Help me understand the higher end Champagne.

Which is a better year for Dom Perignon? I saw both the 1999 and 2000 on sale, both for around $130 each. Or should I buy a cheaper Champagne like Veuve Clicquot or maybe Moet et Chandon? They are under $50.
Original Post
quote:
Originally posted by WineGuy2008:
Help me understand the higher end Champagne.



After spending insane amounts of money and following countless rec's / highly rated champagne, I am convinced I will never "understand it" and stick to pilsner when I need some bubbles.
quote:
Originally posted by WineGuy2008:
Help me understand the higher end Champagne.

Which is a better year for Dom Perignon? I saw both the 1999 and 2000 on sale, both for around $130 each. Or should I buy a cheaper Champagne like Veuve Clicquot or maybe Moet et Chandon? They are under $50.


I'm not a huge Dom fan and neither of those are spectacular years. There are several wine stores in the US selling the 1985 Charles Heidsiek Champagne Charlie for about that price. If you do a search of this board, you will see that this is a VERY well regarded wine around these parts -- I've had every vintage of Dom (that it came out) from 1985 through 1996 and I prefer the '85 Charlie to all of them. The 1995 Blanc des Millenaires from the same producer should be pretty easy to find for about $85.

Mostly, though, I would go to a store that specializes in Grower-Producer Champagnes and befriend the owners so that you can be guided through all the different styles.

I would not get the Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label or the Moet & Chandon. For basic NV non Grower-Producer Champagnes, I think Billecart-Salmon is the way to go... or Charles Heidsieck (or maybe Bollinger Special Cuvee, though the last bottle I had wasn't so special).
quote:
Originally posted by winetarelli:
quote:
Originally posted by WineGuy2008:
Help me understand the higher end Champagne.

Which is a better year for Dom Perignon? I saw both the 1999 and 2000 on sale, both for around $130 each. Or should I buy a cheaper Champagne like Veuve Clicquot or maybe Moet et Chandon? They are under $50.


Mostly, though, I would go to a store that specializes in Grower-Producer Champagnes and befriend the owners so that you can be guided through all the different styles.

Fantastic tip from Winetarelli.

If you're truly interested to have a wig-blowing experience rather than a prestige experience, the grower fizz is the way to go.

Any competent shop should be able to put you hip for that kind of coin-- e.g. Vilmart "Cuvée Creation"-- but if they need help, tell 'em you're looking for a téte de cuvée from someone in the Wasserman or Thiese portfolios, or at least a "Special Club" bottling from one of the growers (e.g. Vazart Coquart)...

That said, nothing elicits the admiration of others like Dom Perignon!
quote:
Originally posted by Board-O:
I can't answer your question on the 1999 or 2000 Dom Perignon, but I'd urge you to seek out the 1996 if you want something spectacular.
I've had the '99 and it was forgetable, however on both occassions that I've had the '96 it was simply fantastic, well worth seeking out. Someone mentioned the '96 Duval-Leroy at about $50, for a bit more the '96 DL Femme is quite special and I think more readily available than the '96 DP.
quote:
Originally posted by WineGuy2008:
Am I reading this thread correctly that a $50 champagne can be as good as a $100+ Dom Perignon? And that the 1999 and 2000 Dom Perignon is not worth the money at $120 a bottle?
One of the toughest lessons I've learned as my wine knowledge advances is that there often is not a linear relationship between price and quality. So yes, a $50 can be better than a $100 bottle or even a $400 bottle, it really depends.

As for the question of "is it worth x?", that is really a personal question that only you can answer. If you really want to get a bottle of champagne, you want it to be DP, you only have access to the current releases, and you can afford it, then maybe it is worth $120 to you. For me personally it definitely is not, though for a '96 DP I'd probably pay $200, but again that's just me.
I had the 2000 last night, and it's really good, $130 though makes it tough. The 1996 DP Rose at same event was incredible, could have drank it all night, but at $400/btl I'm not a buyer. Thought the 2000 DP was better than 1993 Oenetheque that was about $340 though, and is likely reflective of a not-great vintage.
Yes, intersting sidebar BTW,a Moet rep was there and he explained that DP did not make rose until the 1960's at the request of the Shah of Iran, who wanted something special for some event in Iran. Tend to doubt there are many bottles left in Iran from that event....
quote:
Originally posted by WineGuy2008:
Am I reading this thread correctly that a $50 champagne can be as good as a $100+ Dom Perignon? And that the 1999 and 2000 Dom Perignon is not worth the money at $120 a bottle?


Why is this a problem to you?
* Price != Value
* People have differing opinions and expectations

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