Wine

Champagne, 5 High-end cuvées for 2022

The Christmas and New Year’s celebrations have passed. Once again, many bottles of champagne have been opened all over the world!   As a sommelier, these celebrations have allowed me to taste and re-taste champagnes from both famous estates, and smaller wineries.   Here is a list of 5 essential cuvées to open and taste this year, whether as an aperitif, at dinner, and of course to celebrate happy events coming in 2022! 

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CHAMPAGNELouis Roederer Collection 242 

From the famous Roederer Estate, the Champagne Collection 242 - formerly known as Brut Premier - is a blend of several Chardonnay wines.  The chardonnay grape gives it some notes of ripe fruit, sweet and woody flavors. A generous Champagne, including a bit of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, bringing strength and dynamism to the wine.   This is maybe the most high-end entry level champagne, surprisingly regular year after year.    Recommended to be served at 10°C as an aperitif, with a few French cheese pastries: the gougères 

Winery   Louis Roederer

 

Grapes   40% Chardonnay

                           40% Pinot Noir                          20% Pinot Meunier 

Region    France / Champagne

 

Allergens   Contains sulfites

 Price Starts at   € 45

CHAMPAGNEJacquesson, cuvée 744 

Probably my favorite champagne estate! How to choose a specific wine from their range of champagnes? They’re all amazing. I therefore suggest focusing on the estate's entry-level cuvée, perhaps more accessible – and affordable - to neophytes.   Today, the Jacquesson champagnes are some of the most sought-after wines by sommeliers from around the world. The different champagnes have a strong personality, each showing the identity of a particular plot of vine. The vinification process is carried out using oak aging. The champagnes are very dry with low residual sugar.   The number of this cuvée - here 744 - changes every year. This is made from grape juice from the 2016 vintage. It is a blend of several plots located near the village of Epernay, south of the Montagne de Reims.   The 744 cuvée is made up of the 3 Champagne grape varieties: the chardonnay, the pinot noir and the pinot meunier.   On the palate: notes of fruity aromas, apple, blood orange and peach, with a long finish.    I love tasting this Champagne with fresh sea-food! 

Winery   Jacquesson Grapes   45% Chardonnay                           35% Pinot Noir                          20% Pinot Meunier Region    France / Champagne Allergens   Contains sulfites Price Starts at   € 47

CHAMPAGNELucien Collard, Grand Cru 2014 

Here is a confidential cuvée from a small estate located at Bouzy, in the heart the Bouzy vineyard, being ranked as a "Grand Cru". The vines lie on the slopes of the Montagne de Reims.   I have been following the Lucien Collard Estate for several years.   In the 2000s, Auriane and her uncle Lucien stopped selling their grapes to the famous Champagne estates to develop their own wines by themselves.  They offer low-dose champagnes – very little sugar - very pure, where richness and freshness are wonderfully balanced.  Their wines are predominantly pinot noir blends - bringing power and complexity, complemented by the chardonnay grape, bringing notes of toasted and roasted hazelnuts.   Auriane and Lucien recently started converting their estate to organic viticulture.   This wine is the estate's great vintage, made only with grapes from the magnificent 2014 harvest.   Don’t hesitate to forget this bottle in your wine cellar for a few years. It ages well. Then, open it to celebrate any anniversary related to 2014! 

Winery   Lucien Collard Grapes   Pinot Noir                           Chardonnay Region    France / Champagne Grand Cru 'Bouzy' Allergens   Contains sulfites Price Starts at   € 48

CHAMPAGNE Bollinger, La Grande année 2012 

La Grande Année is the embodiment of Bollinger know-how, an exceptional champagne with a dense, satiny texture and aromas of ripe and dried fruit. Each vintage ranks among the best champagnes.   To produce La Grande Année 2012, pinot noir and chardonnay grapes have been blended. The grapes come from several villages.   La Grande Annee 2012 is vinified and then matured entirely in oak barrels. It shows golden reflections. On the nose, it reveals notes of apricot, almond and hazelnut, but also honey and cereals.   On the palate, the texture is creamy, silky, and finishes with a bit of bitterness.   This is a gastronomic champagne to be enjoyed with scallops and with a beautiful creamy poultry. 

Winery   Bollinger Grapes   Pinot Noir                           Chardonnay Region    France / Champagne Allergens   Contains sulfites Price Starts at   € 135

CHAMPAGNEEgly-Ouriet, Blanc de Noirs Grand Cru 2008 

To end this list, I offer you a fantastic Champagne, to taste at least once in a lifetime. I had the chance to enjoy it during a wine tasting in December.   This is the 2008 vintage from the Egly-Ouriet Estate – a prestigious house of Champagne, made from an old Pinot Noir vine in the village of Ambonnay.   This wine represents the best of the house's know-how. This is a golden-colored cuvée offering bubbles of absolute finesse. It offers much complexity on the nose and on the palate: aromas of candied fruit, yellow fruits, spices, almonds ...   A bottle to be opened between wine lovers to celebrate an important event! 

Winery   Egly-Ouriet Grapes   Pinot Noir Region  France / Champagne Grand Cru 'Ambonnay' Allergens   Contains sulfites Price Starts at   € 180

Cheers everyoneBest wishes for 2022!