Best Non-Vintage Champagnes (New Dec. 2020)

By Dirk Smits

The Top “NV” Champagnes for Any Celebrations

Also called multi-vintage Champagne, non-vintage Champagne is a crucial part of the production of each Champagne house as it expresses the signature style of wine they produce and is the standard upon which the rest of their range is based.

The non-vintage blend consists largely of grapes from the most recent vintage, along with a portion of “reserve wines” that have been aged from previous years. This is why it’s called a “non-vintage,” because not all the grapes are from the same year.

The most important aspect of this blend is that it must remain consistent from year to year so that no matter when or where you open a bottle, it will always taste the same.

The champagnes are presented in alphabetical order.

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1. Champagne Charles Heidsieck, Brut Réserve

Origin: Reims, France
Varietals: 1/3 Pinot Noir, 1/3 Chardonnay, 1/3 Pinot Meunier
Price: $58.00
ABV: 12%

The Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve is a masterpiece of blending of up to 60 different cru wines and a great value considering that 40% of its blend is composed of reserve wines averaging about 10 years of age. The wine was matured on the lees for over three years.

The wine offers a complex, voluptuous nose with notes of green apple, white flowers, pear, candied orange peel and almonds. It is deliciously balanced, showing rich white fruits and nutty flavors. The reserve wines give this wine lushness and provide harmony.

> For more information, visit the Charles Heidsieck official website.

> Check out GAYOT’s profile of Champagne Charles Heidsieck House.

2. Champagne Drappier, Carte d’Or

Origin: Urville, France
Varietals: 80% Pinot Noir, 15% Chardonnay, 5% Pinot Meunier
Price: $41.00
ABV: 12%

The Carte d’Or cuvée is the very expression of the Drappier style. With its very high proportion of Pinot Noir, one is almost tasting a Blanc de Noirs. The wine consists of 40% reserve wines and is finished with 6.5 grams of sugar per liter (dosage).

It opens up with aromas of stone fruits, apple, toasted bread and white flowers. A complex palate shows creamy flavors, good minerality and spices underlined by a soft effervescence and terminating in a clean and focused finish.

For more information, visit the Champagne Drappier official website.

> Check out GAYOT’s profile of Champagne Drappier House.

3. Champagne Gaston Chiquet, Tradition, Premier Cru

Origin: Dizy, France
Varietal: 40% Pinot Meunier, 35% Chardonnay, 25% Pinot Noir
Price: $46.00
ABV: 12.5%

The wine displays a golden, yellow hue and a fine effervescence. The fresh nose shows a hint of citrus, lemon confit, baked apple tart and star anise. The Pinot Meunier assures a smooth palate, fresh and balanced with flavors of fresh apricot, white peach and citrus.

For more information, visit the Champagne Gaston Chiquet official website.

> Check out GAYOT’s profile of Champagne Gaston Chiquet House.

4. Champagne Jean Lallement, Grand Cru

Champagne Jean Lallement Brut

Origin: Verzenay, France
Varietals: 80% Pinot Noir, 20% Chardonnay
Price: $55.00
ABV: 12%

With all the Pinot Noir coming from Verzenay, this wine is expressive and powerful, revealing aromas of peach, cherry, toast and spices.

On the palate, spices, candied orange peel, cherry plum and cream interact with the lively acidity due to the light dosage measured at 6 grams of sugar per liter.

For more information, visit the Champagne Lallement official website.

> Check out GAYOT’s profile of Champagne Jean Lallement House.

5. Champagne Laurent-Perrier, La Cuvée

Origin: Tours-sur-Marne, France
Varietals: 55% Chardonnay, 35% Pinot Noir, 10% Pinot Meunier
Price: $46.00
ABV: 12%

The wine is made with juice obtained from the first pressing only, resulting in a wine of great finesse and freshness. La Cuvée ages in the cellar for a minimum of four years and is given a low dosage of 9 grams of sugar per liter.

