Expensive Champagne: 13 of the best bottles for special celebrations

For those extra special occasions when only the best will do (or when you just happen to have one and a half mil spare)

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Expensive Champagne: 13 of the best bottles for special celebrations

Additional words: Mark de Wesselow and Giles Fallowfield

Most would argue that there’s no better way to celebrate a momentous occasion than by popping the cork off a bottle of bubbly – and by ‘bubbly’, we mean Champagne. Please don’t think us snobs – we’re partial to a glass of fizz regardless of where it comes from – but nothing says ‘congratulations’ quite like Champagne, and the only thing better than ordinary Champagne is expensive Champagne. And while it’s true that Champagne should never be judged on price alone, there is definitely some truth in that old saying ‘you get what you pay for’.

If you’re looking to take things up a notch in your Champagne-drinking endeavours, we’ve got a solid list for you to check out below. Perhaps you want to surprise a loved one on their birthday, honour a colleague at their retirement or enjoy a particularly fancy bottle of bubbly on your anniversary or graduation. Or maybe you just want to splash some cash on something you know is going to taste incredible because shrouds have no pockets after all (morbid, but true). Whatever your reason for ditching the supermarket’s own brand in favour of one of these expensive Champagnes, we guarantee you won’t regret it.

We recommend chilling your Champagne in the fridge for an hour before popping the cork. The main thing is not to chill it too much and risk numbing the delicate flavours, particularly with vintage and prestige cuvée Champagnes, which are best served slightly warmer.


Drappier Grande Sendree 2009 Vintage Champagne

What: This Pinot Noir and Chardonnay blend hails from a single site in the Côte des Bars village of Urville, where some of the best Pinot Noir in Champagne is produced. Full and rich from this warm vintage, with generous yellow fruit aromas, a silken palate and long spicy finish, this Drappier Grande Sendree will develop further with time in the bottle.
Where to buy: The Champagne Company
Price: £77.50 for a 75cl bottle


Bollinger La Grande Annee 2008 Vintage Champagne

What: You can’t ever go too far wrong with a bottle of Bolly, but this prestige blend is a bit special. The delicate shade and golden hues are signs of the wine’s maturity and the taste is bursting with white flowers, orchard fruits and toasty notes on the nose. Full-bodied, vinous and evolved on the palate, this rich and complex Champagne has a precise, mineral and nutty finish. An infinitely classy cuvee.
Where to buy: The Finest Bubble
Price: £119.95 for a 75cl bottle


Philipponnat Clos Des Goisses 2007 Vintage Champagne

What: This deep gold Champagne comes from one of Champagne’s great single vineyard sites. Steeply sloping and facing due south, the grapes here get riper than most other places and produce wines of chalky intensity that age for several decades, with many nuances of flavour and texture developing. A wine of great class and finesse. 
Where to buy: The Champagne Company
Price: £130 for a 75cl bottle


Pol Roger Winston Churchill 2008 Vintage Champagne

What: “My tastes are simple, I am easily satisfied with the best”, said the man who inspired this cuvee, and we’re sure he wouldn’t be disappointed with this one. Wonderfully perfumed; generously fruity and elegant; weighty and dry, this Champagne is perfect for celebrating a victory with.
Where to buy: Champagne Direct
Price: £180 for a 75cl bottle


Louis Roederer Cristal 2008 Vintage Champagne

What: It might sound crazy, but this one’s actually a real bargain (relatively speaking), as 2008 was a superb year for Champagne. In fact, winemaker Jean-Baptiste Lécaillion sees this as the greatest vintage of Roederer’s Cristal ever released. A combination of fruit ripeness and creamy texture enwrap and soften the brilliant vibrant acidity of the vintage to produce a lovely balance and harmony. It will age for a couple of decades at least. Beautifully presented with gold labels and packaged in a smart gold box, this one’s ideal for gifting on special occasions.
Where to buy: The Champagne Company
Price: £184 for a 75cl bottle


