Connect with us


What Are the Basics to Define the Best Champagne Brands?

The first criterion of a good classification is that it is based on a very broad selection of all types of Champagne brands. In such a listing, a Champagne wine from a Great House can therefore be ranked after one from a small wine-producer. If they are the same quality, the price of the latter will make it a more attractive product. At the same time, nonetheless, we want to rank the best Champagnes, not the least expensive ones. In other words, we need only the highest quality to appear on the list.

As a rule of thumb, a great wine brand can be recognized by its potential in the aging evolution and by the regularity of its quality even in difficult years. This rule definitely applies to Champagne wine, which is a complex product that develops over the course of many years and productions. We are thus looking for good producers as much as for good single bottles. When updated, whether on an on-going or yearly basis, the rankings have to take into account as well the evolution of the wines over the course of the preceding years.

The second criteria of an authentic and reliable ranking system is therefore that it is based on a thorough examination of what makes a great wine appellation, primarily: common and individual characteristics of the brand wines, quality of the wine-growing and making, homogeneity and regularity of the blends of wines that make up a cuvée, evolution of the vintage wines from one to the other, wine-maker’s overall quality policy and prices.

Rather than considering each wine of a given year as a singularity, this broad and comprehensive approach is already an introduction to the producers’ real work. Such a brands list is a first step in building your own practical Champagne wine knowledge.

So, whichever classification you may use in determining the best Champagne brands, you should be able to come up with the three types of results given below.

*The Champagnes with the highest quality and best regularity, comprising the most famous names (but not necessarily all of them), a few others that may appear because of the wine-grower’s know-how.

*Champagne brands almost unknown a few decades ago but which have managed to make a name for themselves. In other words, the brands that have a proven track record of top quality products but might be found on the French market only.

*The third type of results would be about brands which can be categorized in a “wait and see” position. These are the brands that have not yet been sufficiently checked in the past years but which could outperform better known wines in blind tastings.

Olivier Germain