Whether you are gathering with friends for the big count down, or snuggling on the couch to watch the ball drop, a glass of champagne is always in order on New Year’s Eve. As the saying goes, however, “out with the old, in with the new.” So if you resolve to ring in the New Year in style, bypass the banal bottle of bubbly and go for a vintage that will impress (but might break the bank). Here are five luxurious, over-the-top champagnes to fill those flutes. (Available to order at Wine Wise in Greenwich.)
Krug Brut Blanc de Noirs Clos d’Ambonnay 1999 (regularly $2,519.99/on sale $1,679.99)
The rarest of all Krugs, this champagne is derived from a single walled vineyard in the village of Ambonnay, one of the most acclaimed villages for growing this particular Pinot Noir grape. After many years of ageing in the cellars the result is an exceptional and elegant wine with an intense golden color, featuring hints of wild fruits, brioche, and licorice.
Louis Roederer Cristal Brut Vertical Combo (regularly $1,679.99/ on sale $1,119.99)
Louis Roederer’s most famous wine was created for Tsar Alexander II in 1876 to satiate his particular tastes. The emperor was so pleased with the product that he requested the House to reserve it for him every year. So, to distinguish the champagne, Roederer decided to create a transparent, lead-crystal bottle (hence the name) that was flat on the bottom. After aging in the cellars for six years, and left for an additional eight months, the result is a silky champagne with fruity aromas, accented by a strong mineral quality.
Krug Brut Collection 1985 ($869.99)
Not many bottles still exist from this spectacular past vintage, which is stored in the Krug cellars. Wine Advocate awards this champagne a 94, explaining that the wine takes some time to open up once in the glass. “Hazelnuts, ash, smoke and truffles are some of the nuances that flow from this rich, textured Collection.”
Dom Perignon Cuvee Oenotheque 1996 ($421.99)
Made from a small portion of wine from the finest vintage years, and aged on the lees in the cellars for up to 50 years, this is a rare and limited champagne. Wine Advocate (97 points) says it “offers up layers of pastry, lemon, smoke and toastiness.” Although you may think a bit understated at first, the wine then bursts with flavors, revealing a perfect balance of fruit and acidity.
Salon Brut Blanc de Blancs 1999 ($369.99)
This champagne is considered to be one of the greatest on the market. Unlike other champagne, Salon is made from 100% Chardonnay grapes. This House will only release wines under their name during exceptional years, averaging four vintages per decade. Wine Spectator (94 points) describes the wine as having “subtly layered flavors of ripe white peach, black raspberry fruit, lemon meringue pie, pickled ginger and blanched almond.”
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