Champagne Blend

Champagne Blend

Which grapes are included in the blend, and their proportion, is one of the key factors determining the style of most Champagnes. Three grapes are used - Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier.

26% of vineyards in Champagne are planted with Chardonnay and it performs best on the Côtes des Blancs and on the chalk slopes south of Epernay. It is relatively simple to grow, although it buds early and thus is susceptible to spring frosts. It produces lighter, fresher wines than those from Burgundy and gives finesse, fruit and elegance to the final blend. It is the sole grape in Blancs de Blancs, which are some of the richest long-lived Champagnes produced.

Pinot Noir accounts for nearly 40% of the plantings in Champagne and lies at the heart of most blends - it gives Champagne its body, structure, strength and grip. It is planted across Champagne and particularly so in the southern Aube district.

The final component is Pinot Meunier and this constitutes nearly 35% of the plantings. Its durability and resistance to spring frosts make the Marne Valley, a notorious frost pocket, its natural home. It ripens well in poor years and produces a soft, fruity style of wine that is ideal for blending with the more assertive flavours of Pinot Noir. Producers allege that Pinot Meunier lacks ageing potential, but this does not deter Krug from including around 15% of it in their final blends.


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Champagne Moët & Chandon, Impérial, Brut
White
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Medium Bodied
Dry
12.0% Alcohol
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£59.00 – bottle (75cl)
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2010 Champagne Leclerc Briant, Millésime, Extra Brut
White
2010
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Full Bodied
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12.0% Alcohol
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£100.00 – bottle (75cl)
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2013 Nyetimber, Tillington Single Vineyard, Sparkling, Sussex
White
2013
Ready, but will keep
Full Bodied
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12.0% Alcohol
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Available in bond
2008 Veuve Clicquot, La Grande Dame
White
2008
Ready, but will improve
Full Bodied
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12.5% Alcohol
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2014 Champagne Dhondt-Grellet, Les Nogers, Blanc de Blancs, 1er Cru, Extra Brut
White
2014
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Full Bodied
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12.0% Alcohol
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£121.50 – bottle (75cl)
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2004 Champagne Charles Heidsieck, Blanc des Millénaires, Brut
White
2004
Ready, but will improve
Full Bodied
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12.0% Alcohol
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£135.43 – bottle (75cl)
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2011 Champagne Philipponnat, Clos des Goisses, Extra Brut
White
2011
Ready, but will improve
Medium Bodied
Dry
13.0% Alcohol
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