Bogey's Guide to Wine: Top 5 Champagnes to Drink This Summer
Nothing quite lights up a celebration like a glass of bubbly, but Champagne doesn’t have to be purchased for a celebration only. One of my mentors used to say, “Sometimes the celebration you’re drinking Champagne for is just that you’ve lived to see another day!” In honor of us all living to see today, here are my Top 5 Champagnes to Drink this Summer:
#5: Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Brut Long paraded as the number one Champagne, and definitely one of the most well-known, Veuve Clicquot (French for “Widow Clicquot” and named after Widow Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin who was credited as being the first person to create a vintage Champagne in 1810) is a beautiful Champagne that keeps a similar blend every year (at least with the Yellow Label). Scoring 94 points from Decanter, this is always a good buy. Primarily Pinot Noir.
#4: Telmont Reserve Brut Champagne 2021 A criminally underrated Champagne! As quoted by the winemaker: “Marked by honeysuckle and a hint of vanilla on the nose with an elegant foam. Plentiful in baked fruits: Mirabelle plum with a slight spice on the mid-palate that gives way to a long candied tropical-fruit and brisk mineral finish.” Primarily Chardonnay.
#3: Ruinart Rosé Champagne NV Champagne’s first sparkling rosé! An absolutely beautiful wine. Wine Spectator gives it 94 points, saying “A classy rosé that glides across the palate, with flavors of raspberry coulis, yellow peach, chamomile and blanched almond that expand on the creamy mousse and linger on the lightly spiced finish, powered by mouthwatering acidity.” Now that’s some praise! Primarily Pinot Noir.
#2: Pol Roger Brut Reserve NV A classic through and through. Drink this one by the pool or with a dinner under the Summer sky. Decanter gives it 91 points: “a classy, balanced expression of the three grape varieties allowed by law. It has plenty of rich apple fruit along with a streak of lemon zest and just a hint of juicy tangerine. The palate is round but fresh, and has a long, steely finish which leaves you wanting another sip." The exact blend is unknown in percentages, but it’s made up of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Meunier.
#1: Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé NV Of course, no list would be complete without my all-time favorite Champagne: Billecart Salmon Brut Rosé. One of the first Champagne’s I ever drank, I’ve been consistently pleased by every release I’ve ever had. A strong flavor of raspberries on the palate, with strawberries, citrus, and just beautiful effervescence, this is, I think, the perfect example of what a Rosé from Champagne should be. I’ve never met its equal.