Reading Time: 3 minutes
While Charine is crazy about Champagne, I’ve always been slow to the party. Over the years I’ve attempted to become knowledgeable about sparkling wines, especially Champagne. The Taste Champagne Hong Kong by Tyson Stelzer was a great opportunity to sharpen my palate further.
There were 30 houses pouring over 130 cuvées at the Taste Champagne Hong Kong event. Both vintage and non-vintage Champagnes were poured. During the course of three hours, we tasted our way through the entire offering.
Vintage Champagne – I Get It!
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always enjoyed Champagne. When it comes to sparkling wines, Champagne is the benchmark and for good reason. It’s hard to duplicate the balance of toast and flint notes that Champagne offers. The struggle for me had always been detecting the subtle differences between house styles. That all changed once I started tasting more vintage Champagne – which offers more complexity and differentiation between houses and harvests.
Nearly every house present at Taste Champagne Hong Kong poured at least one of their vintage Champagnes. It was exciting to taste such a large selection in one setting. There were classics like Dom Pérignon and Bollinger in addition to lesser known houses like Beaumont des Crayères.
It was hard to pick my favorites among so many excellent wines but I widdled the list down to ten Champagnes worth checking out.
Exotic Wine Travel’s Picks
You can find out more about our scoring system on the WINE RATING page.
- Bollinger, La Grande Année 2007
The Bollinger La Grande Année 2007 Champagne has a complex and developed nose. Flavors of biscuit, golden apple, flint, and Asian pear. It’s full-bodied with a creamy mousse. The bubbles are fine. Long and complex finish. Score: 94/100
- Deutz, Cuvée William Deutz 2007
This is a big ripe Champagne without the sharp acidity. The Deutz Cuvée William Deutz 2007 Champagne is full of peach, apple, pineapple, and mineral notes. It’s full and plush on the palate with a good amount of complexity. Long finish. Score: 91/100
- Dom Pérignon, Vintage 2008
The Dom Pérignon 2008 is a fantastic Champagne. It is big and concentrated. Notes of toast, yogurt, apple, white peach, and flint. It’s full in body with a creamy, silky mouthfeel. Long, concentrated, and stellar finish. This vintage hits it out of the park, what a wine. Score: 96/100
- Krug, Grande Cuvée Edition 166 NV
The Kruge Grande Cuvée Edition 166 is ripe and extremely full on the nose and palate. It’s a non-vintage Champagne but one worth noting. There are notes of tropical fruit, orange peel, lemon, and yogurt. The palate has lots of texture and depth. The finish on this Champagne is flinty, long, and citrusy. Score: 94/100
- Gosset, Grand Blanc de Meunier Extra Brut NV
The Gosset Grand Blanc de Meunier is a Blanc de Noirs with a twist – it’s made from 100% Pinot Meunier. It is another NV Champagne worth mentioning because it’s distinctive and delicious. Notes of strawberry, rhubarb, yogurt, and flinty notes. Full bodied with a phenolic bite and a slight tannic tug. Long and complex finish. Score: 92/100
- Le Brun de Neuville, Lady De N. Clovis NV
Le Brun de Neuville was one of the surprises from the Taste Champagne Hong Kong. We enjoyed all three Champagnes they had on offer. The Le Brun de Neuville Lady De N. Clovis is mostly Pinot Noir (80%) that spent over ten years on the lees. It’s toasty with notes of lemon, pear, and yogurt. It’s full and complex. Sharp acidity with a long finish. Score: 92/100
- Louis Roederer, Brut Blanc de Blancs 2010
The Louis Roederer Brut Blanc de Blancs 2010 has bright and ripe fruit combined with the sharp acidity that makes Champagne special. Notes of tropical fruit, melon, yogurt, and lemon peel. The Chardonnay really comes through here. Sharp and long finish. Score: 93/100
- G.H. Mumm, RSRV Cuvée Lalou 2006
Many people scoff at G.H Mumm Champagne but their RSRV lineup is a strong set of wines. The base wine is from Grand Cru vineyards. This Champagne has notes of lemon, pear, peach, brioche, and flint. It’s full on the palate with sharp acidity. Score: 92/100
- Perrier-Jouët, Belle Époque Rosé 2006
Of all the houses, Perrier-Jouët has the most recognizable house style to me. The Perrier-Jouët Belle Époque Rosé 2006 is an elegant rosé Champagne. It has notes of strawberry, cream, lemon, flint, and white flower. It’s full-bodied and silky. The bubbles are fine without being overly aggressive. Long finish. Score: 93/100
- Taittinger, Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs 2007
The Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs 2007 isn’t as great as the 2006 but it’s still stellar. It spent 11 years on the lees. There are notes of lemon, mineral, apple, pear, and brioche. It’s full in body and concentrated with a long and tight finish. Score: 95/100
The Champagne Guide 2018-2019 by Tyson Stelzer
Tyson Stelzer travels regularly to Champagne and his Taste Champagne Events are some of the largest outside of Champagne, France. If you want an in-depth guide to the region, check out Tyson’s The Champagne Guide 2018-2019 on his website.
Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are unsolicited and have not been paid for in any way by governmental bodies, enterprises, or individuals. We do not sell editorial content as that would destroy the legitimacy of our reviews and the trust between Exotic Wine Travel and its readers. On occasion, we extend the option of purchasing the wines we review or/and the products we spotlight. Some of these product links are set up through affiliate programs, which means Exotic Wine Travel gets referral credits if you choose to purchase these items via the links we provide.