Champagne / Sparkling Wine

Champagne (sparkling wine from France) and other sparkling wines, usually made from Chardonnay (blanc de blancs) or from Pinot Noir or Pinot Meunier (blanc de noirs).

This topic is for ratings and reviews of sparkling wine generally, including French Champagne, but not sparkling wines from Italy (see the topic Spumante / Asti / Prosecco / Frizzante). Also included are ratings for Cava (sparkling wines from Spain), Sekt (Germany), and Cap Classique (South Africa).

The term "champagne" correctly applies only to French Champagne, a specific sparkling wine from the French Champagne Appellation d'Origine Controlee (AOC) made by the méthode champenoise. The term should not be confused with sparkling wine made in other appellations of France or the rest of the world. Other regions of France are forbidden to use the name Champagne, instead using the name “Crémant.” Similarly, the laws in most countries reserve the name "champagne" for the French Champagne AOC. AOC is the designation for wines of better quality from France. It is a set of laws which help the consumer to determine the origin and quality of a wine. These laws dictate the grape variety, the minimum alcohol and other quality factors, for any given wine from a specific region.

Champagnes made exclusively from the white Chardonnay grape are known as blanc de blancs ("white from white" in French), and those made exclusively from the red Pinot Noir or Pinot Meunier grapes are known as blanc de noirs ("white from black" in French). While those grape varieties predominate in sparkling wines generally, many lesser-known varieties are used worldwide, except in Champagne.

Sparkling wine types are delimited by the amount of sugar added after fermentation. Types vary from brut zéro or brut natural, where no sugar is added, through brut (having less then 1.5% sugar), extra-dry, sec, demi-sec and doux (having more than 5% sugar), with the most popular being brut. See Wikipedia, Champagne wine, and Sparkling_Wine.

The most basic division of wine is into color: red, white, and rosé (or "blush"). Wines are categorized as still wines, sparkling wines, dessert wines, and fortified wines. Sparkling wines contain carbonation and thus are "sparkly" or bubbly. Still wines ("still" since they aren't bubbly from carbonation), are either varietals or blended wines. Dessert wines are sweet, as are fortified wines, such as port and sherry, which have other liquors such as brandy added to them. Aromatic wines, such as vermouth, have been flavored with herbs.

A varietal wine is any wine that takes its name from its predominant grape variety, as opposed to a blended wine, which is a blend of different grape varieties. A vintage wine date denoted on the label of the wine indicates the year in which 95 percent of the grapes used to make the wine were harvested. Non-vintage (NV) wines are blends of grapes harvested in different years, denoted by the absence of a year on the label. Most Champagne is non-vintage, produced from a blend of years.

Rate and review the sparkling wines listed below, or go to the Action section to add another sparkling wine to the list. Make sure to include the year of production (or if no year appears on the label, insert NV for non-vintage), the appellation or viticultural area, and the price, rounded off.

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List added by SilverFox on 12/1/2003
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