The holidays are upon us and all we have left to do is pop the Champagne and say au revoir to 2021!
As far as which Champagne to pop open… I’ve got you covered! There is something for everyone on my Holiday Champagne List here, and each Champagne chosen, has been a favourite cuvée I have had this year, or a producer I am loving at the moment. The important thing is that these are all fairly easy to access, and you still have some time to grab them!
Please note these are in no particular order and love them all equally xx
Billecart-Salmon Elisabeth Salmon 2008
This rosé has been one of my favourites to drink this year! A sophisticated, complex, regal wine- 55% Pinot Noir from the Montagne de Reims and the Grande Vallée de la Marne, 45% Chardonnay from the Côte des Blancs, Less than 10% of the Pinot Noir is vinified as a red wine. The grapes for the red wine are come from the “Valofroy” vineyard of old vines, located on the slopes of Mareuil-sur-Aÿ and which benefit from a south facing exposure.
Aged for 10 years on the lees, I love the refined texture and beautiful aromas of mandarin, citrus zest, saffron, and spices. It has such a sophisticated yet exotic feel to it. And who doesn’t want a complex rosé that can stand up to the decadent dishes we enjoy over the holidays??
Louis Roederer Collection 242
I must admit that I was one of those who was absolutely devastated when I heard the Brut Premiere was discontinued and replaced with this new concept. And believe me.. I still wasn’t convinced until I was drinking it with Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon, and slowly but surely having to admit it was freakin delicious, and the concept made to fight the effects of climate change and preserving freshness had me sold!
Roederer Collection 242 is a multi-vintage blend, based on 2017 harvest, that uses both reserve wines and a high proportion of a solera-style Perpetual Reserve created in 2012 and topped up after subsequent harvests.
This MV champagne is unique for the fact that rather than creating a multi-vintage cuvée that is consistent in style, the philosophy behind this new wine is to create a cuvée that changes every year and expresses the uniqueness of a vintage, so kind of a vintage Champagne in disguise.
242 is the number of vintages since the House was founded in 1776, up to 2017, the base vintage of the new cuvée.
Anything produced by Jean-Baptiste Geoffroy is going to be good! I am never disappointed and always amused with everything he comes up with. He is constantly evolving, never settling, and his wines are always so interesting and entertaining.
This year, I invite you to travel outside your Champagne comfort zone and grab his Cumières Rouge, a Coteaux Champenois made with 100% Pinot Meunier!
Unusual to find a Coteaux made of 100% Meunier, This is an intense and ripe expression of the grape. Grown in siliceous soil sitting on marl at depth from the village of Cumieres, the vines average in age around 60 years, driving the concentration and complexity with this one.
Bring this one out on Christmas Day, great with a variety of foods!
"A definite jewel in the Henriot portfolio, its name is a tribute to the Greek Goddess of Daylight : HEMERA. The fruit of a unique vintage, together with a blend of six iconic Grands Crus Champagnes, this Champagne - more than any other - epitomises Maison Henriot’s luminous style.”
The newest release of this cuvée, I received this beautiful champagne as a gift from the house, but I also got to try it at La Fête and absolutely loved it, hence why I couldn’t resist to add it to the list.
Champagne Henriot has a characteristic and elegant style of its own, each cuvée so balanced and enjoyable, yet unique. Their cellar master, Alice Tétienne, was awarded the “Best Winemaker of the Year” in 2020 by Trophées Champenois for her dedicated work.
Cuvée Hemera 2006 is 100% Grands Crus- 50% chardonnay, 50% pinot noir. There is at least 12 years of ageing on this one and lower dosage, less than 5gr. I remember trying this with Alice in New York and while she explained so eloquently about the cuvée, the wine in my glass was constantly evolving with every sip, becoming more and more interesting and elegant. With the beautiful packaging, this one would be a fantastic gift, as I know it could use some time to really show its potential.
I will be enjoying the newest release of Rare, 2008 between Christmas and New Years, so I gave you both the newest release of it, and the 2006 which I have had several times.
Just like the name, Rare Millésime has only been released now 11 times since its birth in 1976. This cuvée’s unique vivacity comes from the fact that it is made up of 70% Chardonnay from the Montagne de Reims rather than the Côte des Blancs, and 30% Pinot Noir.
