best champagnes
The Collection
(Photo by Xavier Young)
Wine The Collection 7 December 2021

Champagnes of the year 2021

With many houses reporting a run on fizz, Essi Avellan MW picks out the best new releases to snap up now – and enjoy later
Introduction and recommendations by

The past two years have been a roller-coaster ride in the Champagne world. The major houses have rebounded from the slump generated by the onset of the pandemic only to find themselves in the midst of an altogether different issue: unprecedented supply shortages. With many new releases put on hold last year, as the Champenois opted to wait for the return of normal times, 2021 has seen a glut of them. And they are selling fast. Now is the time to stock up, as the very last cuvées of the hyped 2008 vintage are released, among them Billecart-Salmon Cuvée Elisabeth and Charles Heidsieck Rosé.

champagne bottles
Essi Avellan MW's champagnes of the year include these special bottles from Leclerc Briant and Louis Roederer (photo by Xavier Young)

For fans of cool-vintage Champagnes, there is also an exceptional array of prestige and vintage cuvées available. In addition to the lean and fresh 2008s, the 2012s offer outstanding Champagnes of intensity and purity. Some of the top cuvées from the radiant and energetic 2013, like Roederer’s Cristal, also made their debut this year. Such wines promise longevity and a taste profile that we will likely wait a long time to see again, since the latter half of the decade has been an era of predominantly warm vintages. Here are my top releases from the past 12 months, both to lay down and, in some cases, to toast happier times in 2022.

THIS ARTICLE IS PART OF THE COLLECTION, THE NEW HOME OF OUR PREMIUM CONTENT. SIGN UP FOR FREE HERE.

Top Rated Bottles

Essi Avellan MW's top Champagnes of 2021

Louis Roederer, Cristal Rosé 2013

Score
97
100
Champagne
  • From 2021
  • To 2041
  • RRP £462
Cristal Rosé
Learn More

Dom Pérignon, Brut 2012

Score
96
100
Champagne
  • From 2021
  • To 2041
  • RRP £220
Brut
Learn More

Rare Champagne, Millésime 2008

Score
96
100
Champagne
  • From 2021
  • To 2040
  • RRP £164
Millésime
Learn More

Billecart-Salmon, Cuvée Elisabeth Rosé 2008

Score
96
100
Champagne
  • From 2021
  • To 2038
  • RRP £160
Cuvée Elisabeth Rosé
Learn More

Krug, Grande Cuvee 169th Edition NV

Score
96
100
Champagne
  • From 2021
  • To 2040
  • RRP £169
Grande Cuvee 169th Edition
Learn More

Laurent-Perrier, Grand Siècle Iteration No.23 NV

Score
96
100
Champagne
  • From 2021
  • To 2041
  • RRP £376
Grand Siècle Iteration No.23
Learn More

Louis Roederer, Cristal 2013

Score
96
100
Champagne
  • From 2021
  • To 2041
  • RRP £225
Cristal
Learn More

Veuve Clicquot, La Grande Dame 2012

Score
95
100
Champagne
  • From 2021
  • To 2036
  • RRP £185
La Grande Dame
Learn More

Deutz, Cuvée William Deutz 2008

Score
95
100
Champagne
  • From 2021
  • To 2035
  • RRP £130 (75cl)
Cuvée William Deutz
Learn More

Ruinart, Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blancs 2009

Score
94
100
Champagne
  • From 2021
  • To 2038
  • RRP £185
Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blancs
Learn More

Bollinger, R.D. 2007

Score
94
100
Champagne
  • From 2021
  • To 2036
  • RRP £195
R.D.
Learn More

Charles Heidsieck, Rosé Millésimé 2008

Score
94
100
Champagne
  • From 2021
  • To 2035
  • RRP £132
Rosé Millésimé
Learn More

Moët & Chandon, Grand Vintage Collection 2004

Score
94
100
Champagne
  • From 2021
  • To 2035
  • RRP 235 for a set of three
Grand Vintage Collection
Learn More

Perrier-Jouët, Belle Epoque 2013

Score
93
100
Champagne
  • From 2021
  • To 2035
  • RRP £140
Belle Epoque
Learn More

Pol Roger, Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill 2012

Score
93
100
Champagne
  • From 2021
  • To 2035
  • RRP £212
Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill
Learn More

Bollinger, B13 Blanc de Noirs 2013

Score
93
100
Champagne
  • From 2021
  • To 2031
  • RRP £99.90
B13 Blanc de Noirs
Learn More

Moët & Chandon, Grand Vintage 2013

Score
93
100
Champagne
  • From 2021
  • To 2036
  • RRP £51.90
Grand Vintage
Learn More

Pol Roger, Blanc de Blancs 2013

Score
92
100
Champagne
  • From 2021
  • To 2031
  • RRP £80
Blanc de Blancs
Learn More

Perrier-Jouët, Belle Epoque Rosé 2013

Score
92
100
Champagne
  • From 2021
  • To 2041
  • RRP £250
Belle Epoque Rosé
Learn More

Salon, Cuvee ‘S’ Le Mesnil Blanc de Blancs Brut 2012

Score
93
100
Champagne
  • From 2021
  • To 2040
  • RRP POA
Cuvee ‘S’ Le Mesnil Blanc de Blancs Brut
Learn More

Philipponnat, Cuvee 1522 Rosé 2012

Score
92
100
Champagne
  • From 2021
  • To 2029
  • RRP £86.42
Cuvee 1522 Rosé
Learn More

Delamotte, Blanc de Blancs 2014

Score
92
100
Champagne
  • From 2021
  • To 2033
  • RRP £52
Blanc de Blancs
Learn More

Louis Roederer, Collection 242 NV

Score
91
100
Champagne
  • From 2021
  • To 2026
  • RRP £44.20
Collection 242
Learn More

Leclerc Briant, Abyss Brut Zero 2015

Score
90
100
Champagne
  • From 2021
  • To 2025
  • RRP £206
Abyss Brut Zero
Learn More

Have you joined The Collection yet?

Get access to all our back issues via our free digital archive – and enjoy the best rate on a magazine subscription