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Home Winners > Winners 2019 > Champagne Vintage

Winner Details

Champagne: VINTAGE

2019  GOLD: 4             SILVER: 3         BRONZE: 3       COMMENDED: 8
2018  GOLD: 1             SILVER: 2         BRONZE: 1       COMMENDED: 8

As with non-vintage, so too for its swankier older brother. This was a really good year for vintage champagne, with a high number of medals and a record number of places on the Gold List.

Not that it was without its controversy, though. While our tasters liked what was in the glass before them, there were question marks about whether the category’s positioning is being eroded both from without (by super-premium non-vintages) and from within by cheap examples of vintage – as team leader Jan Konetzki points out below.

That said, there was precious little evidence of the latter trend. Only two of our entrants this year were sub-£30, and they did no better than Commended. Most of the entries were at £35 to £50, although there were a couple of sublime examples at the ‘what the hell, it’s our Golden Wedding Anniversary’ price level, too.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘We sell a lot of vintage champagne at 67 Pall Mall. There’s a trend towards blanc de blancs and drier styles, but the Pinot Noir-based blends work better with food, they have more weight and structure.’ Terry Kandylis, 67 Pall Mall

‘I enjoyed the ones that were more Pinot Noir-dominant with red berry fruits coming forward and the ones that were more autolytic. They give more complexity, more to talk about. Your client base is expecting that amount of flavour coming forward, value-for-money-wise.’ Sean Arthur, Cliveden House

‘In the scheme of vintage champagnes, the impact of a vintage has dropped in the past five years, due to the appearance of the “premium non-vintage” and the “entry-level vintage”. The split doesn’t work any more from the financial side. In the old days, NV was mid-premium and vintage super-premium – now it’s a mixed bag of prices.’ Jan Konetzki, team leader

Award winners

Found 18 wines

Sparkling: Champagne – Vintage

Charles Heidsieck, Blanc des Millénaires 2004, Champagne, France

Gold medal winner

‘Broad and concentrated, with some floral notes, and some tense acidity’, according to Olivier Gasselin of Hakkasan, this was never going to be anything less than Gold. Flat Three Restaurant’s Heesoo Kang appreciated that it was ‘complex on the nose, and fleshy and full-bodied on the palate, with a creamy mousse’, while team leader Hamish Anderson found it ‘rich and developed, with yeast and creamy notes, and an earthiness, too’.

£109.20 Liberty Wines

Angel, Brut 2004, Champagne, France

Gold medal winner

An ‘opulent’ addition to the Gold List, according to Kahani London’s Ennio Pucciarelli, who found ‘cooked apple and vanilla’, describing it as ‘fresh and well-balanced, too, with a mineral finish’, while 67 Pall Mall’s Terry Kandylis thought it was ‘elegant, with white floral notes and a palate that has a delicate nature, with fine bubbles’. ‘Lovely and enticing, with texture and depth,’ added team leader Hamish Anderson, who appreciated its ‘balance of fresh fruit, like pear and peach, with age in the form of brioche, nuts and spice’.

£111.00 Angel Champagne

Taittinger, Brut 2013, Champagne, France

Gold medal winner

Decidedly Gold-worthy, this had, according to team leader Hamish Anderson, ‘a bright, floral nose that’s lifted, appealing and fresh, leading to warm bread, yeast and umami on the palate’, while Olivier Gasselin of Hakkasan found it ‘honeyed, with fresh almonds, acacia and a pepperiness, too, leading to ginger and star anise notes’. For Ennio Pucciarelli of Kahani London, this came with ‘a rich structure, yet still fresh, leading to a savoury finish’.

£37.84 Hatch Mansfield, Matthew Clark

Taittinger, Comtes de Champagne, Blanc de Blancs, Brut 2007, Champagne, France

Gold medal winner

This clear Gold winner was ‘toasty, nutty, rich and complex on the nose, with a brioche-like character on the palate’, according to 67 Pall Mall’s Terry Kandylis, while Anita Vighova of Manor House Hotel appreciated its ‘great depth and fine mousse, with orange peel and almond notes’. An impressed Ennio Pucciarelli of Kahani London described it as ‘intense, with ripe apple and stone fruit, but with delicate floral notes too, and a mineral finish’.

£96.28 Hatch Mansfield, Matthew Clark

Joseph Perrier, Blanc de Noirs, Brut Nature 2010, Champagne, France

Silver medal winner

‘White peaches, grapes and white flowers on the nose, as well as some savoury notes,’ said Manor House Hotel’s Anita Vighova, going on to describe ‘a mid-weight palate, with lemon peel, more white peach notes and hints of melon, with a toasty, nutty finish’.

£46.00 Bancroft Wines, Wine Importers, Tanners Wine Merchants

Moët & Chandon, Grand Vintage 2012, Champagne, France

Silver medal winner

‘Fresh fruit aromas followed by a creamy, mouth-filling texture, with mineral and savoury notes,’ began Heesoo Kang of Flat Three Restaurant, concluding that this was ‘a complex, well-developed wine, with a long, vibrant finish’.

£56.51 Matthew Clark

Collet, Collection Privée, Brut 2008, Champagne, France

Silver medal winner

‘An impressive wine that’s quite broad on the nose, with fresh almonds leading to intense marzipan notes and some minerality,’ said Hakkasan’s Olivier Gasselin, while Flat Three Restaurant’s Heesoo Kang found notes of ‘brioche, honey and lots of apple, combined with minerality’.

£43.74 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Drappier, Millésimé Exception 2013, Champagne, France

Bronze medal winner

‘Fresh citrus, apple and pear, with some pastry and honey, too, leading to a creamy palate with beautiful acidity,’ said Flat Three Restaurant’s Heesoo Kang.

£37.26 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Alfred Gratien, Brut 2005, Champagne, France

Bronze medal winner

‘Complex aromas of fruit and yeast, with a deep, full palate that keeps on going,’ said team leader Charlie Young. ‘Refreshing on the finish, with some quince, orange and almond notes,’ added Anita Vighova of Manor House Hotel.

£52.69 Enotria&Coe

Ayala, Blancs de Blancs 2012, Champagne, France

Bronze medal winner

‘A rich and savoury nose, leading to a deep palate with loads of red and savoury flavours, and some natural sweetness,’ said team leader Charlie Young.

£32.79 Mentzendorff & Co

Le Chapitre, Brut 2006, Champagne, France

Commended medal winner

£42.00 Wine Source UK

Devaux, D, Millésimé 2008, Champagne, France

Commended medal winner

£48.50 Liberty Wines

Drappier, Millésimé Exception 2012, Champagne, France

Commended medal winner

Veuve Clicquot, Vintage 2008, Champagne, France

Commended medal winner

£62.34 Moët & Chandon

Lallier, R014, Brut 2014, Champagne, France

Commended medal winner

£22.95 Boutinot

Alfred Gratien, Blanc de Blancs 2009, Champagne, France

Commended medal winner

£47.63 Enotria&Coe

R. Pouillon & Fils, Les Blanchiens, Premier Cru, Brut Nature 2011, Champagne, France

Commended medal winner

£60.58 Bibendum

Gobillard, Cuvée Prestige 2011, Champagne, France

Commended medal winner

£28.95 Enotria&Coe

 

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