Champagne: 2020 New Releases


For the first time in a dozen years, this past spring I was unable to travel to Champagne to taste the new vintage and survey the latest releases. Given the extraordinary challenges this year of both traveling and collecting hundreds of samples in a timely fashion, we will be publishing Champagne reviews within this article in a continuous stream over coming weeks and months, as I taste the wines. The best way to stay up to date on additions is to make sure you are receiving our emails and turn on notifications within the Vinous app.

A view of the Côtes de Blancs from Avize. These are Roederer blocks used for the Blanc de Blancs.

Readers will see a number of compelling wines coming into the market later in 2020. Some of these are releases that had originally been scheduled for spring and that were pushed back because of COVID-19. Understandably, demand for Champagne has dropped precipitously as the world grapples with a number of crises that are unfolding simultaneously. As I write this, harvest has just gotten underway in Champagne. It’s a time of year that under normal circumstances brings with it optimism and wonderment as to what the new vintage holds. Unfortunately, the current global macroeconomic scenario remains very challenging for producers, as demand for all but a few Champagnes has plummeted. Those same market dynamics, however, will create significant opportunities for savvy consumers.

I am reminded of the popularized saying: "May you live in interesting times…"

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