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Home Winners > Winners 2016 > Champagne NV

Winner Details

Champagne: NV

2016 Gold: 7 Silver: 16 Bronze: 8 Commended: 16
2015 Gold: 4 Silver: 13 Bronze: 6 Commended: 11

Non-vintage champagne has become one of the most consistent categories in this competition, with impressive swathes of medals almost every year. It’s particularly impressive given the cool climate, and is testament to the skills of the winemakers in creating good wines even when the base year’s vintage might not be the most helpful.

Seven Golds this year was a terrific performance – a record year, in fact – with a fine range of prices and styles that would add quality to any venue.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘The sweet spot was in the middle, between £21 and £26. That was where you got the most for your money.’ Adriana Valentini, Massimo Restaurant & Bar

‘Stylistically, they were clean and crisp, and there was good consistency. I think maybe the winemakers are choosing to make wines in that style now, rather than being compelled to do so by their climate.’ Giancarlo Cuccuru, Brackenbury Wine Rooms

‘For us, champagne is still all about an aperitif drink. Probably less than one in 30 tries it with food.’ Piotr Tomaszewski, JKS Restaurants

‘We had a lot of split panels. From nuts to flowers to yeast to freshness; so much of champagne is about what you personally are looking for.’ Sam Caporn MW, team leader

‘Customers assume that the more you spend the more you get, but that wasn’t necessarily the case here.’ Claire Love, consultant

‘There was a really good variety of price and richness here. A few of them might be overpriced, but not by much.’ Ivan Vegas, Fox Fine Wines & Spirits

‘Your house champagne has to be good and then you have room to play with things like zero dosage.’ Devon Pryor, Blandford Comptoir

Award winners

Found 47 wines

Sparkling: Champagne – NV

Devaux, Ultra D, NV, Champagne , France

Gold medal winner

Not just care but time – this ages for at least five years in the bottle – propelled Devaux's Ultra D to the Gold podium. While Andrés Ituarte of Avenue Restaurant complimented the 'vibrant bubbles, long, pretty palate, with a touch of candied apple and pear', Devon Pryor of Blandford Comptoir found 'some faint brioche or fresh bread, but not toasty', along with 'fresh cream and hints of flowers' on the nose, adding: 'Fine bubbles and loads of minerality on the palate, which lasts alongside fresh lemon and chalky flavours.' 'It's supple, generously flavoured, rich, ripe and pristine,' concluded team leader Simon Woods.

£28.75 Liberty Wines

Taittinger, Prélude, Grands Crus, Brut, NV, Champagne , France

Gold medal winner

Length, balance and elegance gave Taittinger one of its 2016 Golds. 'High intensity,' began Ivan Vegas of Fox Fine Wines & Spirits, adding: 'Concentrated and very well-developed aromas, fruit and yeast, with a strong but pleasant mousse.' 'Very elegant and smooth with great richness, and a good price point,' said The Savoy's Erik Simonics, while Gareth Ferreira of 67 Pall Mall noted a 'mineral edge, with chalk and flint, to the lemon pithy finish'.

£31.39 Hatch Mansfield

Gremillet, Cuvée Evidence, Brut, NV, Champagne , France

Gold medal winner

Exuding class from the start, this Gold Lister shows confit lemon, honey and dry flowers on the nose, according to team leader Andrea Briccarello, with Vittorio Gentile of Theo Randall at the InterContinental saying: 'The palate is elegant, with some coffee layers alongside fruit and mineral notes,' while thinking 'food'! 'Lively mousse, perfumed nose with farmyard hints followed by a citrus profile on the palate with racy acidity,' said Robert Mason of Cheese at Leadenhall. 'Rich, decadent flavour profile in place,' added consultant Claire Love.

£35.00 Boutinot , Christopher Piper Wines

Palmer & Co, Blanc de Blancs, NV, Champagne , France

Gold medal winner

Not one but two 2016 Golds for Palmer & Co, kicking off with this complex Blanc de Blancs with its elegant finish. Michael Fiducia of Drake's Restaurant enjoyed its 'pleasant toasted brioche nose and nicely rounded palate', also highlighting a 'beautifully creamy drive on the finish'. 'Fragrant and smooth, well balanced with great complexity,' added The Savoy's Erik Simonics, and Vittorio Gentile of Theo Randall at the InterContinental noted: 'Dark fruits and spices, with a layer of smoky leaves.'

