Splurging on Champagne should be enjoyable, but, with the wine’s premium price tag, things can easily become intimidating. To help make sure your hard-earned money returns the perfect bottle, we’ve compiled a list of the best Champagnes to buy right now.
All bubbles were blind-tasted by VinePair staff and a group of trusted industry professionals. Wines receive an initial mark based on our panel’s impressions, and then we adjust and rank them, taking price and value for money into consideration. Because we taste wines regularly, and there is not one season to drink bubbles, we continually update this ranking.
Bottles range from classic blends made from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier, to rosés, blanc de blancs, and red-grape-driven blends. Prices stretch from $40 for entry-level, non-vintage bubbles, to $130 for premium vintage offerings.
Here is VinePair’s list of the best Champagnes to buy right now.
12. Pommery Cuvée Louise Brut Millesime, 2004 ($130)
Champagne Pommery’s Cuvée is named after the house founder’s widow, Louise. Under her guidance, the brand became one of Champagne’s leading houses in the late 19th century. Grapes for her eponymous, Chardonnay-driven blend come from three grand cru vineyards, providing a fresh-drinking Champagne dominated by green fruit and citrus flavors. Subtle almond and mineral notes add a savory backbone, and the finish is crisp with a very fine mousse.
11. Piper-Heidsieck Cuvée Brut, NV ($40)
Piper-Heidsieck’s non-vintage Cuvée Brut is notable for being red-grape-heavy, with Pinot Noir comprising more than 50 percent of the blend. The wine has creamy, brie aromas followed by refreshing apple and stone fruit flavors on the palate. The mineral-rich finish keeps you coming back for more.
10. Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut, NV ($50)
An elegant, well-balanced Champagne, the Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut epitomizes the house’s fruity style. The wine’s aromas are a lively mix of lemon, apple, and white peach, seasoned by subtle blue cheese and Greek yogurt. Red-fruit flavors shine through on the palate, including succulent tart cherry.
10. Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé Brut, NV ($70)
Though Champagne is the only appellation in France where rosé wines can be made from blending red and white still wines, Laurent-Perrier defies local practice and chooses not to do so for its Cuvée Rosé Brut. Instead, the wine’s 100 percent Pinot Noir grapes are gently pressed to ensure minimum skin contact, resulting in an expressive sparkler full of raspberry and redcurrant aromas, with a hint of tarragon. Savory toasted bread notes add complexity, while the finish is well rounded and brimming with bubbles.
8. Leclerc-Briant Brut Rosé, NV ($75)
Grapes for this sparkling rosé come from a mix of certified organic and biodynamic vineyards, with Chardonnay providing a 95 percent majority and Pinot Noir filling in the remainder. Aromas include a mix of green fruits and red berries, as well as candied orange peel and elegant white flowers. The wine has a chalky mouthfeel and a flinty, citrusy finish.
7. Taittinger Prelude Grands Crus, NV ($55)
This 50-50 blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir is made with grapes grown exclusively in grand cru vineyards. The bouquet is refined and balanced, with a mix of fruit, mineral, and toasty autolytic notes. Freshly made brioche dominates the palate — the consequence of five years spent on lees — followed by fresh strawberries and Meyer lemon.
6. Charles-Heidsieck Rosé Réserve, NV ($79)
This is a serious bottle of pink bubbly. Made with equal parts Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier, the wine has bright and fresh aromas, followed by surprisingly rich and complex flavors. Strawberries and orange peel persist throughout, as do tinges of brioche, whipped cream, and toasted almonds. Mouthwatering acidity provides a refreshing, lingering ending.
Chardonnay is the emblematic grape of Champagne house Perrier-Jouët and makes up the entirety of this vibrant and pleasing sparkling wine. Aromas and flavors are dominated by wildflowers and lemon zest, and its effervescent, easy-drinking mouthfeel makes it the ideal aperitif. Enjoy well chilled on its own, or with a selection of light canapes.
4. Billecart-Salmon Brut Reserve, NV ($60)
An elegant, nuanced blend, the Billecart-Salmon Brut Reserve matches sliced pear and green apple aromas with a trace of toasted brioche. At $60, the wine delivers well above its price point, especially when compared with other non-vintage bubbles. A persisting finish and velvety mousse will keep this bottle on your mind long after you’ve finished it.
3. Charles-Heidsieck Brut Réserve, NV ($70)
Everything about this wine is luxurious. On the nose, there’s everything you’d expect from a bottle of Champagne: fruit, creamy notes, freshly baked bread, and toasted, salted nuts. On the palate, there’s lemon pith, vanilla, and a saline mineral backbone. Bubbles are vibrant and refreshing, cleansing the palate and leaving a fresh citrus flavor.
2. Delamotte Blanc de Blancs Brut, 2008 ($90)
A vintage Champagne priced under $100, Delamotte’s 2008 Blanc de Blancs is a bonafide rarity, offering great value and quality in spades. From one of Champagne’s oldest houses comes this creamy, nuanced sparkler with intense, fruit-driven flavor, complemented by just the right amount of yeasty notes. Complex yet welcoming, this is a true crowd-pleaser.
1. Leclerc-Briant Brut Reserve, NV ($75)
Leclerc-Briant’s Brut Reserve delivers the depth of flavor one expects from a blend that features 40 percent Pinot Noir and 40 percent Pinot Meunier. (The remaining 20 percent is Chardonnay.) The wine is full of tart red-berry aromas backed by creamy, doughy notes and hints of baked apples and pears. Its dry, mineral-heavy texture is a surprising departure from its decadent flavors, while its crisp finish rounds things off with finesse.