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Champagnes for New Year’s Eve

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To many, Champagne is served only on special occasions, and New Year’s Eve tops the list. However, before my list of Champagne suggestions for celebrating the arrival of 2021, I would like to remind wine lovers that Champagne should be enjoyed as frequently as possible. It is a versatile wine and there is very little a great bottle of bubbly will not improve on the table.

Remember: do not pour your Champagne too cold and use a white wine glass rather than the flute that allows the full range of its aromas to sing through.

Here are then my 12 picks for New Year’s Eve:

 

Bernard Remy Grand Cru

100% Chardonnay from the Grand Cru vineyard Le Mesnil sur Oger.

With a beautiful, glittering gold appearance, the Grand Cru Champagne is elegant and sophisticated. The nose reveals delicate scents of citrus, which are confirmed in the mouth as a fresh and lively explosion on the palate, along with hints of green apple, honeysuckle and toasted brioche. This Grand Cru is well structured, with delicate balance of dryness and acidity lingers with a bit of lemon honeydew and soft floral notes. (€35, Cavaway)

Billecart-Salmon Rosé

40% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir, 30% Pinot Meunier

Persistent mousse with fine bubbles rising slowly. Pale salmon pink in colour, with a shade of gold, it bursts with aromas and flavours of wild strawberries, raspberry, cherry, fresh pear, mandarin, orange peel and hints of cream and pie crust along with star anise. Delicate and elegant, medium body, gentle yet crisp. (€65, Oenoforos)

Bollinger Brut Rosé

62% Pinot Noir, 24% Chardonnay, 14% Meunier. Only 5 to 6% red wine added due to its power

Brisk and bold, strawberries and raspberries, forest berries, with a rich underlying oak structure and toasty lees. The Brut Rosé is the traditional Bollinger style with added notes of red berries. (€69.50, Spectus)

Charles Heidsieck, Rosé, Réserve

50% Pinot Noir and 50% Chardonnay

Pale pink with glints of wild rose. Offers a burst of peach, citrus, strawberry, raspberry and blackberry nestled in velvety whipped cream and honey notes. A meticulous selection of crus gives it rich warm notes of gingerbread and cinnamon. Long and lovely on the finish drawing back for sip after sip. (€70, Vinologie)

Drappier, Carte d’Or Brut

80% Pinot Noir, 15% Chardonnay and 5% Pinot Meunier

Bright and zesty, light, juicy and appealing, with its very high proportion of Pinot Noir. Fine aromatic richness, it opens with aromas of stone fruits, peach, honey, crisp apple, ripe white cherry, orange peel, yeast, biscuit and pickled ginger. A spicy hint announces a powerful, complex palate. A vinous champagne of characteristic note. (€39, Wines & More by French Depot)

Jacquart Brut Mosaique

40% Chardonnay, 33% Pinot noir, 27% Pinot Meunier, Including 25 to 35% of reserve wines

Pale yellow with tints of white gold stream of fine bubbles. Alluring acacia, hawthorn, cream and spice nose, also aromas of fresh pear, fig and almond with hints of orange blossom. A light swirl of the glass brings out richer notes of honey and baked bread. Refined in texture and framed by well-knit acidity with a lasting mineral-tinged finish. (€35, Vassos Eliades)

Maison De Venoge, Princes, Blanc de Blancs

Chardonnay 100%

The Blanc de Blancs Princes has a beautiful minerality and great ageing potential. Subtle aromas of white flowers and citrus emphasise its freshness and elegance that will appeal specially with aperitifs or light starters. (€69, Bottles)

Moët & Chandon Rosé Brut Impérial

Dominant Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier and 10 to 20% Chardonnay

A pink colour with amber highlights, delicate verbena and candied pink grapefruit zest, wild strawberry, raspberry, pomegranate and red cherry, floral nuances of rose and a hint of pepper. The palate keeps buzzing with fresh acidity and has a fresh, crisp and lively feel with impressively upbeat berries, peach and a touch of mint. (€60, Photiades Distributors)

Philipponnat Royale Réserve Brut

65% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay and 5% Pinot Meunier.

New arrival to Cyprus, the Philipponnat Royale Réserve, Brut is one of the wine trade’s best-kept secrets. Delegate froth, lively and lingering. Deep gold in colour with aromas of vine blossoms, linden and toasted bread. Note of red currant, raspberry and ripe grape, ripe apples and minerals, pure and bright. Full-bodied generous and long. Light notes of biscuit and freshly baked bread on the finish. (€45, My Vine Merchants)

Ruinart, R de Ruinart Brut

Blend: 50-55% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay, 5-10% Pinot Meunier

A shimmering yellow colour with golden hues. The nose is delicate and fruity, displaying dominant aromas of fresh white pear and dry fruits such as hazelnuts and almonds, followed by white flower notes and brioche. The palate reveals a dominant freshness, displaying both tactile roundness and enduring length. (€52, La Maison du Vin)

Taittinger Brut Réserve

40% Chardonnay, 35% Pinot Noir and 25% Pinot Meunier

Beautiful, brilliant golden colour, fine bubbles and discreet and persistent mousse. On the nose, smoke and toast, crushed raspberry, candied lemon zest and apple blossoms. Active on the palate we have core fruits, zesty citrus and bready flavours. (€39, Fereos Fourpoint Distribution Ltd)

Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Brut Yellow Label

50-55% Pinot Noir, 28-33% Chardonnay, 15-20% Pinot Meunier

Golden yellow with foaming necklace of tiny bubbles. Yellow and white fruits on the nose, then vanilla and later brioche. There is a fine balance between the fruity aromas coming from the grape varieties and the toasty aromas, as a result of three years of ageing. Fresh and strong from the first sip, pear and lemon flavours with distinct almond notes. Silky in perfect balance with aromatic intensity. (€42, Ghalanos Distributors)

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