£28.65 Bibendum Wine

Besserat de Bellefon, Cuvée des Moines, Brut, NV, Champagne , France

Gold medal winner

Ample waves of 'brioche and yeasty notes and great creaminess, with notes of spice. Very good quality', said Andrés Ituarte of Avenue Restaurant, illustrating how Besserat de Bellefon scaled the Gold podium. 'Earthy, delicate nose opening out into red berries and red apple with white grapefruit on the palate,' said Cheese at Leadenhall's Robert Mason, concluding: 'Youthful character, lively and complex.'

£22.50 Bibendum Wine , Matthew Clark

Les Roches Blanches, Nicolas Gueusquin, 1er Cru Brut, NV, Champagne , France

Gold medal winner

With its crisp elegance and great value for money, Les Roches Blanches scored a worthy Gold with this easy-drinking champagne. With notes of green apple freshness and pastry on the nose, this showed medium-intensity bubbles and a fresh, sherbety finish, according to team leader Tom Forrest. 'Some nutty notes and hints of lemon and pear fruit,' added Piotr Tomaszewski of JKS Restaurants.

£13.50 Kingsland

Palmer & Co, Amazone de Palmer, Brut, NV, Champagne , France

Gold medal winner

'Well-judged maturity here, very complex and muscular style with a great range of flavours. Good for ageing, and good price point for top-flight restaurants,' said Erik Simonics of The Savoy, while team leader Angela Reddin highlighted its 'heady, toasty nose and very intense, lovely undergrowth aromas', and Hakkasan London's Rebecca Coates noted: 'Roast hazelnut, toasted almond, and baked pastry with red apple and quince.'

£58.07 Bibendum Wine

Lallier, Ouvrage, Grand Cru, NV, Champagne , France

Silver medal winner

'Toasted almonds and earthy aromas,' began Laure Patry of Social Wine & Tapas, adding: 'Creamy finish, high acidity with a little bitterness and white pepper on the finish.' 'Pretty, with lots of minerality and an oxidative note, but in a good way,' said Andrés Ituarte of Avenue Restaurant.

£36.00 Boutinot

Vranken Pommery Monopole, Heidsieck & Co, Monopole, Premier Cru, Brut, NV, Champagne , France

Silver medal winner

'Tart apple and lemon peel aromas, followed by fresh apple and sherbet notes on the palate with a nice level of fizz,' began team leader Tom Forrest, with Adriana Valentini of Massimo Restaurant & Bar noting a 'nice vibrant nose, autolytic flavours and an elegant, long finish'.

£23.73 Justerini & Brooks , Matthew Clark

Armand de Brignac, Gold, Brut, NV, Champagne , France

Silver medal winner

'Classic, great champers,' said Piotr Tomaszewski of JKS Restaurants, adding: 'The smooth nose shows autolytic character, leading to a rounded, full-bodied palate.' Giuseppe Longobardi of The Cross at Kenilworth found 'toasted notes of pain d'épice and gingerbread' on the nose, and a 'soft, complex palate, baked pear and long, clean taste', while Skylon's Marco Marcuzzo added: 'Creamy, balanced and elegant.'

£249.90 Cellar Trends , Matthew Clark

Moët & Chandon, Impérial Brut, NV, Champagne , France

Silver medal winner

'Lemon and lime fruit characters, elegant and well balanced, with a touch of nuttiness on the finish. Smooth and elegant,' said Piotr Tomaszewski of JKS Restaurants, with Damon Little of Restaurant Nathan Outlaw also enjoying its 'biscuity nose and soft apple and pear fruit'.

£26.30 Moët Hennessy

Charles Heidsieck, Brut Réserve, NV, Champagne , France

Silver medal winner

Robert Mason of Cheese at Leadenhall found 'vegetal, brioche and subtle spice' on the nose, adding: 'Soft, fine mousse, stewed cherry, dried apricot and baked apple with cinnamon sultana notes. Subtle and refined.' Meanwhile Rebecca Coates of Hakkasan London noted: 'With its notes of strawberry, vanilla custard and sweet spice, this has great balance and structure, done in a powerful, rich style.'

£28.02 Liberty Wines

Hébrart, Cuvée Sélection, 1er Cru Brut, NV, Champagne , France

Silver medal winner

'Smoked almond nose, bone dry and very linear, but well balanced,' said consultant Claire Love, while Robert Mason of Cheese at Leadenhall found 'green apples galore, vibrant and zippy balance of fresh acidity'.

£23.50 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

De Castelnau, Brut Réserve, NV, Champagne , France

Silver medal winner

'Great food sparkling,' began Robert Mason of Cheese at Leadenhall, continuing: 'Macaroni cheese and floral notes on the nose, leading to citrus bite and floral balance on the mid-palate. Slightly sharp, zingy finish.' 'Clean, with a crunchy orchard fruit palate,' added consultant Claire Love.