Pommery Cuvée Louise 2004 Vintage Champagne

What: Louise Pommery was a remarkable woman, so it’s only fitting that this excellent cuvee was created in her honour. Rich, rewarding and silky, with generous fruit (from Cramant and Avize for Chardonnay, Aÿ for Pinot Noir) together with evolved almond nuttiness and biscuit notes, it’s perfect for pairing with summer fruits. A nice iodine, sea shell elegance, too, that is even more noticeable in the non dosé version of this fabulous wine.
Where to buy: The Champagne Company
Price: £190 for a 75cl bottle


Laurent Perrier Rose Alexandra 2004 Champagne

What: Produced in very small quantities, this gorgeous pink Champagne is as elegant on the palate as the bottle in which it’s stored. Complex and beautiful, with a natural tension between full-bodied concentration and still racy freshness, you’ll detect hints of strawberries, hazelnuts and dried red fruits as you sip. Persistent but delicate beading makes it a pleasure to drink.
Where to buy: Drink Supermarket
Price: £239.99 for a 75cl bottle


Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame Rose 2004 Champagne

What: If you like your Champagne pink, you’ll love this 2004 vintage from Veuve Clicquot. Particularly popular on Valentine’s Day, this magnificent blend of Grand Cru wines shows off layers of gamey Pinot Noir and blood orange fruitiness alongside nuttiness and hints of toffee. An unexpected richness and creaminess make it a delight to drink.
Where to buy: The Champagne Company
Price: £247 for a 75cl bottle


Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage 1998 Champagne

What: The nineties was a great decade for many reasons, including this particularly tasty vintage of Moët. Perfect as a gift for a special birthday – particularly those turning 21 this year – it’s a cut above thanks to its maturity and subsequent complexity in terms of flavour. With notes of acacia and candied fruit on the nose and a balanced, precise and pure taste on the palate, this fruity Champagne is an experience with a clean, fresh finish.
Where to buy: The Champagne Company
Price: £264.50 for a 75cl bottle



Krug Vintage 1988 Champagne

What: The House of Krug is considered a first-rate Champagne producer for the simple reason that it has created only prestige Champagnes since 1843. The considerable extra ageing amplifies all the flavours and complexity and explains the higher price. On the nose there’s brioche, apples and confected orchard fruits. On the palate, toastiness, nuts, and more crunchy apples. This stunning fizz mixes richness with freshness like no other.
Where to buy: The Champagne Company
Price: £645 for a 75cl bottle


Dom Perignon 1973 Plenitude P3 Vintage Champagne

What: Crafted when Richard Nixon was still in office, this special release of cuvee is the oldest of the three plenitudes stored on its lees in Moët & Chandon’s cellars in Epernay. Longer maturation on the wine’s lees before disgorgement and release means a wine of rare complexity and concentration. More tertiary flavours like mushrooms and gaminess, and more dried fruit rather than primary fruit flavours come through in this highly covetable Champagne that’s suited to very, very special occasions.
Where to buy: The Champagne Company
Price: £2,500 for a 75cl bottle + gift box


GDD Chapuy Goût de Diamants

What: Purportedly the most expensive bottle of Champagne in the world, Goût de Diamants (or ‘Taste of Diamonds’) is the reserve of the super-rich. Purchased by flashy celebrities, such as One Direction’s Liam Payne, and those with extremely deep pockets, this exclusive Champagne is as much about the bottle as it is the liquid within (though we hear that’s rather good too). Designed by Alexander Amosu, each bottle has a – wait for it – 19-CARAT diamond set into its 18-karat gold logo (that looks amusingly like Superman’s) and costs over a million pounds. We can’t vouch for whether it does actually taste like diamonds, but for a Champagne that costs more than most people’s homes, we’d hope it tastes pretty darn good!
Where to buy: GDD Chapuy
Price: Price on request (though in the region of £1.5m for a 75cl bottle)


For more excellent sips, check out our round-up of the best gin brands to try this season


Additional words provided by Mark de Wesselow and Giles Fallowfield

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