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Home Winners > Winners 2016 > Champagne Vintage

Winner Details

Champagne: Vintage

2016 Gold: 3 Silver: 7 Bronze: 1 Commended: 3
2015 Gold: 2 Silver: 5 Bronze: 4 Commended: 3

Vintage champagne might not necessarily be the easiest sell (most of our tasters felt that those customers who are open to trading up probably want to go all the way to prestige cuvée level) but there was still some impressive value for money here.

And perhaps even more surprisingly, given the vagaries of having to work with fruit from one single year, there was pretty good consistency, too. As with non-vintage, it was a good performance by the Champenois.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘Ours was a very solid flight, very reliable, from the bottom to the top end the quality was consistent. I didn’t find any faulty wines.’ Olivier Marie, team leader

‘There was good value at the lower end – and value and champagne don’t always go together!’ Andrés Ituarte, Avenue Restaurant

‘We were expecting quite a lot. And while we had some disappointments, overall we found most consistency at the top and bottom of the price range.’ Annette Scarfe MS, team leader

‘You’re always more confident at the top end, but we did find one or two that would work well for gastropubs in terms of price.’ Tobias Brauweiler MS, Hakkasan Group

‘This was a solid flight – pretty strong.’ Charles Van Wyk, FJB Collection

STAR PERFORMER

Congratulations to Charles Heidsieck, whose Blanc des Millénaires 1995 made it on to the Gold List for the fourth consecutive year. Here, clearly, is a wine that is ageing beautifully.


Award winners

Found 14 wines

Sparkling: Champagne - Vintage

Charles Heidsieck, Blanc des Millénaires, 1995, Champagne , France

Gold medal winner

For the second of Heidsieck's two Golds, we have a mature champagne. 'Great stuff, ageing well, with truffle and warm orchard notes,' said team leader Hamish Anderson. 'Here we go,' said an eager Stefano Pirondi of Bread Street Kitchen, adding: 'Freshness, creamy complexity and beauty, nuanced through to the end, and a long and pleasant finish.' 'Soft and easy, but with a lovely intensity of fruit,' added Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering. 'Well put together, elegant and complex,' said Giancarlo Cuccuru of Brackenbury Wine Rooms.

£86.92 Liberty Wines

Gobillard, Cuvée Prestige, Millésime, 2009, Champagne , France

Gold medal winner

Delicacy, elegance and a refreshing finish took Gobillard to the Gold podium. 'This is a soft, pretty style. It's young and driven by fruit – pear and raspberry,' said team leader, Hamish Anderson. Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering meanwhile found this 'fresh and attractive on the nose, an easy-drinking style', showing 'zingy, attractive fruit, holding well in the mouth, with decent length for good value'.

£24.91 Enotria&Coe

Lanson, Gold Label, Brut Vintage, 2008, Champagne , France

Gold medal winner

'Powerful, yeasty flavours but well balanced with a long finish,' said Bread Street Kitchen's Stefano Pirondi, with Tobias Brauweiler MS of Hakkasan Group also finding 'ripe apple and pear, zesty fruit and hints of walnut character'. Team leader Hamish Anderson noted: 'Savoury and complex nose, this has a pure style on the palate with lemon pith and warm bread. Very long and elegant. Yum!'

£30.49 Bibendum Wine

De Castelnau, Brut Vintage, 2003, Champagne , France

Silver medal winner

'Clean, showing some complex aromatics with yeasty character and lactic notes, like fresh butter. Oxidative style, perhaps with some body and texture,' said team leader Olivier Marie, while Andrés Ituarte of Avenue Restaurant enjoyed its 'bright orchard fruits and small bubbles'.

£29.00 Spirited Wines , Castelnau Wine Agencies

Taittinger, Brut Vintage, 2008, Champagne , France

Silver medal winner

'Clean and intense with a lean, lemony character,' began team leader Olivier Marie, continuing: 'Zesty, pithy finish and high dosage.' 'Aromatic, fresh bouquet with flowers and fruit on the palate and a long, elegant finish,' added Aurélien Constant of Galvin La Chapelle.

£33.96 Hatch Mansfield , Matthew Clark

Taittinger, Comtes de Champagne, Blanc de Blancs, 2006, Champagne , France

Silver medal winner

'Showing nice effervescence, this is clean with a medium-intensity nose, great concentration of ripe fruits, good substance and extract,' said team leader Olivier Marie. 'Bright, with lots of spice, will age wonderfully,' agreed Avenue Restaurant's Andrés Ituarte.

£91.88 Hatch Mansfield , Matthew Clark

Vranken Pommery Monopole, Pommery, Cuvée Louise, 2002, Champagne , France

Silver medal winner

'Outstanding!' began an impressed Charles Van Wyk of FJB Collection, continuing: 'Attractive, ripe apple aromas complemented by notes of vanilla, almond and toasted brioche. Palate is dry and complex, showing layers of fruit and yeasty lees ageing character.'

£81.53 Justerini & Brooks , Majestic Commercial , Matthew Clark

Vranken Pommery Monopole, Pommery, Grand Cru, Vintage, 2005, Champagne , France

Silver medal winner

Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering noted its 'full-flavoured style', adding: 'Really interesting complexity, develops well in the glass, with a strong finish.' 'Creamy mid-palate with toasty brioche savoury notes,' agreed team leader Annette Scarfe MW.

£36.27 Justerini & Brooks , Majestic Commercial , Matthew Clark

Palmer & Co, Brut Vintage, 2008, Champagne , France

Silver medal winner

'Great freshness, beautiful persistence and really good length,' began Andrea Domenicucci of Whatley Manor, while Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering highlighted its 'lively fruit, developing nicely in the mouth'.

£28.68 Bibendum Wine

Les Roches Blanches, Nicolas Gueusquin, 1er Cru Brut Vintage, 2012, Champagne , France

Silver medal winner

Charles Van Wyk of FJB Collection enjoyed the 'lovely, attractive secondary notes of toasted brioche and green apple', followed by a palate of 'ripe, bruised apple and light, easy drinking'. Sarah Guignard of The French Table noted the 'crisp, floral, appealing nose, balanced palate and flavour, and good finish'.

£15.75 Kingsland

Perrier-Jouët, Belle Epoque, 2007, Champagne , France

Bronze medal winner

'Appealing intensity of fruit on a very attractive wine,' began Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering, with team leader Annette Scarfe MW adding: 'Lovely, complex toasty aromas, rounded complexity on the palate with multiple layers and great length.' Fellow team leader Hamish Anderson noted: 'Open-knit generous nose. A ripe and powerful wine with lemon balm and spice, if still a little closed.'

£141.79 Pernod Ricard UK

Vranken Pommery Monopole, Heidsieck & Co, Monopole, Gold Top, Vintage, 2007, Champagne , France

Commended medal winner

Lanson , Noble Cuvée, Brut, 2000, Champagne , France

Commended medal winner

£69.54 Bibendum Wine

Lallier , Grand Cru, Millésime , 2008, Champagne , France

Commended medal winner

£26.00 Boutinot