For the 2006, The undeniable smokey introduction on the nose, and sunny gold and creaminess on the palate, finished with some sprinkles of ginger.
From Cellar Master, Regus Camus, when drunk side by side, the 2006 is ‘sunny’ and the 2006 is ‘infinite’. Not only is this a beautiful wine, but the bottle adds a touch of luxury to any holiday season.
I absolutely love this grower, especially after visiting them in Ludes this year and trying the range of their wines side by side.
This wine in particular is named after Theirry Forget’s daughter, Marie. He chooses the grapes for this wine before his others, picking the best grapes to go into this cuvée. Marie Forget is a blend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and Chardonnay, and 4 crus- Ludes-Le-Coquet, Mailly-Champagne, Chigny-Les-Roses,Verzenay.
This is a more mature wine that shows a lovely complexity on the nose, while simultaneously filling the mouth with flavor. It is recommended to drink it in a larger wine glass such as a Bordeaux glass, so that one can fully appreciate how truly immense this champagne is.
This is a fairly new producer for me, but when I most recently opened this BdB, I was thinking it is the perfect one to pull out when you need something for your guests to sip on while they wait for their meal. Great for larger group settings, as it is great value for money.
It is produced by 5th generation winemaker Julian Fourrier, whose father, Philippe, created this special cuvée in honour of his wife, Brigitte. Her maiden name was Delmotte. The grapes are 100% Chardonnay taken from vineyards first planted by Philippe and Brigitte. All the family's 18 hectares of vines lie within the Côte des Bars.
Bridgitte Delmotte Blanc de Blancs delivers a classic BdB with crisp green apple, citrus, brioche, while delicate hints of minerality and a creamy finish.
To mark its 250th anniversary, Champagne Lanson created a range of cuvées, Extra Age. The range was created by chief winemaker Jean-Paul Gandon to celebrate the history of the house.
Extra Age Blanc de Blancs is a blend of 100% Chardonnay grapes from Premier and Grand Cru vineyards Avize, Cramant, Oiry, Oger, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger and is a blend from the 2004, 2005 and 2006 vintages, and aged for 5 years on the lees.
A stunning expression of a Blanc de Blancs, and great for gifting with the gorgeous packaging.
This grower, established in the 1920s, is based in the village of Sacy. Their Hilde rosé is 50% PN, 25% Meunier, 10% chardonnay, 15% red wine added, and aged for 3 years on the lees.
Fresh, floral, fruity, balanced with great acidity, and lingering salty finish. For rosé lovers, this one is great on its own, but would also work with some hor devours over the holidays.
Grand Siècle is always a blend of three complementary declared-vintage years, to create Laurent-Perrier’s house style of freshness, finesse, and structure. By blending these three vintages together, Grand Siècle “creates the perfect year”.
Iteration No. 1 of Grand Siècle was released in 1959. In 2019, Laurent-Perrier released No. 24, and.. for the first time in its history, the iteration of Grand Siècle will be noted on the bottle, indicating the vintage assemblage within. Grand Siècle is crafted from grapes harvested from 11 of the 17 grand cru villages. Comprised of 55% Chardonnay and 45% Pinot Noir, No. 24 is a blend of the 2007, 2006 and 2004 vintages.
Intense and complex, with beautiful notes of citrus, brioche, nuts, and honey, continuing on the palate with lots of structure, tension and a balance of delicacy and power.
I HAD to add a Special Club on the list, as the wines in the club are great for special occasions and for me, I delight in the fact that all of them are just so different and truly express the best of the growers in the club. Charlier Fils 2006 was my absolute favorite SC I had this year, and is perfect to enjoy right now!
Champagne Charlier is located in Montigny-sous-Châtillon in the Vallée de la Marne. Their signature style is contributed by their use of oak.. but oh do they do this so so well! 70% Chardonnay, 15% Pinot Noir, 15% Meunier coming from their oldest vines, aged for over a decade on the lees, with a dosage of 6 gr, their SC 2006 is complex, full, rich, spicy and toasty, yet great acidity, and velvety on the palate.
This will be the favorite champagne at any holiday gathering.. promise!