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Champagne Ratings

Champagne possesses a unique taste and structure that springs from the region’s chalky soils. Sparkling-wine producers throughout the rest of the world from Spain, Italy, Australia and America have tried to make wine that tastes exactly like champagne, but experts say it does not taste the same. It is this difference that accounts for the substantial price gap between champagne and comparable sparkling wines from other parts of the world.

Champagnes are rated on a hundred point scale. A high rating indicates quality champagne. These ratings are released on a periodic basis by experts in the field. Listings of champagne with details of their vintage, house and ratings are published in specific publications. Different experts may rate the same vintage and house differently. But such differences are usually marginal.

Very excellent to outstanding vintages also show their effect on pricing. The recently seen notable vintages are 1995 and the stunning vintage of 1996. The harvests of 1997, 1998 and 1999, though not in the same league, were excellent when rated individually. 1990 and 1995 were excellent years for France’s Loire and Champagne regions, while California had excellent years in 1990, 1991, 1992, 1994 and 1995.

Experts in the wine tasting field taste specific batches and give reviews complete with ratings. A typical review about champagne would read like this. Charles Heidsieck 1995 Blanc des Millenaires, France ($90): This superb champagne is 100 percent chardonnay. It is creamy and elegant, yet has depth and power. This champagne has all the qualities of a fabulous tetes de cuvee. Rating: 100

Any perceived negative qualities could bring down the rating accordingly. For example Dom Perignon 1996, France ($120): Along with the 1964 and 1962, this is one of the three greatest Dom Perignons ever made. A spectacular vintage, yielding wines of fantastic richness and structure. Dom Perignon is not all that classy when it is young, but it ages magnificently. Rating: 99.

A champagne that costs $ 45 can get a rating of 93. Louis Roederer Brut Premier, France is an example of one such wine. It is a non-vintage brut, powerful and complex and can hold up to aging.

Wine tasting is a delicate art that takes a lot of hard work to perfect. Those who cannot master it can use the ratings given by experts as a guideline for buying champagne and any other wine.

e-Champagne.com Champagne provides detailed information on Champagne, French Champagne, Champagne Glasses, Champagne Racks and more. Champagne is affiliated with i-Alcohol.com Alcohol Treatments.

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