Ratings of Non-Vintage Champagne: A Bit of Confusion? – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

Rating non-vintage Champagne is not necessarily hard to do but it is hard to identify what was tasted.  You can look at a non-vintage Champagne bottle and not know when it was released.

Sure there is a blending procedure that does insure consistency over time but might that change over time?  There are directional changes by the wine maker that could alter what that non-vintage Champagne wine might taste like.  A non-vintage in the course of a generation—say 14 years—it is likely there has been a change in blending of reserve wines—more Pinot Meunier less Pinot Noir, etc.  And even a reserve wine may have the advantage of time but it doesn’t mean that there is not a nuance to make a resultant change in the non-vintage Champagne.

I advocate that each non-vintage bottle be dated with a release date.  And that is simply an easier way to pair what a consumer might be tasting when compared to a review that was written about that wine at hand.

I look at my review on non-vintage Champagnes and that may refer to a slightly different wine that what a retailer, restaurant or person might be serving or selling.  A release date with a full date of release versus just year would help to distinguish between vintage and a release date—and ultimately the ratings could pair on an exacting measure.



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