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Champagne Day: 96+ point wines to try

To celebrate Champagne Day, discover a top selection of 15 Champagnes to try from Decanter World Wine Awards.

Champagne needs little introduction, nor does it require a celebratory occasion to pop open — but this Champagne Day, held annually on the 4th Friday of October, we can think of a few exceptional examples worth discovering.

Year after year, results from the Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) attest to the quality of Champagne, and the 2023 competition was no exception with 25 Gold, six Platinum and two Best in Show medals awarded to this classic region.

Champagne’s two Best in Show medal winners are of particular note: Collery, Blanc De Blancs Brut Grand Cru NV and Moët & Chandon, Grand Vintage Collection Extra-Brut 1999. The former is a youthful example yet with impressive potential, judges noting that it can age for up to a decade. Contrary, the latter has been beautifully aged, offering complex and articulate aromas with a chiffon-like texture.


Scroll down to see a top selection of 96-97 point Champagnes from DWWA 2023


Vintage Champagnes saw a majority of top medals awarded, with 22 of the top 33 (Gold, Platinum and Best in Show winners) awarded to sparkling wines from the 2008 vintage on. The 2012 vintage stands out with seven Champagnes awarded 95+ points from this exceptional vintage.

Of the six Platinum medal-winning wines, all receiving 97 points, one was awarded to a non-vintage expressions: Pommery, Cuvée Apanage Blanc De Blancs Brut NV. Polished and refined, this sparkling wine is an outstanding example of a Blanc de Blancs with ripe stone fruit and a fine persistent mousse.

Below find a selection of 96-97 point Champagnes, well worth discovering, from the 2023 Decanter World Wine Awards, with many more to discover at awards.decanter.com

Champagne Day: 96+ point wines to try

Best in Show

Collery, Blanc De Blancs Brut Grand Cru NV

Best in Show, 97 points
In contrast to our Best in Show Vintage Champagne, this non-vintage Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs is clearly a youthful wine – but one with impressive potential. Pale and fine-beaded, its taut, mouth-watering scents of ivy leaf, plant sap, green apple and green grape contrive to suggest both exceptional vineyard origins but also a relatively low dosage. On the palate, the wine is pure, deep, vinous and driving, with fine-bladed intensity. Pristine, structural acidity carries it towards a high-focus, faintly saline finish, once again suggesting soil, stone and fruit rather than yeast and a concluding liqueur. Yes, it’s young, but you could age this pure, refined Blanc de Blancs for up to a decade (if you have cool cellaring conditions) to great benefit. Alcohol 12%

Moët & Chandon, Grand Vintage Collection Extra-Brut 1999

Best in Show, 97 points
This Vintage blend of the three principal Champagne varieties (Pinot Noir 38% balanced by 31% each of Chardonnay and Meunier) impressed with its complex and articulate aromas: enticing yet classical, too. Bread dough, green malt and apple fruits have metamorphosed into something softer and more harmonious over the last two decades without ever losing their finely sketched charm. On the palate, the wine is pure, limpid, expressive: green fruits and chiffon textures, supported by a Pinot-derived bone structure which has clearly helped the wine endure. The `99 vintage was praised for the accessibility of its wines when young, though these were thought unlikely to last long. This deftly blended, soundly stored wine challenges that verdict. Alc 12.5%

Platinum

Champagne Henriot, Hemera Brut 2008

Platinum, 97 points
An unctuous display of baked peach, toffee apple and roasted nut aromatics with an explosion of toasted lemon acidity and a bustling mousse. Dynamic and exciting with a graceful whisper of savoury smokiness on the long finish. Alc 12%

De Saint-Gall, Orpale Grand Cru Blanc De Blanc Brut 2008

Platinum, 97 points
A cascade of bruised apples, figs and toasted nuts with a stylish, smoky quality. Elegant and complex, showing tension and finesse from the brisk, linear acidity and understated, silky mousse. Very complete, seductive and long. Alc 12.2%

Legras & Haas, Blanc De Blancs Brut Grand Cru Chouilly 2015

Platinum, 97 points
Indulgent layers of golden apples and pears, succulent honeyed peaches and intense roasted praline with a luxurious nut-oil texture and an enticing crunch of citrus acidity. A serious, savouring treat with an enduring mineral finish. Alc 12.5%

Moët & Chandon, Grand Vintage Extra Brut 2015

Platinum, 97 points
Inviting on the nose, showing a symphony of nutty aromas, with mouthwatering notes of vanilla, toast, green apple and pear skin. Luscious in the mouth, with a beautifully creamy texture, supported by an energetic, shimmery acidity. Alc 12.5%

Pommery, Cuvée Apanage Blanc De Blancs Brut NV

Platinum, 97 points
Polished and refined, with an outstanding harmony of delectably ripe stone fruit amidst a seamless spine of lively acidity and a fine, persistent mousse, all underpinned by a subtle, fragrant mineral character. Lengthy and vivacious. Alc 12.5%

Regi, Ekleipsis Grand Cru Brut 2008

Platinum, 97 points
Pristine aromas of bergamot and candied citrus, with a toasty complexity of coffee, macaroon, buttered toast, butterscotch and rounded ripe mango fruit. Delicious and plush on the palate, with a cleansing vibrant acidity. Fantastic length. Alc 12.5%

Gold

Abelé 1757, Le Sourire De Reims Brut 2009

Gold, 96 points
Perfumed white cherry, bright lemon and green apple licked with anise and beaming with a compelling citrus energy. Chalky, crunchy and streamlined with a superb length. Alc 12.5%

Ayala, La Perle Brut 2013

Gold, 96 points
Radiant limes, berries and red apples overlay a bedrock of freshly baked dough and sweet liquorice spice. Soft and poised with a fine-beaded, lingering mousse. Alc 12%

Hatt Et Söner, Quattuor Blanc De Blancs Extra Brut Premier Cru 2016

Gold, 96 points
A glistening splendour of sweet lemon rain intermingled with plump orchard fruit; delicate and light-footed with a charming citrus acidity and a generous, billowing structure. Alc 12%

Lanson, Le Vintage Brut 2012

Gold, 96 points
Voluminous and lively with charred lemon, buttery almond biscuits and grapefruit looming large, capturing the essence of a warm and persusasive vintage. Smoky, mineral and long. Alc 12.5%

Paul Goerg, Blanc De Blancs Brut Premier Cru NV

Gold, 96 points
Bracing marine breezes soar across a bed of honeyed apricots and lip smacking lemon sherbet, with a lavish, rich texture and a sustaining mineral finish. Mesmerising. Alc 12.5%

Perrier-Jouët, Belle Epoque Blanc De Blancs Brut 2012

Gold, 96 points
Very statuesque with a fine profile of creamy orchard fruit, nougat and fig and an embracing, frothy mousse; vivid and pure with a lovely, long finish. Alc 12%

Taittinger, Comtes De Champagne Blanc De Blanc Brut 2012

Gold, 96 points
An enthralling integration of apple strudel and smoky, nutty savoury tones with a flawless structure, delicate mousse and a high-toned nobility ensuring a long-lived evolution. Alc 12.5%


Search all DWWA 2023 results


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