The festive season calls for a fizzy celebration! We have selected some top picks for you, all on special offer.
For the uninitiated, here is a quick primer on the top-class Champagne houses, in alphabetical order:
Purity and brightness of fruit defines Billecart-Salmon's Champagne. In addition, they are also capable of ageing very well, giving a good balance of primary and tertiary characters.
Bollinger's rich, oak-aged and Pinot Noir-dominant style has drawn many ardent fans. Bollinger uses very old barrels, some up to 110 years old; a contributing factor to its hallmark bruised-apple and earthy-spicy character.
Dom Perignon was the first to launch the concept of a Prestige Cuvee, creating a new super-luxury sector for the market. They produce a seamless balance of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in almost equal proportions, an impeccable blending where one variety does not dominate.
As much as possible, the house avoid malolactic fermentation, especially in warm years. The resulting wines are substantial, deep with refreshing bright acidity.
This is one of the oldest houses in Champagne, established in 1757. Go for this if you enjoy a lighter and fresher style, thanks to the new direction from Freixenet.
Different from other houses, Krug's range begins with the Prestige Cuvee. The Grande Cuvee is insisted as a multi-vintage (not a non-vintage) - a strict blend of only fine wines from several vintage years. An uncompromising degree of selection is carried out in Krug wines; its high price is justified.
Two winemaking stages differentiate Pol Roger from others: 1) Double cold-settling is practiced, resulting in bright, intensely fruity Champagnes 2) The cellars of Pol Roger are colder than most cellars in Champagne, slowing down the second fermentation, leading to greater finesse and longevity.
Tattinger is the third-oldest Champagne house. In terms of house style, Taittinger focuses on elegance and purity of fruit. This is a delicate wine that has win over many purists!
Ruinart is the oldest Champagne House, established in 1729 by Nicolas Ruinart, a friend of Dom Perignon. It is best known for its Prestige Cuvee Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blancs that is remarkably full, toasty and smoky with bottle age. Its most commercially successful wine is the Ruinart Blanc de Blancs NV due to its softness and approachability.
Let's toast to the New Year!