Nine outstanding Champagnes over £50

5 Champagne Alfred Gratien Cuvée Paradis 2009

A surprise find from this year’s tasting was Cuvée Paradis from Alfred Gratien – the brand’s top-end expression that’s made in such small quantities, it’s rarely seen.

Although it comes from the warm 2009 harvest, which delivered rather exotic fruit flavours, this prestige cuvée is more marked by the characteristic cellar techniques of Alfred Gratien, which include fermentations in oak barrels and blocking the malo-lactic – a process practiced by almost all other Champagne producers that sees the sharp tasting malic acid converted to more creamy lactic acid.

Consequently, this memorable Champagne has enticing characters of vanilla and spice, along with plenty of crisp apple fruit, as well as the more usual bready and biscuity characters that come with mature fizz.

Approximate retail price: £135

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