£19.95 Spirited Wines , Castelnau Wine Agencies

De Castellane, Brut, NV, Champagne , France

Silver medal winner

Damon Little of Restaurant Nathan Outlaw enjoyed its 'fennel and apple blossom aromas' and 'creamy, fine mousse', while Adriana Valentini of Massimo Restaurant & Bar found 'medium intensity, elegant mousse, citrus and stone fruit with a touch of sage at the end'.

£21.67 Bibendum Wine

Mumm, Brut Sélection, NV, Champagne , France

Silver medal winner

Consultant Claire Love found this a 'richer, decadent style' showing 'lovely balance, bubbles and acidity, bone dry but a lot of complexity on the palate'. Sunaina Sethi of JKS Restaurants agreed: 'Rounded, full, complex, long finish. Needs time,' and team leader Simon Woods applauded the 'good length' and the 'lovely heady, crisp, juicy style'.

£47.16 Pernod Ricard UK

Mumm, Cordon Rouge, NV, Champagne , France

Silver medal winner

'Richer style with some forest fruit and raspberry on the nose, herbal character but good freshness on the palate. Well made and balanced, good with food,' said Giancarlo Cuccuru of Brackenbury Wine Rooms, while Adriana Valentini of Massimo Restaurant & Bar found the 'touch of refreshing bitterness on a long finish' to be very pleasant.

£32.09 Pernod Ricard UK

Perrier-Jouët, Grand Brut, NV, Champagne , France

Silver medal winner

'Pistachio shell and hazelnut, with a bready, yeasty, nutty finish,' said team leader Sam Caporn MW, while Giuseppe Longobardi of The Cross at Kenilworth enjoyed its notes of 'red apple, pain d'épice and baked almonds'.

£43.19 Pernod Ricard UK

Lanson, Paul Drouet, Brut, NV, Champagne , France

Silver medal winner

'Very fresh, crisp apple notes with a nice autolysis balance and length,' began team leader Sam Caporn MW, concluding: 'Good yeasty fruit and a touch of crisp lemon acid.' Sue Jones of The Harrow at Little Bedwyn also enjoyed its 'apple, stone fruit, honeyed length'.

£13.50 Majestic Commercial

Lanson, Extra Age, Brut, NV, Champagne , France

Silver medal winner

Piotr Tomaszewski of JKS Restaurants found this 'very elegant and round', showing a big, complex nose of 'almond, brioche, yeasty nuts, lime and lemon, with a touch of reduction but smooth balance'. Giancarlo Cuccuru of Brackenbury Wine Rooms added that its 'gamey character and richness calls for food'.

£39.20 Coe Vintners

Lanson, Père et Fils, Brut, NV, Champagne , France

Silver medal winner

'Well balanced, elegant and smooth, with a delicate finish, at a good price point,' said Erik Simonics of The Savoy, with team leader Angela Reddin noting: 'Complex, almost earthy minerality, layered and quite intense.'

£24.80 Amathus , Bibendum Wine , Matthew Clark , Inverarity Morton

Taittinger, Nocturne, Sec, NV, Champagne , France

Silver medal winner

'More tangerine, orange notes,' began Zigmars Grinbergs of Vinoteca, while Devon Pryor of Blandford Comptoir found an 'exuberantly citrus nose, candied grapefruit, nice texture lifted by a freshness and lovely balance', and Vittorio Gentile of Theo Randall at the InterContinental noted 'the austere palate and good acidity in balance with sweetness', suggesting confit duck as one top food match.

£30.11 Hatch Mansfield , Matthew Clark

Gosset, Grande Réserve, Brut, NV, Champagne , France

Silver medal winner

While Avenue Restaurant's Andrés Ituarte said: 'Very good, with bright acids, bread dough and light spice, this is rich and elegant, with a long length,' Sue Jones of The Harrow at Little Bedwyn found this to be good value for money, showing 'richness and colour depth, with baking aromas, savouriness and creaminess, along with layered depth of flavour and texture'.

£28.67 Louis Latour Agencies

Vranken Pommery Monopole, Heidsieck & Co, Monopole, Blue Top, Brut, NV, Champagne , France

Bronze medal winner

'Lovely,' said team leader Sam Caporn MW, who highlighted an 'attractive nose of grilled nuts' followed by 'balanced lemon and a toasted brioche finish' on the palate. 'Nice complexity on the nose and rounded character,' added Ed Verrill of Vinoteca King's Cross.

