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Wine Spectator School

Class 5: Old World Model: France


Since most are blends, a specific varietal or vineyard names rarely appear on a Champagne label, but the type of Champagne is usually clearly indicated:

Non vintage blends wines from several different vintages to make a consistent product in a consistent house style from year to year.

Vintage uses wines from a single year. Since these wines reflect the weather conditions of the specific vintage; character and quality can vary.

Blanc de blancs, meaning "white of whites," uses only Chardonnay grapes and can be vintage or non vintage. These wines are generally lighter-bodied, with more citrus flavors.

Blanc de noirs, or "white of blacks," uses only the red-skinned Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier varieties and can be vintage or nonvintage. These wines reflect the varieties used; they...

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