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Winner Details

Champagne: Vintage

On this evidence, when it comes to vintage champagne, it’s not about price so much as quality. A trade-up wine (and possibly a hand-sell), it’s more about depth and complexity; a wine that can balance that delicate tightrope between maturity and freshness.

Taittinger’s Comtes, we know, can do this. It’s proved it repeatedly at SWA down the years. But Lanson’s ‘no malo’ line – which can make their younger wines a little tough – really comes into its own with time in bottle.

From The Tasting Teams

‘I would expect more from vintage champagne as it ages, to be able to find complexity and elegance.’ Lionel Periner, consultant

‘Good quality all round, with a diverse range of styles. There were some lovely wines with purity, and they will pair well with food.’ Daniel Eriksen, Anglian Country Inns

‘Quite intense and complex. Some fresher styles, some more autolytic characters. There was a surprising difference in price points, from under £30 to over £130.’ Vivienne Franks, Aspects of Wine

‘I wasn’t surprised at there being so many good wines.’ Mikolaj Harmider, Simpsons Restaurant

Award winners

Found 11 wines

Sparkling: Champagne – Vintage

Taittinger, Comtes de Champagne, Blanc de Blancs, Brut 2008, Champagne, France

Gold medal winner

'A great vintage champagne with some elegant aromas of citrus and Danish pastry, and an elegant palate with a gentle structure.' Lionel Periner, team leader. 'A crowd pleaser that's youthful, with white flowers, grapefruit, Bramley apples and aniseed. It's dry, elegant and focused, quite lean and delicate, with a creamy texture and a long finish.' Matthieu Longuère MS, team leader.

£107.80 Hatch Mansfield, Matthew Clark

Lanson, Noble Cuvée, Brut 2002, Champagne, France

Gold medal winner

'Complex and developed, yet youthful. There's lovely freshness, with a floral, easy style, but chalkiness too, and a pure and creamy element.' Matthieu Longuère MS, team leader. 'Broad, with some fine toast, ripe stone fruit and floral character. This is honeyed, juicy, crunchy and delicious, with great minerality. Dry and complex, with good structure too.' Olivier Gasselin, OenoTrade.

£88.39 Ocado

Brice, Grand Cru, Bouzy Brut 2012, Champagne, France

Silver medal winner

'Some developed notes here, with honey, minerality, beeswax, toffee and hay aromas leading to a complex, savoury, creamy texture.' Matthieu Longuère MS, team leader. 'Aromas of citrus and green apple with hints of brioche and soy, leading onto a palate that's crisp and fresh with a vibrant mousse.' Daniel Eriksen, Anglian Country Inns. 'An elegant, creamy style that would be good with white fish and light sauces.' Vivienne Franks, Aspects of Wine.

£31.26 Top Selection

Perrier-Jouët, Belle Epoque 2012, Champagne, France

Silver medal winner

'A vinous style, with floral aromas alongside strawberry, sloe and mirabelle, leading to a dry, really concentrated and fresh palate that's both savoury and honeyed, with a long finish.' Matthieu Longuère MS, team leader. 'Subtle and elegant on the nose, but an explosion of fruit and blossoms on the palate, with perfect balance between acidity and sweetness, and notes of apple, lemon and pineapple, and delicate hints of yeast.' Mikolaj Harmider, Cava Spiliadis Collection and Simpsons Restaurant.

£131.80 Pernod Ricard UK

Piper-Heidsieck, Rare 2006, Champagne, France

Silver medal winner

'An opulent wine with big character and personality, showing some nutty and brioche flavours, with a savoury element too, and some soft citrus notes.' Elisa Soggia, Trivet. 'Mature, with chamomile and candied tangerine peel, and a leesy, honeyed element, with toffee and barley sugar. Creamy, toasty, complex and elegant.' Matthieu Longuère MS, team leader.

£120.00 Liberty Wines

Besserat de Bellefon, Brut Millésime 2008, Champagne, France

Bronze medal winner

'This would be great as an aperitif, with hints of yellow citrus and spring flowers leading to a fresh, dry palate with high acidity.' Lionel Periner, team leader. 'Mature on the nose, with yeasty mushroom, chalk and terracotta notes, and a really pure and concentrated, creamy texture on the palate that's chalky, saline and very long.' Matthieu Longuère MS, team leader.

£73.83 Lanson International UK Ltd

Lanson, Gold Label 2009, Champagne, France

Bronze medal winner

'Honey and brioche notes to start, with additional hints of dried lemon peel and red apples. There's good acidity on the palate, with more ripe apples and lemons, and hints of vanilla yoghurt, with a long-lasting creamy finish. Complex yet refreshing.' Mikolaj Harmider, Cava Spiliadis Collection and Simpsons Restaurant. 'Lovely aromas of lemon and pastry notes, a pronounced palate and a bold finish.' Daniel Eriksen, Anglian Country Inns.

£43.20 Ocado

G.H. Mumm, Mumm Brut, Millésime 2006, Champagne, France

Bronze medal winner

'Wonderfully balanced and complex, with rich, ripe stone fruit and tropical fruit, and a full and textured palate with a creamy mousse.' Daniel Eriksen, Anglian Country Inns. 'A delicate nose with some light, fresh citrus characters, and some chalky, flinty minerality. The palate's showing some great vintage style, with hints of butter and fresh button mushroom.' Lionel Periner, team leader.

£49.14 Pernod Ricard UK

Piper-Heidsieck, Vintage 2012, Champagne, France

Bronze medal winner

'This opens with crisp apple and lemon aromas, as well as some toasty notes, leading to a vibrant mousse with a concentrated, nutty dry finish.' Daniel Eriksen, Anglian Country Inns. 'Great value for money, with ripe lemons, red apple and pink grapefruit aromas, and a complex palate with elegance, ripe fruit and a long finish.' Lionel Periner, team leader.

£41.50 Liberty Wines

Taittinger, Brut 2014, Champagne, France

Commended medal winner

G.H. Martel & Co, Vintage 2012, Champagne, France

Commended medal winner

£28.31 Matthew Clark

 

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