£22.78 Justerini & Brooks , Matthew Clark

Vranken Pommery Monopole, Pommery, Brut Royal, NV, Champagne , France

Bronze medal winner

'Freshness and approachability, richness and length,' began Sue Jones of The Harrow at Little Bedwyn, while team leader Sam Caporn MW found it a 'slightly unusual, distinctly nutty style, but with a long, autolytic finish'.

£27.48 Justerini & Brooks , Majestic Commercial , Matthew Clark

Moutard, Vielles Vignes, Brut, NV, Champagne , France

Bronze medal winner

'Perfumed, subtle autolytic notes, apple and sultana, light and elegant,' began Robert Mason of Cheese at Leadenhall, with Sunaina Sethi of JKS Restaurants adding: 'Spice, toast, stewed apples and a lovely finish.'

£28.72 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Linard-Gontier, Brut, NV, Champagne , France

Bronze medal winner

Marco Marcuzzo of Skylon enjoyed its fine bubbles and toasty pear and apple aromas, saying: 'Nice finesse, biscuity character and subtle finish.' 'Racy acidity, nice crispness and deepness,' agreed The Cross at Kenilworth's Giuseppe Longobardi.

£18.50 Eurowines

Taittinger, Les Folies de la Marquetterie, NV, Champagne , France

Bronze medal winner

'Citrus aromas, then taut and tense in the mouth, with summer meadow flavours,' said team leader Angela Reddin, while The Savoy's Erik Simonics added: 'High-intensity palate, really pleasant and contained, with a delicate mousse.'

£35.24 Hatch Mansfield

Gremillet, Sélection, Brut, NV, Champagne , France

Bronze medal winner

'Bright and zesty on the nose, with yeasty character, then light and fresh on the palate, with chalky minerality on the finish. A good all-rounder,' said team leader Angela Reddin.

£15.85 Boutinot , Christopher Piper Wines

Gosset, Grand Blanc de Blancs, Brut, NV, Champagne , France

Bronze medal winner

Complex and accomplished. Our judges appreciated the plentiful citrus notes, the savoury, yeasty hints and the long finish. Rich pastry notes on the nose suggest some serious time spent on the lees. Delightful.

£34.18 Louis Latour Agencies

Lanson, White Label, Sec, NV, Champagne , France

Bronze medal winner

Medium in sweetness and 'light on the palate', according to Laure Patry of Social Wine & Tapas, who highlighted 'aromatic peach, apricot and herbal notes, gentle bubbles and a rounded finish'. 'The balanced dosage makes it food-friendly,' added Vinoteca's Zigmars Grinbergs.

£26.50 Amathus , Bibendum Wine , Matthew Clark , Inverarity Morton

Ayala , Brut Nature , NV, Champagne , France

Commended medal winner

André Jacquart, Expérience, Vertus 1er Cru, Blanc de Blancs Brut, NV, Champagne , France

Commended medal winner

Joseph Perrier, Cuvée Royale, Brut, NV, Champagne , France

Commended medal winner

Lallier , R.012, Brut, NV, Champagne , France

Commended medal winner

£19.50 Boutinot

Palmer & Co , Blanc de Noirs , NV, Champagne , France

Commended medal winner

£28.65 Bibendum Wine

De Castelnau, Brut, NV, Champagne , France

Commended medal winner

Mumm , Mumm de Cramant, Blanc de Blancs , NV, Champagne , France

Commended medal winner

Gobillard , Grande Réserve, 1er Cru Brut , NV, Champagne , France

Commended medal winner

£23.72 Enotria&Coe

Besserat de Bellefon, Cuvée des Moines, Blanc de Blancs, NV, Champagne , France

Commended medal winner

Gremillet, Blanc de Noirs Brut, NV, Champagne , France

Commended medal winner

Devaux , Grande Réserve , NV, Champagne , France

Commended medal winner

£21.82 Liberty Wines

Devaux , Cuvée D , NV, Champagne , France

Commended medal winner

£26.07 Liberty Wines

Drappier, Signature, Blanc de Blancs Brut, NV, Champagne , France

Commended medal winner

Les Roches Blanches , Veuve Deloynes, Brut, NV, Champagne , France

Commended medal winner

£14.70 Kingsland

Serge Mathieu , Tradition, Brut, NV, Champagne , France

Commended medal winner

£23.89 Bibendum Wine

Vollereaux , Rimbaud, Brut, NV, Champagne , France

Commended medal winner