Three Vintage Champagnes to Collect Now

Sara Sparks | July 14, 2020

2006 - 2008 - 2012
Harvest in Champagne can equally bring tears of joy or tears of grief. In this cooler climate, producers still worry if their grapes will ripen completely when the time comes to pick, so when the grapes are good, take note. Three recent vintages have especially high appeal for their great growing season: 2006, 2008, and 2012, and these are my favorites from each year: 

Krug 2006
2006 has shown over and over wines that are generous and supple, offering not just the structure necessary for aging but a bursting fruit profile that invites earlier drinking. Make no mistake, the masterful Krug 2006 is a wine ready to age for decades. But after opening a bottle this month and experiencing its layers of lemon, chamomile, and rich spice, I have no regrets. 

Gaston Chiquet: Blanc de Blanc d'Ay 2008
Eighth-generation grape growers and winemakers, Gaston Chiquet are masters of the craft. This rare bottling of all-Chardonnay from Grand Cru vineyards of Ay was vinified in stainless steel and aged for 96 months on the lees! It offers a duality of terroir-infused body and freshly flavored lift. An approachable bottle for immediate drinking or short-term cellaring, at this price, is a no-brainer.

Bollinger: Grande Annee
Pinot Noir is a delicacy, the thin-skinned grape exhales a perfume of bright fresh herbs and earthy notes, like a peaceful walk through a rose garden. The medium-bodied expression from Chambolle Musigny by Hudelot-Noellat carries black cherry and raspberry notes well spiced with clove and marjoram. Pair with pork tenderloin or richly glazed salmon, or grilled portobello mushroom burgers.