Non Vintage Champagne
Non-Vintage Champagne accounts for more than 75 per cent of all Champagne sold and relies upon the winemaker's blending skills to produce a consistent style that consumers can expect from year to year.
Although non-vintage Champagnes are not usually the finest Champagnes, they have the capacity to be so and some houses produce very fine non-vintage examples.
A non-vintage Champagne is a blended product of grapes from multiple vintages. The base wine, to which reserve wines may be added, will always be from the last harvest. Most producers make up between 10 and 15 per cent of their blends from reserves from the previous two or three years, but some utilise as much as 40 per cent from older vintages.
Under Champagne regulations, houses that make both vintage and non-vintage champagnes are allowed to use no more than 80% of the total vintage's harvest for the production of a vintage Champagne. This provides at least 20% of the harvest from each vintage to be reserved for use in non-vintage Champagne ensuring consistency of style.
In less than ideal vintages, some producers will produce a wine from only that single vintage and still label it as non-vintage rather than as ‘vintage’ since the wine will be of lesser quality and the producers have little desire to reserve the wine for future blending.