Whether you’re celebrating or commiserating world news this festive season, one thing is for sure: you will need bubbles. Champagne, of course, will always be luxurious by definition, but there are some champagnes that peak their heads above the parapets of glory.
Here is my pick of ultra-special French bubbles to toast the end of 2019 and begin 2020 in style.
Salon 1997 Cuvée ‘S’, Blanc de Blancs, Le Mesnil
Salon is the high-class Champagne house that really, only true connoisseurs know. With extremely limited production and made entirely with ethereal Chardonnay grapes from the famed village of Le Mesnil-sur-Oger on Champagne’s Côte des Blancs (Blanc de blancs means 100% Chardonnay in Champagne), Salon showcases champagne purity at its best.
With this wine, understated elegance becomes more complex and beguiling with every year that the champagne is aged and the 1997 vintage has reached a perfect drinking window. Its trademark, lean, mineral backbone is perfectly balanced by notes of white flowers, white peach, brioche and hazelnut, with a soft, fine mousse.
RRP £727 Find the limited edition at Hedonism Wines.
Bollinger Tribute to Moonraker Luxury Limited Edition Magnum 2007
The Bollinger and Bond partnership began in 1979, when a bottle appeared in Moonraker and thus became Bond’s official champagne. To celebrate the 40th anniversary this year, Champagne Bollinger enlisted designer Eric Berthes to create a magnum case for the iconic 2007 vintage (naturally), which was inspired by the Moonraker space shuttle.
Crafted from pewter with a wood veneer, the box opens to reveal a Saint Louis crystal ice bucket and a magnum of Bollinger 2007. Each unique piece is individually numbered and finished by hand and with only 407 available, this certainly is a very limited edition.
RRP: £4,500 for 150cl. Stockist: Champagne Direct & The Finest Bubble.
(Next: Henri Giraud ‘fût de chêne’ MV13 and Castelnau Cuvée Brut 2006 Vintage Champagne).