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Champagne

In Northern France, just East of Paris, sits the global epicentre for benchmark sparkling wines - Champagne. No wine region in the world is more recog...

In Northern France, just East of Paris, sits the global epicentre for benchmark sparkling wines - Champagne. No wine region in the world is more recognised and despite many cool climate wine regions around the world doing their best to better the wines of Champagne, nowhere yet has come close.

So what is so special about this place? Cold climate, tick. Limestone soils, tick. Underground cellars for the wines to age undisturbed till they are in perfect condition and are ready to enjoy, tick.

Champagne is not only the heart of premium sparkling wine, it is also where the classic style of premium sparkling winemaking was invented. The blending of just ripe Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier that are then aged on yeast lees, for sometimes up to ten or more years, until they reach perfection, are keys to the regional style. And this is replicated around the world for both Champagne and many other Sparkling wines. Prosécco is not one however, as it is not aged on lees and so makes a brighter and fresher style of sparkling wine.

Champagne is, in some ways, an unusual wine region in that most of its wines are non-vintage blends rather than from a single year. This multi-vintage blending technique, which also makes the final wines more complex, is used to provide some insurance against the region’s sometimes challenging climate. In lesser vintages large volumes of reserve wines from old vintages can be blended with the current vintage to help retain a house style, independent of the vintage. This makes Champagne quite expensive to produce, but there are still bargains to be found in our exclusive wines and weekly deals.

On top of non-vintage blends in Champagne there are also vintage wines, made in the very best years, and Prestige Cuvées, which are the finest wines from the very best Champagne houses. These wines, such as Moët & Chandon’s Dom Pérignon and Louis Roederer’s Cristal are some of the finest wines, of any style, on the planet.

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