Top Vintage Champagnes from 2000 and 2002

Though it’s clear that only one of these noughties vintages is built for long-term cellaring, Richard Juhlin finds that the two make for a fascinating comparison when tasted side by side at this stage of their development. See below his Top Vintage Champagnes from 2000 and 2002.

Every year for the past few years, it has been my pleasurable task to select an especially interesting style or segment from the world of Champagne, and to subject it to an in-depth tasting and analysis. Last year, as published in Decanter, this took the form of a huge (and enjoyable) review of Reims and Epernay’s great prestige cuvées. In 2013 it was rosé Champagne and, prior to that, blanc de blancs was the object of my scrutiny. But for this year’s tasting, I have tackled something far more challenging: a comparison of two vintages which are similar in age, but very different in character – 2000 and 2002.

I have wanted, and been waiting, to do a tasting focused on these two vintages for a long time. But only now have they both reached a stage of maturity that makes such a direct comparison meaningful.

Close-run thing

In terms of points, the 2002s won out – but only by a very narrow margin, with an average of 87.63 points compared to 87.32 for the 2000s. Of course, it must be emphasised that scores were based on the quality of the wines as they are drinking now – and not based on their future potential. That would have yielded a very different result, with 2002 being the clear winner.

That is not to say that 2000 needs to be consumed on the spot, or drunk up in the short term. In many cases, in spite of the low acidity of the vintage, the best 2000s have sufficient depth and concentration to hold their own for another decade.

Top Vintage Champagnes from 2000 and 2002

With 26 outstanding Champagnes from the original tasting, is highlighting the top vintage champagnes that scored over 94 points.