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Champagne Blind Tasting Results

Today we did a blind tasting of ten current releases of Champagne with the winners of this year's GuildSomm online wine competition along with ten other bay area sommeliers. We chose the wines to be equally divided between widely known negociants and buzzworthy growers. Mid-price and high-end price points were equally represented for both. 

We asked everyone to rank their preferences from 1-10. The results are below. There was lots of variation within the scores and many wines were one person's favorite and another person's least favorite. I personally preferred the Dom a bit more than the final tally and the Chiquet and Clicquot a touch less. Otherwise I am in total agreement with the results. (My top three were Comtes de Champagne, Heidsieck and Dom) The Bouchard and the Collin were the only two I personally disliked—not a surprise if you know me—but I spoke to one person who had them as their favorites. Taste is obviously subjective, but I do find it interesting that four of the top five were large houses and four of the five in the lower half were growers—three being well over $100. This has been the case every time I have done this exercise. Also the top two wines were $50 retail!

1. Charles Heidsieck, Brut, NV ($50)
2. Gaston Chiquet Reserve, ‘Cuvée de Réserve,’ Brut, NV ($53)
3/4 (tie). Taittinger, ‘Comtes de Champagne,’ Brut Blanc de Blancs, 2006 ($130)
3/4 (tie). Veuve Clicquot, ‘La Grande Dame,’ Brut, 2006 ($160)
5. Louis Roederer, Brut, NV ($45)
6/7 (tie). Dom Perignon, Brut, 2004 ($155)
6/7 (tie). Pierre Peters, ‘Cuvée de Réserve,’ Brut Blanc de Blancs, NV ($60)
8. Ulysse Collin ‘Les Roises,’ Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs, 2012 ($120)
9. Vilmart & Cie, ‘Coeur de Cuvée, Brut, 2007  ($150)
10. Cedric Bouchard, ‘La Boloree,’ Pinot Blanc Roses de Jeanne, Brut Blanc de Blancs 2011 ($145)