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Non-Vintage Champagne: Panel tasting results

Our judges were impressed with the quality on show in this tasting, and while the category may lack the glamour of the top cuvées, non-vintage is the engine that drives the Champagne region, for both the Grandes Marques and smaller houses.

Simon Field MW, Anne Krebiehl MW and Tim Hall tasted 68 non-vintage Champagnes with two outstanding and 51 highly recommended.

Entry criteria: Decanter invited producers in Champagne to submit their main white, brut non-vintage cuvée, with a particular focus on members of the Union des Maisons de Champagne.

The verdict

Champagne houses face unprecedented challenges, agreed our panel, from sales in decline due to Covid and from climate change, but an impressive set of wines were fielded.  

A very positive showing, from a region in turmoil, concluded our tasters. Only 14 of the 68 wines tasted scored lower than 90 points – a significant achievement for this entry-level, though hugely important category.

‘I was impressed by the general classic character of most of the wines we tasted,’ said Tim Hall. ‘There’s no question that Champagne is getting riper and fuller bodied, but this tasting showed that producers are making great efforts to preserve freshness and balance, and to combat the effects of climate change.

Scroll down for the top scoring Non-Vintage Champagne panel tasting notes and scores

See the top scoring Non-Vintage Champagne panel tasting notes and scores

The judges

Simon Field MW
Field was a buyer for London-based wine merchant Berry Bros & Rudd for more than two decades, and now works as a consultant on areas which particularly interested him during that time, with Champagne topping the list in France, along with Rhône and Languedoc. He is also a Decanter World Wine Awards judge.

Anne Krebiehl MW
German-born but London-based, Anne Krebiehl MW is a widely published freelance wine writer, educator, competition judge and consultant. A contributing editor for Austria, Alsace and English wines for Wine Enthusiast magazine in the US, she also has a particular speciality in all things sparkling and Champagne.

Tim Hall
Hall owns and runs Scala Wine, importing selected small-grower Champagnes into the UK and running events and trips. Promoted to Chambellan of the Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne in 2019, in 2013 he won the CIVC’s UK Champagne Ambassador competition and was runner-up in the European final held in Champagne.

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