Fine Champagne doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. In fact, although Champagne has a reputation as one of the most expensive types of wine in the world, it is actually very fairly priced when you consider how much time and effort goes into producing it. Most Champagne houses only release a limited number of high-quality vintage bottles every few years, so it’s no wonder that these wines often cost hundreds, sometimes thousands, of dollars per bottle. Even so, you can find plenty of delicious and collectible Champagne for much less than this. In this guide to the best Champagne under $200, you’ll find dozens of bottles that will make excellent additions to your collection. Whether you’re planning a special dinner party with friends or you’d like to start an affordable Champagne collection from scratch, these wines are the perfect choice.
High-Quality Non-Vintage Champagne Under $200
Some of the best Champagne wines under $200 are non-vintage labels, particularly those made by top houses like Krug, Taittinger, and Bollinger. The reason it’s so easy to find high-quality non-vintage Champagne at this price point is that non-vintages aren’t as rare as vintage bottles. These wines are primarily meant to be drunk young, rather than aged for decades (though there are some exceptions to this rule). Non-vintage wines are made using a blend of grapes from multiple vintages and are usually matured for an average of one and a half years before being released. By comparison, a vintage Champagne is made from grapes grown and harvested in a single year and only when the growing season was especially favorable. Vintage Champagne is also aged for longer periods of time before release—at least three years, but sometimes as long as ten years. Champagne houses may only make a handful of vintage wines each decade, but will typically release a non-vintage wine every single year.
The most reputable Champagne producers strive to create a specific house style that is consistent from year to year.
However, while non-vintage Champagne isn’t as rare and spends less time aging in the bottle than vintage Champagne, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t worth your time. The most reputable Champagne producers strive to create a specific house style that is consistent from year to year. By blending multiple base wines from different years, producers can erase many of the flaws present in each wine and produce reliably high-quality Champagne, no matter what the weather throws at them. For instance, if the summer was wetter and cooler than usual, the grapes might be too high in acidity. To correct this characteristic, a Champagne house might blend in wine made from riper, sweeter fruit grown in a hotter year. This technique produces incredibly balanced, consistent wines no matter the vintage quality.
If you’re looking for Champagne under $200 that is consistently high in quality from bottle to bottle, consider investing in some of these top-rated wines, listed from lowest to highest price:
Non-Vintage Blanc de Blancs
|Wine||Price per 750 ml Bottle|
|NV Gosset Brut Grande Réserve||$49|
|NV Gosset Brut Grand Blanc de Blancs||$59|
|NV Vilmart et Cie Brut Grand Cellier Premier Cru||$65|
|NV Egly-Ouriet Brut Tradition Grand Cru||$75|
|NV Egly-Ouriet Extra Brut VP Grand Cru||$130|
|NV Krug Grande Cuvée 167th Edition||$169|
|NV Krug Grande Cuvée||$175|
|NV Krug Grande Cuvée 163rd Edition||$189|
|Wine||Price Per 750 ml Bottle|
|NV Ruinart Brut Rosé||$65|
|NV Vilmart et Cie Cuvée Rubis Rosé Premier Cru||$79|
|NV Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé||$80|
|NV Gosset Brut Grand Rosé||$80|
|NV Egly-Ouriet Brut Rosé Grand Cru||$130|
Non-Vintage Blanc de Noirs
|Wine||Price Per 750 ml Bottle|
|NV Gonet-Médeville Blanc de Noirs Premier Cru||$45|
|NV Egly-Ouriet Brut Blanc de Noirs Les Crayères Vieilles Vignes Grand Cru||$195|
Some Champagne houses, like Egly-Ouriet and Krug, produce a variety of non-vintage wines with different price points. For example, Egly-Ouriet makes both a Brut Tradition Grand Cru blanc de blancs and another blanc de blancs called Extra Brut VP Grand Cru. The Extra Brut label is the more expensive of the two because it is slightly rarer and more labor-intensive to make.
The Best Champagne Under $200: Vintage Bottles
Finding the best vintage Champagne under $200 isn’t difficult either–you just have to know where to look. The Vinfolio marketplace sells a large variety of reasonably priced vintage Champagne. Here are some of the most highly rated vintage Champagne wines under $200 per bottle:
Vintage Blanc de Blancs
|Wine||Price Per 750 ml Bottle|
|2004 Bollinger La Grande Année Rosé||$145|
|2007 Taittinger Comtés de Champagne Rosé||$155|
|2006 Taittinger Comtés de Champagne Rosé||$169|
|2007 Gosset Extra Brut Celebris Rosé||$175|
|2004 Taittinger Comtés de Champagne Rosé||$195|
Despite the fact that vintage Champagne is rarer and tends to cost more than non-vintage Champagne, once you find a trustworthy vendor that sells a good variety of Champagne, you’ll see that even top Champagne labels, such as Moët & Chandon Dom Perignon, can be found for under $200. And since vintage Champagne is only made in years with a good harvest, even less expensive vintages will be high in quality. That means you can invest with confidence–and you don’t have to spend a fortune on excellent, age-worthy Champagne.
Why Build a Collection of Affordable Champagne
Investing in a few of the wines above is a great way to familiarize yourself with fine Champagne if you don’t have a great deal of experience with these wines. If you’re new to Champagne, try a few non-vintage bottles to see which house styles you most prefer. Once you find a few styles you like, you might want to invest in a few older vintage bottles from those houses to see how these wines mature over time. Some vintage Champagne becomes nuttier with age, while other Champagnes taste more strongly of dried fruit or honey. Once you know that you enjoy a certain style and the way it ages over time, you can commit to buying young vintages and keeping them in storage until they reach maturity.
A great Champagne collection isn’t necessarily one that’s worth thousands of dollars.
If you’re already an experienced collector, stocking up on some of the best Champagne under $200 is a good way to protect your existing investments. When you have Champagne in storage, it’s tempting to pull bottles out prematurely. Investing in a few inexpensive non-vintage and vintage bottles can help you resist the temptation to open those precious bottles of Cristal and Le Mesnil before they have reached peak complexity.
A great Champagne collection isn’t necessarily one that’s worth thousands of dollars. All of the bottles in this guide are delicious in their own right and beautifully represent the elegance and refinement of the greatest producers in the Champagne region. With so many fine examples of affordable Champagne on the market, there’s no excuse to drink anything but the finest.
Whether you are starting your high-end wine collection or adding to an established portfolio, Vinfolio is your partner in buying, selling, and professional storage. Contact us today to get access to the world’s finest wine.