Brighter Days

The Champagne region gives reason to celebrate, with a range of styles and outstanding wines from multiple vintages

Brighter Days
Vineyards facing south across the Marne River toward Épernay (Lee Osborne)
From the Dec 15, 2020, issue

Champagne maintains an esteemed position in the world of wine, partly due to its image of luxury and festivity. But the true source of its reputation is the consistently high quality of the wines, as well as the stylistic diversity that lends them to a range of settings beyond that celebratory pop.

For this tasting report, senior editor Alison Napjus reviewed nearly 325 Champagnes in blind tastings at Wine Spectator's New York office, a fascinating display of the region’s scope. With more than a dozen of them garnering classic ratings of 95 points or higher on Wine Spectator’s 100-point scale, it’s clear that quality remains impressively high. Notable among this classic-scoring group are a number of new releases from the exciting 2012 vintage, which started out as one of Champagne’s most challenging in the 21st century.

Read on for Napjus' analysis of the latest vintage-dated and non-vintage releases, her vintage rating for 2012 and her picks of top wines and top values.

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