The champagne production requires not only know-how, but also patience. The vintage of a champagne is a benchmark to appreciate the quality. We offer here a short guide to better understand the vintages of champagne.
A vintage champagne is a champagne from a single year. The year of the vintage on the bottle is therefore an indication of the vintage year and the elaboration of the wine. It also usefull as a benchmark for the consumer because all years are not equal and the conservation quality will vary greatly depending on the quality of the vintage.
Each harvest differs depending on weather conditions throughout the year. The climate at each stage of the evolution of the vine will have an impact on the vintage. The harvest year is therefore decisive for the quality of the grapes and therefore the champagne. Thus, when we buy a champagne from a vintage, we already get an indication of the quality of the product. Some Champagne Houses such as Salon or Dom Pérignon only vintage their champagne when the year is exceptional but most Champagne Houses vintage each year at least one of their cuvées. The rule imposed in this area is to market a vintage champagne only after it has rested a minimum of 36 months in the cellar. However, some houses have made the choice to let their vintage champagnes age longer and by this way the wine becomes more complex. And some vintages are on sale after 5 or even 10 years in the cellar for the most promising. If the minimum three years of rest must be respected, each house decides whether it allows its vintage vintages to age longer
Although most champagne consumers, usually drink it within a few hours or even days after purchase, as champagne is a wine, it is possible to keep it.
A vintage champagne is more inclined to keep a vintage champagne uncut. Its length of conservation is however very variable according to the year in question. Some vintages are prefect to be drunk right now, and waiting would have no interest while others will improve with the years. Most vintages can be kept for 2-4 years. But some great vintages can be kept for one or several decades. It should also be noted that the magnum will be the ideal container to preserve the best these vintages.
Obviously, beyond the conservation time, these are the conditions under which your bottle of champagne will be perfectly kept. Here are some recommendations.
Ideally, the place where you let “age” your champagne must:
In these conditions, the beautiful vintages (as for example the 2012 champagne vintage) will develop quietly all their complexity ..
Some vintages are highly sought because of their quality and exceptional aging potential. The most sought after are the vintages 1996, 2008, 2012, and also the 2002 champagne vintage …. We have prepared a small summary of the quality of all these exceptional vintages to help you in your choices.
This little guide will allow you to buy in complete serenity the unavoidable vintages, either for a great occasion or to keep it preciously in your cellar. And what is your favorite vintage?