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Grape Varieties & Styles of Champagne Defined 

Champagne is usually made using three grapes – Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. There are various types of Champagne which can differ widely in terms of both taste and price. The most widely available style of Champagne is non-vintage (NV) accounting for nearly as much as 90% of all Champagnes produced. The list below summarises the various types of Champagne.


Brut 
Brut Champagne is dry, containing little or no residual sugar, usually between 0% and 1.5%.


Rosé
Rosé Champagne or as it is commonly called “Pink” Champagne can be created by one of two methods: the addition of a small quantity of Pinot Noir to the Champagne or by allowing the grape skins to colour the wine – this is known as the saigneé method.

 
Non-vintage Champagne (NV)
Champagne that is blended from a variety of wines from different years. Champagne producers reserve a portion of their harvest each year to use in future blends.
 
Vintage 
Vintage champagne is made only from grapes harvested during a specific year. Not all years are deemed “vintage”; Champagne Houses will only declare a Champagne vintage in exceptional years.

Cuvée 
Cuvees are blended from the most subtle and distinctive wines in order to create a well-balanced Champagne.

 
Blanc de Blancs                        
Champagnes made using only Chardonnay grapes - a choice white grape variety from the Champagne region. Blanc de Blancs champagne is usually lighter in colour.  Classic Blanc de Blancs is elegant when young, as it ages it develops a richness resembling brioche with an intense expression of fruitiness. Blanc de Blancs usually has a longer ageing potential than a typical Blanc de Blancs
 
 
Blanc de Noirs Champagne
Blanc de Noirs Champagnes are made from two grapes, the Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier varieties
Bollinger's prestige cuvée Vieilles Vignes Françaises from ungrafted, old Pinot Noir vines has set the yardstick in the style that is now produced by a number of other Champagne houses. A typical Blanc de Noirs cuvée has deep golden colour, and can be more intensely flavoured than the classic non-vintage multi-grape blend.
 
Demi-Sec 
Sweeter champagne, usually containing 3.3% and 5% residual sugar
 
Prestige Cuvée
Prestige cuvées are the finest Champagnes that a producer makes, the grapes used come from the best harvests in a specific year and the best vineyards.

Recently Disgorged
This Champagne is disgorged just before being sold, maintaining its freshness. The Champagne is also able to mature for longer in the bottle.