Jancis Robinson: the NV revolution

Following a recent visit to Champagne, Jancis reflects on the changing attitude towards champagne across the board, the development of methods and how champagne is presented to the consumer. Previously, there was a lot of mystery around champagne and this was unquestioned, however a recent surge in the desire for information has caused houses to adapt their traditional ways. Jancis says “until quite recently that the Champenois liked to play the game that there was no need to provide much information about their wine”.

The non-vintage blends used to contain little or no information on what was exactly in the blend, but now, led by the ‘top-of-the-tree Krug and Roederer‘ consumers can now use  ‘QR or other codes that can be interpreted down to the last detail via apps and websites’. 

Another more recent insight into NV champagne‘s is the revealing of the base year, the main vintage that creates the main part of the blend each year. Jancis comments ‘Several recent tastings illustrated to me just how varied non-vintage champagne is from year to year.’ Each NV produced with a different base year will taste differently from the previous year. As Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon put it, ‘what we aim for is consistency of idea – finesse and balance – not consistency of taste’.

Read the article, available for free on Jancis’ website here. The article is a great insight into the changing nature of the relationship between champagne house and consumer.