delicately scented, intertwined and complex that they are difficult to describe. They invite you to take your time and lose yourself in this wine, which reveals itself at its own pace, like the master of time it is! The nose exudes delicate, zesty, fresh and precise notes of citrus peel, yuzu, forest fruit, mandarin, raspberry and wild strawberry which evolve towards roasted notes and almonds before giving way to fresh, herbal aromas of verbena and bergamot.It reveals a lively palate invigorated by an incredibly elegant effervescence and beautifully light bubbles that soften the fruity structure and texture. The overwhelming sensation is one of serenity, the elegance of fresh fruit and the power of the zesty, chalky freshness. The finish is wonderfully long and enticing. — Information provided by Louis Roederer

Additional Cristal Rosé vintages (stock confirmed on 10/02/2020):

Champagne Vintage Price & Store
Louis Roederer Cristal Rosé Multiple Vivino Compare Prices
Louis Roederer Cristal Rosé 2009 $499.97 at Wine.com Buy It
Louis Roederer Cristal Rosé 2008 $1,465 at Millesima Buy It

You can always check for Cristal Rosé at Wine Searcher for more buying opportunities.

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  • $536.97 at Wired For Wine ®
  • $648.99 at Wine.com

Bollinger R.D. Extra Brut Champagne (Récemment Dégorgé) 2004

Region: Champagne, France
Grape Varieties: Pinot Noir (66%), Chardonnay (34%)
Suggested Retail: $300

97 points, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate Fermented in oak barrels and aged under natural corks for almost 13 years, Bollinger's 2004 R. D. Extra Brut blends 66% Pinot Noir with 34% Chardonnay from 16 crus, 88% of which are classified as Grand Cru. The wine opens with a very clear, deep, rich and aromatic but also pure and mineral-fresh nose of crushed rocks, cherries, brioche, pain aux raisin, white nougat, chalk and ripe, yellow-fleshed fruits. Highly elegant and complex on the weightless yet persistent and salty palate, this is an intense, densely woven, firmly structured yet elegant, beautifully refined and refreshing "recent disgorgement" (February 2018) that reveals just a kiss of oxidative flavors that adds even more complexity. A great Champagne on its way to improve over many years in the bottle.

96 points, Wine Spectator The lovely nose of acacia blossom, toast and graphite leads to flavors of poached quince, fleur de sel, white cherry, lemon pith and almond skin in this dry and harmonious Champagne. Almost airy and ethereal in texture, yet the finely woven flavor range goes on and on, echoing on the finish. Disgorged June 2017. Drink now through 2034.

The 2004 vintage is the most recently released. Vintages will vary in tasting notes, reviews, price, and availability.

The Bollinger R.D. Extra Brut is an example of a Champagne that was held in cellar at the chateau much longer than others. R.D. stands for Récemment Dégorgé (conveniently translating to Recently Disgorged in English). The best old Champagnes are at their most extraordinary when they show both complexity from aging and the freshness of disgorgement.

"Bright and deep gold. Abundant stewed and candied fruits on the nose, accompanied by touches of sweet spice. With time, notes of mirabelle and preserved orange unfold in the glass. A grand generosity. Intense cooked fruit and tarte tatin flavours express themselves in a mouth that is full and harmonious." — Information provided by Wine.com

Additional Bollinger R.D. vintages (stock confirmed on 10/02/2020):

Champagne Vintage Price & Store
Bollinger RD (Récemment Dégorgé) 2002 $299 at Millesima Buy It
Bollinger RD (Récemment Dégorgé) 2002 Vivino Compare prices
Bollinger RD (Récemment Dégorgé) 1975 Vivino Compare prices

You can always check for Bollinger R.D. at Wine Searcher for more buying opportunities.

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  • $229.99 at Vivino
  • $239.99 at Wine.com

Krug Grande Cuvée Brut Champagne 168ème Édition

Region: Champagne, France
Grape Varieties: Pinot Noir (52%), Chardonnay (35%), Meunier (13%)
Suggested Retail: $200-250

96 points, Decanter A gentle gold with discreet yet persistent mousse and aromatics of spring meadows, lemon sherbet and barley sugar; the wine is pure and softly powerful, youthful energy finely poised, somewhat cautious after so many years in the chalky cellars. The reserve wines, Pinot Noir from Verzenay and Chardonnay from Avize especially, are subtle in support, vivacious despite their relative maturity, contributing to an ensemble which is hitherto dominated by red fruit, courtesy of the superb Pinot Noir, and a colourful tension. Behind that there are whispers of honey, quince and posset… and with so much more to come; but the finish, happily in these days of privation, takes one to wherever one may wish to go. Drinking Window 2020 - 2037

Krug releases its Grande Cuvée in editions rather than vintages. Each is built around a particular vintage, and the current release is the 169ème Édition. The 169ème Édition is not yet widely available, so we're talking about the 168ème Édition.

