Champagne Terms

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Lots of Champagne will flow this holiday season and there’s some interesting terminology used on labels. Vintage Champagne (year on the bottle) is a blend of many wines from the same year. Non-vintage Champagne (no year on the bottle) is a blend of wines from different years. “Blanc de blanc” implies the use of white grapes only (Chardonnay). “Blanc de noirs” says strictly red grapes were used, either Pinot Noir alone or blended with Pinot Meunier. No designation and it’s a bubbly made using red and white grapes. “Grand Cru” means all the fruit that went into the wine was harvested from vineyards rated at 100% (veritably perfect) while “Premier Cru” says all the fruit came from vineyards rated 90 – 99%.
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