The wine is pale gold in color and fine bubbles feed a persistent mousse. The nose shows delicate aromas of fresh citrus, melon and white flowers. Fruity flavors are very present on the palate and the wine expresses a perfect balance between freshness and delicacy.

> For more information, visit the Champagne Laurent-Perrier official website.

> Check out GAYOT’s profile of Champagne Laurent-Perrier House.

6. Champagne Louis Roederer, Brut Premier

Origin: Reims, France
Varietals: 40% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay, 20% Pinot Meunier
Price: $51.00
ABV: 12%

Brut Premier shows a pale golden color with fine, persistent effervescence. Its rich yet subtle bouquet has hints of pear, yellow orchard fruit and white flowers.

In the mouth, it has a clean attack and creamy texture with some delicate nuttiness added to the palate of apple and citrus flavors and seamlessly finishing with an exquisite balance and purity.

> For more information, visit the Champagne Louis Roederer official website.

7. Champagne Nicolas Maillart, Platine, Premier Cru

Origin: Écueil, France
Varietals: 63% Pinot Noir, 23% Chardonnay, 14% Pinot Meunier
Price: $39.00
ABV: 12.5%

The current release of this wine is based on the 2015 vintage complemented with 55% of reserve wines aged in barrel. It was disgorged in November of 2019 and finished with a dosage of 6 grams per liter.

The wine offers an expressive nose of apple, lemon zest, chalky minerality, white flowers and a touch of toast. In the mouth it delivers creamy finesse with snappy acidity and a lengthy, complex finish.

> For more information, visit the Champagne Nicolas Maillart official website.

> Check out GAYOT’s profile of Champagne Nicolas Maillart House.

8. Champagne Piper-Heidsieck, Cuvée Brut

Origin: Reims, France
Varietals: 55% Pinot Noir, 30% Pinot Meunier, 15% Chardonnay
Price: $42.00
ABV: 12%

Piper-Heidsieck carefully selects fruit from more than 100 of Champagne’s crus to blend this wine. The wine contains 10 to 20% reserve wines, depending on the vintage, and has a dosage of 10 grams of sugar per liter.

The wine has a white-golden color and a crisp, clean bouquet of orchard fruits, almond, a delicate hint of citrus and good minerality. On the palate, it carries flavors of white peaches, ginger and toasted bread, all beautifully balanced showing fruit expression and fleshiness.

For more information, visit the Champagne Piper-Heidsieck official website.

> Check out GAYOT’s profile of Champagne Piper-Heidsieck House.

9. Champagne Pol-Roger, Réserve Brut

Origin: Reims, France
Varietals: 1/3 Pinot Noir, 1/3 Chardonnay, 1/3 Pinot Meunier
Price: $51.00
ABV: 12%


Pol Roger Brut Réserve displays a beautiful golden straw hue, as well as abundant and fine bubbles. With a powerful and bright nose, it delivers aromas of pear, honeysuckle, white blossom, vanilla and brioche.

The wine shows nice balance and freshness; flavors of quince jelly, apricot jam, honey, orange peel and spicy notes all mingle together and evolve in a long, balanced finish.

> For more information, visit the Champagne Pol Roger official website.

10. Champagne Vilmart & Cie, Grand Cellier, Premier Cru

Origin: Rilly-la-Montagne, France
Varietals: 70% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir
Price: $76.00
ABV: 12.5%

The Vilmart & Cie, Grand Cellier bottling I tasted was disgorged in September 2018 and has a dosage of 8 grams of sugar per liter. It has a pale lemon shade with golden and green highlights and a very fine effervescence.

The nose shows white spring blossom, citrus, cream, notes of ginger and lemongrass. It carries flavors of almond, minerality and grapefruit and is finely balanced between the juicy acidity and the frank vinosity resulting in a clean, harmonious and long finish.

> For more information, visit the Champagne Vilmart & Cie official website.

> Check out GAYOT’s profile of Champagne Vilmart & Cie House.