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Who offers old vintages ?

Few houses can boast of offering a veritable wine store of old champagnes. Because as obvious as it may seem, setting up a wine bar is a (very) long-term adventure. If all the champagne houses preciously keep bottles of each of their vintages for posterity, for a sort of private museum that would retrace the history of the brand and its vintages through an intoxicating journey back in time, few are those whose the stocks of old vintages are sufficient to consider marketing. However, a few houses have for several years built up a stock of vintages made exclusively from the most remarkable vintages in order to market them later.


Who sells these old champagnes ?


The Dom Pérignon house, perhaps the most famous of all champagne houses, has been offering an exceptional collection of old vintages for several years through its Wine Bar range. These are wines that have aged on a latte, and are disgorged a few months before their marketing. Currently the house offers the Vintage 1996 Wine Bar, a remarkable year for offering an almost perfect balance between sweetness and acidity. The acidity is an important factor because it guarantees a long aging potential. You can also find here and there the Vintage 1993 Wine Bar and the 1995 Vintage Wine Bar. The 1993 Vintage is distinguished by a superb golden color, spicy notes and exceptional intensity.



The Vintages Veuve Clicquot


During its bicentenary, the Veuve Clicquot house decided to offer extremely rare vintages for sale in a range called: Cave Privée. A collection of three rosés (1975, 1978 and 1989) and two whites (1980 and 1990) presented in jeroboam, magnum or bottle were put on the market for this occasion. Each Vintage from the Veuve Clicquot Cave Privée collection has been manually disgorged and dosed according to its vintage. La Cave Privée 1990 is thus dressed in an intense golden color and offers a rich and complex nose with fruity and stewed notes. After a few moments more spicy and mineral aromas stand out. On the palate, this champagne works wonders and deploys aromas of liquor and citrus fruits that carry a long and silky finish.


Lanson reveals his story


The Lanson house has always shone in the development of its vintage cuvées. From her marvelous cellar, she extracted the finest vintages to market them in magnums. Cuvées ranging from 1976 to 1997, disgorged on demand and dressed by hand. All these old vintages (1976, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997) were made with a majority of Pinot Noir and around a third of Chardonnay Grands Crus . The absence of malolactic fermentation gives the wines a unique freshness and radiant youth. Definitive refinement, each magnum bears the date of the vintage in gold letters. Finally, each cuvée is accompanied by a filmed tasting of the vintage in question conducted and commented by Jean-Paul Gandon, Cellar Master of the Lanson house since 1972.


Old vintages of Drappier


The Drappier house, perhaps the most famous house in the Aube, offers a series of old vintages from its wine store at prices that are still very affordable, which is rare in this area. We find in particular a very beautiful 1995 which is on the fruit and gluttony, a brilliant 1992, and a powerful 1976 made with 90% Pinot Noir. The Champagne house Delamotte, belonging to the Laurent-Perrier house, launched in the fall of 2012 a very exclusive range of old vintages with in particular an untraceable 1953 vintage, a 1970 vintage in magnum, a 1983 also in magnum, a 1988 must-have. in bottle and finally a 1991 vintage to die for. Cuvées to be reserved for the great moments of life.


Where to find these vintages


Few traditional wine merchants offer a range of old champagne, because demand is very low for this type of cuvée, and they prefer to focus on more generic cuvées. However, there is a store in Montrouge, Saveurs et Millésimes, which offers aged vintages. On the internet, there is of course the Champagne enothèque de Plus de Bulles, but you will also find at Mon Millésime a great range of old sparkling wines. Finally, there are auctions, which are certainly the solution offering the greatest choice, but it is difficult to know the storage conditions, except champagne is very sensitive to light and temperature. A purchase in auction rooms therefore involves an element of risk.