From the iconic 1988, the first in a remarkable trio. To the often overlooked 1995, now opening up to its peak drinking window. To the critic’s favourite 2002, an early-maturing year with dry soil conditions that accelerated ripening. Recent Chelsea Vintners horizontal tastings have explored these three sensational Champagne vintages, marvelling at the inimitable style of the producer highlighted against the singular character of the vintage.
Your palate will decide whether you prefer a saline, sophisticated 1988 Krug Collection, bristling with limes and bright effervescence; a powerful 1995 Cristal Brut Rosé, with its intense red fruit purity; or a 2002 Taittinger Comtes de Champagne, described by Chris Wood, MD of Chelsea Vintners, as “reductive in that umami smoked bacon way, with notes of nutty marzipan and green apple fruit”. Regardless of your choice, each of these Champagnes reveal something compelling about both the vintage and the house, as they summon new meaning with time.
Vintage Champagne in itself is special, made from only the best grapes and typically only produced three or four times in a decade. Chelsea Vintners vintage Champagne tastings, equally, are occasions to remember. These tastings happen regularly throughout the year, often in a private room at an acclaimed London restaurant. It is one of the greatest pleasures of the CV team to bring together small groups of fellow Champagne fanatics, collectors and friends. Everything from small growers to Grandes Marques are explored, from precious late-19th-century rarities to knockout vintages from famous names such as Dom Perignon.
One region. Three vintages. Several producers. The highest-quality grapes transformed into spectacular, highly varied Champagnes. These three recent horizontal tastings alone tell a story bubbling with depth, flavour and potential.