You don’t necessarily need a massive budget to start a collection of fine, age-worthy Champagne. In fact, although Champagne has a reputation as one of the most expensive types of wine in the world, it is actually 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 these wines often cost hundreds, sometimes thousands, of dollars per bottle. Even so, you can find plenty of collectible Champagne for much less, including wines that will age gracefully for decades.
In this guide to the best Champagne under $200, you’ll find dozens of bottles that will make excellent additions to any collection. Whether you’re looking for the perfect gift for a wine enthusiast or you’d like to start an affordable Champagne collection from scratch, these wines are a wise choice.
The Best Champagne Under $200: Vintage Bottles
There’s something deeply alluring about vintage Champagne. Many of the top houses only release a vintage when it’s of exceptional quality, making these wines some of the rarest on the market. Beyond being exclusive, vintage Champagne also tells a story. Every new vintage offers a glimpse into the history of its house, terroir, and climate. When you taste 1999 Louis Roederer Cristal Vinothèque Rosé, you know this wine could only come from that year, when an August heatwave gave rise to plump, ripe grapes. With Champagne in particular, winemakers ensure every vintage is truly one of a kind. For the special 1999 Cristal Vinothèque release, for instance, cellar master Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon used a late disgorgement and three bespoke stages of aging to craft a wine unlike any the house had ever made. Vintages are treated with the utmost care across the Champagne region, which is what makes them so valuable and collectible. For this reason, many investors prefer to buy vintage Champagne in favor of non-vintage bottles.
Even if bottles like the 1999 Cristal Vinothèque are out of your price range, you still have plenty of choices for less expensive vintage Champagne. While vintage Champagne is generally rarer and more expensive, finding the best Champagne under $200 isn’t difficult—you just have to know where to look. For instance, when you buy vintage wine by the case, you may be able to find sought-after Champagne at a lower price per bottle than if you were to buy the bottles individually. The Vinfolio marketplace sells a large variety of reasonably priced vintage Champagne by the bottle and by the case.
Here are some of the most highly rated vintage Champagne wines under $200 per bottle:
Vintage Blanc de Blancs and Champagne Blends
|Wine||Price Per 750 ml Bottle|
|2007 Taittinger Comtés De Champagne Rosé||$199|
|2007 Gosset Extra Brut Célébris Rosé||$175|
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 can find even top labels for under $200. And since vintage Champagne is only made in years with a favorable harvest, even the less expensive vintages will be high in quality. That means you can invest with confidence without having to spend a fortune on excellent, age-worthy Champagne.
High-Quality Non-Vintage Champagne Under $200
Vintage Champagne is certainly worth the investment, but there are also a number of non-vintage bottles that are in high demand among wine enthusiasts. In fact, some of the best-tasting bottles of Champagne under $200 are non-vintage labels, particularly those made by renowned houses like Krug, Taittinger, and Bollinger. It’s relatively easy to find high-quality non-vintage Champagne at this price point because non-vintages aren’t as rare as vintage bottles. These wines are also 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. 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 worthy of a space in your collection. The most reputable Champagne producers strive to create a specific house style that is consistent from year to year in their non-vintage blends. 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 has in store. 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.
Non-Vintage Blanc de Blancs and Champagne Blends
Some Champagne houses, like Gosset and Krug, produce a variety of non-vintage wines at different price points. For example, Krug releases special editions of its non-vintage Grand Cuvée, which are collectible in their own right and gain in value over time. These blends typically rely heavily on wine made from just one year (for the 168th edition, the house primarily used wine from the 2012 harvest), and this wine is then blended with a smaller amount of wine from a range of past harvests. In this sense, these special edition wines fall somewhere between a vintage and non-vintage wine, both in terms of quality and price. This is just one example of the diversity and value to be found in non-vintage Champagne.
Why Build a Collection of Affordable Champagne
Investing in a few of the wines listed above is a great way to dip your toes into fine wine collecting, even if you have a limited budget. Focus on collecting rare bottles of vintage Champagne at this price point and hold onto them for a few years to watch them gain value. If you’re already an experienced collector, stocking up on some of the best Champagne under $200 is also a smart way to protect your existing investments.
When you have Champagne in storage, it’s tempting to pull bottles out prematurely. Investing in a few affordable non-vintage and vintage bottles can help you resist the temptation to open those precious bottles of vintage Cristal and Le Mesnil before they have reached peak maturity and value. You can also find small-scale grower Champagne that is currently undervalued but could gain significantly in price as more wine enthusiasts discover the label.
A great Champagne collection isn’t necessarily one solely made up of thousand-dollar bottles. All of the bottles in this guide beautifully represent the elegance and refinement of the greatest producers in the Champagne region. Many also have the potential to become highly sought-after as they age, increasing in value well into the future. With so many exceptional examples of affordable Champagne on the market, there’s no excuse to buy 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.