Despite the novelty of editions, shopping for a specific edition of Krug Grande Cuvée can be difficult because most websites are set up with vintages, not editions. Do not be confused by Krug Vintage Brut that has a regular vintage (like 2006) on it, these are not their Grande Cuvées.

Krug Grande Cuvée 168ème Édition was composed around the harvest of 2012, a beautiful year with a low yield due to a succession of meteorological events. Frost, rain, storms and hale [sic] all hit the vineyards of Champagne in winter and spring 2012, followed by the driest ripening season since 1974, resulting in 20% fewer grapes.

A light golden colour and fine, vivacious bubbles, holding a promise of pleasure. Aromas of flowers in bloom, ripe, dried and citrus fruits, as well as marzipan and gingerbread. Flavours of hazelnut, nougat, barley sugar, jellied and citrus fruits, almonds, brioche and honey. — Information provided by Krug

Additional Krug Grande Cuvée vintages (stock confirmed on 10/02/2020):

Champagne Vintage Price & Store
Krug Grand Cuvée 168ème Édition at Millesima
$195 (750mL)
$79.99 (375mL)
Buy It
Krug Grand Cuvée 168ème Édition at Bounty Hunter Wine
$169.95 (750mL)
Buy It
Krug Grand Cuvée 168ème Édition at Bounty Hunter Wine
$84.95 (375mL)
Buy It
Krug Grand Cuvée 166ème Édition (Magnum) $465 at Millesima Buy It

You can always check for Krug Grande Cuvée at Wine Searcher for more buying opportunities.

Fun Sizes Available!
Size: 375mL for $106.99 at Wired For Wine ®

Trusted online wine stores

    Please note: Delivery to your address might not be available from all of these sellers.

  • $199.97 at Wine.com
  • $204.97 at Wired For Wine ®

Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 2008

Region: Champagne, France
Grape Varieties: Blend is withheld by Pol Roger
Suggested Retail: $300-350

100 points, Wine Enthusiast One of the great Champagnes both for its richness and its longevity, this latest incarnation is superb. The wine's richness is linked to the ripe fruit and the dominance of Pinot Noir in the blend. It also shines in the perfect balance between the texture, the minerality and the integration of the fruit. It can be enjoyed now, but it will be better from 2020 and then for many years to come.

Also: 96 points, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate and Wine Spectator

The 2009 vintage of Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill is the current vintage, but it is not yet widely available. We are talking about the 2008 vintage here.

The opulent golden colour of the wine is enlivened by a fine, harmonious stream of bubbles. At first, the rich nose boasts notes of white flowers and freshly baked brioche aromas. As the wine warms in the glass, it exudes scents of dried fruits and toasted almonds and hazelnuts, combining with a hint of orange zest. On the palate, the wine is immediately powerful and yet exquisitely well-balanced; refreshing flavours of citrus fruit, notably grapefruit, are coupled with creamy notes of pastry. — Information provided by Pol Roger

Additional Krug Grande Cuvée vintages (stock confirmed on 10/02/2020):

Champagne Vintage Price & Store
Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill Multiple Vivino Compare Prices
Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 2008 $315 at Millesima Buy It
Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 2006 $279.99 at Wine.com Buy It
Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 1999 at Drizly Check Local Delivery
Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 1998 at Drizly Check Local Delivery

You can always check for Krug Grande Cuvée at Wine Searcher for more buying opportunities.

Trusted online wine stores

    Please note: Delivery to your address might not be available from all of these sellers.

  • $249.99 at Vivino

Same-day delivery near you

Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame 2008

Region: Champagne, France
Grape Varieties: Pinot Noir (92%), Chardonnay (8%)
Suggested Retail: $180-220

97 points, Decanter Now almost blanc de noirs, boasting 92% Pinot Noir and just 8% Chardonnay from 60%-70% estate vineyards. La Grande Dame is one of the most affordable of Champagne’s elite prestige set, and the stunning 2008 vintage was intricately engineered by the masterful Dominique Demarville for the long haul. It unites all of the enduring potential of its thundering grands crus with the tension and energy of this legendary season, colliding high-tensile acidity with deep, fine, powdery chalk minerality, bringing its finish into stark focus.

