I love bubbles – in the park on a summer day, in the bath, but mostly in a crystal flute glass. Here is a list of 5 extremely rare Champagnes that are very limited and worth celebrating if you find them.
1. Heidsieck & Co Monopole 1907 Gout Americain
Two thousand bottles of this ancient vintage – initially bound for Tsar Nicolas II in St Petersburg in 1916 – were salvaged from a sunken ship in the Baltic Sea in 1997. Found to be exceptionally preserved, they are considered to be a holy grail of sorts for those seeking extreme champagne experiences. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Moscow snapped up 10 bottles and put them up for sale in 2008. More recently, it was listed on the Melbourne’s Restaurant 8’s wine list at CDN 14,000.00.
2. Dom Pérignon Rosé 1959
The first vintage of Dom Pérignon Rosé, of which only 306 bottles were produced, is the company’s crown jewel. Presented at the celebration of the Persian Empire, it was never made available commercially. Cellar master Richard Geoffroy calls it “a mythical vintage” that inspired all Dom Pérignon Rosés that followed. At its first public sale at a New York auction in 2008, a rare bottle fetched US$84,700.
3. Krug Clos d’Ambonnay 1995
With a production of only 250 cases, and hailed by critics as among Krug’s best, the 1995 Clos d’Ambonnay will be making fewer and fewer party rounds in years to come. The company’s first new champagne since its 1983 rosé, it is also Krug’s first blanc de noirs (champagne made entirely from pinot noir grapes). Its aroma is said to be distinctively floral, anchored by hints of red berries and smoke.
4. Salon Blanc de Blancs Le Mesnil-sur-Oger 1996
Salon’s appeal lies in that it has always only produced vintages made from a single village and grape variety. Only 36 vintages were released in the 20th century, one of which is this 1996 champagne. The pale lemon yellow tipple is lauded for its effervescent bouquet of lime, white flowers and green apple that boasts an exceptionally long finish.
5. Bollinger Vieilles Vignes Françaises Blanc de Noirs 1996
Emanating a deep golden hue, made magical by miniscule bubbles that crawl their way up the glass, six bottles of Bollinger’s 1996 vintage last surfaced at a Christie’s auction in 2010, where they fetched US$9,600. Considered to be among Bollinger’s best offerings, it has been described as ‘a big champagne’, thanks to overripe grapes that result in an almost syrupy consistency.