Throughout history, Champagnes have been known as the celebratory drink for all occasions. With New Year’s just around the corner, there’s no better time to pop open a bottle of bubbly and toast among family and friends. Here, we’ve rounded up some of our favorites to make party planning a cinch.
Dom Pérignon P2 Vintage 1998
Prominent in the LVMH family, Dom Pérignon carries the namesake of the Benedictine monk who worked as a cellar master in France’s Abbey of Hautvillers during the 17th and 18th centuries. Although he did not invent champagne, Pérignon did have a major impact in the sparkling wine’s history. And it all started with one task: to get rid of bubbles from the wine produced (caused by second fermentation). Why? It was considered a defect, and even dangerous, as the pressure built inside the bottle could lead to explosions. Pérignon failed to find a solution, however, he serendipitously discovered a technique to standardize production methods to avoid hazards. Over time, champagne shot to popularity. P2—the second plentitude of Dom Pérignon's original 1998 vintage—is dark and smoky with notes of honeysuckle, orange colored fruits, toasted almonds and hints of iodine sensations. Preserved in cellars with lees--taste-making yeast particles--in the bottle, P2 ages at a slower rate, resulting in more flavor, depth and finish.
Veuve Clicquot 2006 La Grande Dame
Madame Clicquot, aka “La Grande Dame of Champagne” was a French businesswoman who took over her family’s wine company as a widow in 1805. Under her leadership, Veuve Clicquot transformed into one of the most prestigious champagne houses across the globe. Created in 1972 to celebrate its bicentennial and to honor the accomplished lady, La Grande Dame was born. This one includes the grape harvest of 2006 and is a blend of the brand’s eight classic Grand Crus, Aÿ, Bouzy, Ambonnay, Verzy and Verzenay for the Pinot Noir (53%); Avize, Oger and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger for the Chardonnay (47%). Silky and well-balanced, this selection contains hints of acacia, peony, bush peach, pear, hazelnut and roasted almonds.
Perrier-Jouët Epoque Rosé 2004
The House of Perrier-Jouët was founded by Pierre-Nicolas Perrier and Rose-Adélaïde Jouët. Since 1811, the brand continuously produces elegant, floral wines with a Chardonnay hallmark. Oh, and did we mention their unique bottles? The iconic Belle Epoque cuvée was designed in 1902 by French Art Nouveau artist Emile Gallé and features hand painted anemone flowers. The Rosé 2004 is a multi-sensorial wine with a fine balance between the character of the year and the diamond-cut style that is the signature of Perrier-Jouët.
Krug Collection 1990
“Whoever drinks Krug, at whatever moment, makes a small contribution to improving understanding between men, as it is impossible to feel bitter or jealous after tasting such nectar,” said Serena Sutcliffe, head of Sotheby’s international wine department. Founded by Joseph Krug in 1843, his namesake brand continues his vision to create the most generous expression of champagne every year, regardless of climatic unpredictability. If you're looking for a real collector's item, try the Krug Collection 1990. It's been kept in the their cellars for over 25 years and features 40% Pinot Noir, 37% elegant and round Chardonnays, and 23% fresh Meunier. Take a sip and taste flavors of spice, brioche, as well as notes of apricot, grapefruit, orange marmalade and lemon pie with lightly toasted nuts and honey.
Moët & Chandon Moët Impérial
Synonymous with glamour, Moët & Chandon was founded in 1743 by Claude Moët. Two generations later, his grandson, Jean-Rémy Moët, set out to accomplish his dream of “sharing the magic of champagne with the world.” Today, the brand owns 1,190 hectares of vineyards and is present in more than 150 countries around the world. You can't go wrong with the house's iconic cuvée, the Moët Impérial. Created in 1869 from more than 100 wines, it consists of 30 to 40% the body of Pinot Noir, 30 to 40% the suppleness of Pinot Meunier and 20 to 30% the finesse of Chardonnay. Notes include green apple, citrus fruit, white flowers, brioche, cereal and nuts.
Champagne Bollinger R.D. 2002
Celebrated as James Bond’s favorite champagne brand, Bollinger dates back to 1829 in Aÿ, France, where it was founded by Hennequin de Villermont, Paul Renaudin and Jacques Bollinger. The brand’s R.D. 2002 was first released in 1967 with the ’52 vintage, R.D. (recently disgorged), launched by Madame Lilly Bollinger. Aged more than three times than required by appellation, the long maturation results in enhanced flavor of its Pinot Noir (60%) and Chardonnay (40%). Aromas include ripe fruit, honey, cocoa and nutmeg. Powerful yet well-balanced.
Cheers to 2017!