Also: 95 points, Wine Spectator and Wine & Spirits and 93 points, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

To the eye, La Grande Dame 2008 presents a color with bright, golden glints. The initial nose reveals a strong, aerial and delicate attack. Once opened, the wine has notes of dried fruits (almonds, figs, apricots), ripe white fruits (pears) and finishes on subtle toasted notes of hazelnut and praline. These pastry notes create a perfect balance with the freshness and clarity of the blend. The attack in the mouth is strong and clean. La Grande Dame 2008 has a silky texture on young fruits, supported by citrus and notes of red fruits (cherry). The Pinot Noir is extraordinarily distinguished by its freshness, minerality and power. La Grande Dame 2008 is a perfect balance of complexity, structure and power. — Information provided by Veuve Clicquot

Additional La Grande Dame vintages (stock confirmed on 10/02/2020):

Champagne Vintage Price & Store
Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame Multiple Vivino Compare Prices
Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame 2008 $139.95 at Bounty Hunter Wine Buy It
Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame 2006 $149.99 at Millesima Buy It
Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame 1998 at Drizly Check Local Delivery

You can always check for Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame at Wine Searcher for more buying opportunities.

Trusted online wine stores

    Please note: Delivery to your address might not be available from all of these sellers.

  • $159.97 at Wired For Wine ®
  • $169.97 at Wine.com

Same-day delivery near you

Champagne comes in fun sizes!

Different size bottles of Moet & Chandon Image courtesy of Moët & Chandon

All wine can be bottled in different sizes. The most common sizes are 375mL (half-bottle or demi), 750mL (standard bottle), 1.5L (magnum). Better barrels are often bottled in magnums because they offer a slower aging process than the standard 750mL bottle. But in Champagne… well, they take it to a whole other level.

Moet & Chandon Mini

In addition to the easy-to-share-a-glass half-bottles, there is also the infamous “Champagne Split” — a single-serving bottle that’s 187mL (a quarter of a standard bottle). These are frowned upon by serious winos because they are not conducive to proper aging (which is what most Champagne producers seem to think we should do with their wares). They are, however, super convenient for parties (the Moet Mini is the go-to), those who drink alone, and those who want to limit their alcohol intake. Try The Sip Society for monthly deliveries of mini-Champagne and make every day a celebration!

Champagne producers love magnums because the bubbly stuff ages more slowly in this format. This is due to the greater ratio of wine to cork (where oxygen gets into the bottle) and denser glass (which keeps out damaging UV rays). But, since Champagne is a celebratory item, they also think about bottlings for parties of every size — from dinner parties to weddings, and beyond.

It’s relatively easy to find Champagnes in large-format sizes like magnums and 3L bottles called a Jéroboam (this, and most of the other names are all quite biblical). After that, they become few and far between, sometimes only available upon request. We commonly see extra large Champagne bottles for sale at Wired For Wine.

Where Can I Buy Champagne?

Everywhere. Seriously.

Buy Champagne locally at grocery stores, liquor stores, drug stores, Total Wine, BevMo, Costco, you name it. You can also get it delivered to your door from local merchants via wine delivery services like Drizly and Saucey. Check which wine delivery services are available in your area.

Online wine superstores like Wine.com and Vivino (where you can comparison shop for the best deals) are good places to start, as are smaller merchants who offer a good selection at a great price, like Wired For Wine. ReserveBar has a great selection of Champagne, especially Rosé Champagne. If you want to try organic Champagne, you can find that, too.

To explore a huge selection of premium Champagne, try Millesima, the US branch of a renowned French retailer of very fine wines. They offer plenty of Vintage and aged Vintage Champagne to choose from, in addition to gift box selections and large-format bottles.

More Buying Options: Whether you're buying for yourself or as a gift, Champagne of the Month Clubs and Champagne sampler sets are a great way to explore the world of bubbly.

Two Great Champagne Deals

NV Champagne M. Brugnon Selection Brut

NV Champagne M. Brugnon Brut
Amazing value — 30% off the winery price of $50. Specially disgorged for Wine Access with the dosage determined by their Master of Wine, Vanessa Conlin. This is the Champagne that Wine Access' friends in the wine business are constantly hounding them to share. But they’ve got to settle for sips, because the only bottles in the USA are earmarked for Wine Access customers.

$35 at WineAccess.com
Champagne Langlet 2009

Champagne Langlet 2009
Amazing value — 35% off the winery price of $58. The Champagne Langlet Millésime 2009 Extra Brut offers aromas of brioche, apple compote, white cherry, spice and quince, that complement the satiny, vibrant, and spritzy palate with sprightly flavors of golden apples, pineapple, and just a touch of oak on the finish.

$38 at Gold Medal Wine
Bounty Hunter Wine

Good Selection, Good Prices

Explore Champagne
Wired For Wine

Good Selection — Especially Large-Format and Half-Bottles

Explore Champagne

Secret Bonus Content for Reading the Whole Guide!

Champagne isn't just for celebratory occasions. It's probably the most food-friendly wine on Earth which makes it great to pair with just about every meal. Champagne goes extra well with some usual suspects — lobster, caviar, and oysters — and some surprises, too: deep fried food, especially fried chicken; macaroni and cheese; and anything with white truffles. Check out this useful Champagne food-pairing guide at Town & Country or this article of offbeat Champagne pairings by Wine Folly.