Close Menu

Top 10 prestige cuvée Champagnes

Here are the 10 best prestige cuvées from the 2022 Champagne Masters, featuring the ultimate expressions from Champagne’s most upmarket category, taking in remarkable bottles from £85 to more than £350, all of which were Gold medallists or higher in the UK’s leading Champagne-only, professional blind-tasting competition.


  • Producer: Champagne Palmer & Co
  • Grape varieties: 51% Chardonnay, 49% Pinot Noir
  • Abv: 12%
  • Dosage: 6g/l
  • Vintage:2012, 2010, 2009
  • Approx. retail price: £125
  • Medal: Gold

Based around the brilliant vintage that was 2012, and complemented by reserve wine from the 2009 and 2010 harvests – 30% of each – this is a first-rate example of a multi-vintage prestige cuvée Champagne from an outstanding grower-cooperative: Palmer. The decision to blend wines from different harvests is a fairly rare approach to the top-end of the Champagne quality pyramid, where expressions tend to be from a single year, although there are famous alternatives to Amazone de Palmer, notably the multi-vintage prestige cuvées that are Laurent-Perrier’s Grand Siècle, reviewed below, and Krug’s Grande Cuvée. This pinnacle Champagne from Palmer is a delicious addition to this niche, with a wonderful mix of gently evolved fruit flavours and fresh, tangy ones too. So, while there are notes of lemon zest, even a touch of pineapple, there are also flavours of grilled nuts, roasted coffee and baked apple – characters that come with time. However, this isn’t a heavy, aged Champagne, and finishes with a dry, chalky, and mouth-watering edge, making it surprisingly refreshing sparkling to sip – and a luxurious aperitif. (Patrick Schmitt MW)


  • Producer: Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte
  • Grape varieties: 50% Pinot Noir, 50% Chardonnay
  • Abv: 12%
  • Vintage: 2008
  • Approx. retail price: £85
  • Medal: Gold

From the ‘super-co-operative’ CVC (recently becoming part of an even larger co-operative group), Nicolas Feuillatte is the flagship brand, and the best-selling Champagne in France. At the pinnacle of the range, this prestige cuvée – called Palmes d’Or – is truly special. Made from 95% Grand Cru grapes with 5% of Chardonnay from Montgueux, the wine has a pale yellow-gold hue and tiny continuous bubbles. Packed with red fruits, yellow apricots and hazelnuts with honey and soft spice overtones, the palate is full and rich with brisk acidity and ‘crackling’ mousse texture giving structure. Long and savoury, the wine is an exceptional aperitif, but, layered and complex, it also works well with gastronomy. (Patricia Stefanowicz MW)


  • Producer: Champagne Deutz
  • Grape varieties: 77% Pinot Noir, 20% Chardonnay, 3% Meunier
  • Abv: 12%
  • Vintage: 2013
  • Approx. retail price: £140
  • Medal: Master

Owned by the Roederer group, Champagne Deutz is itself a House with distinctive style: firm, flavour-packed with finesse. This wine shows a pale lemon hue with tiny persistent bubbles and a tight cordon. Mid-weight, displaying ripe apricots, yellow plums with buttered toast and honey nuances, the palate is braced with lively acidity and creamy mousse texture. An elegant style suited to delicate canapés or pristine Asian cuisines. (Patricia Stefanowicz MW)


  • Producer: Pommery
  • Blend: Chardonnay: 65, Pinot Noir: 35
  • Vintage: 2005
  • Dosage: Brut
  • Price Category: £50+
  • Approx UK Retail Price: £150
  • Medal: Gold

Pommery’s prestige cuvee from the 2005 vintage seems to belie its age, featuring lots of crisp apple and zesty citrus fruit, although there are plenty of long lees-aged characters too, with roasted coffee and charred bread, and a fine dry chalky grip to the long finish. (Patrick Schmitt MW)



  • Producer: Champagne Henriot
  • Grape varieties: 50% Chardonnay, 50% Pinot Noir
  • Abv: 12%
  • Vintage: 2006
  • Approx. retail price: £135
  • Medal: Gold

Produced from only Grand Cru vineyards with Pinot Noir from the Montagne de Reims and Chardonnay from the Côte des Blancs in equal parts, then aged for a minimum of 12 years on the lees, this luminous wine is delectable. Medium golden-straw in hue, elegant, very dry, light and lively, the wine shows white peach and green fruits accented by a citrus lift. Creamy-textured with plenty of biscuit autolytic notes throughout, the wine lasts well across the palate and on the finish. Sensational with vegetarian risotto or ‘swimming fish’ dishes. (Patricia Stefanowicz MW)



  • Producer: Champagne Piper-Heidsieck
  • Grape varieties: 70% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir
  • Abv: 12%
  • Vintage: 2008
  • Approx. retail price: £160
  • Medal: Gold

Rare is a beautifully-constructed wine from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay Grand and Premier Cru vineyards. Mid-straw coloured, the wine exhibits very intense green, yellow and red apple fruit with biscuit and toast adding texture and layers. Almost mealy on the palate, mid-weight with vibrant acidity, silky-textured mousse and a long, lifted finish. Try this gorgeous Champagne with a selection of cheeses: Mimolette (back in production after a contre-temps with rogue bacteria), Parmesan and creamy Stilton. (Patricia Stefanowicz MW)


  • Producer: Champagne Laurent-Perrier
  • Blend: Chardonnay: 60, Pinot Noir: 40
  • Vintage: NV
  • Dosage: Brut
  • Price Category: £50+
  • Approx UK Retail Price: £175
  • Medal: Master

Relatively under the radar for a house so famous for its rosé, this prestige cuvée is a stunner. Blending the best wines from a mix of fine vintages (2008, 2007 and 2006), Laurent-Perrier eschew the usual single harvest approach for their top expression, and craft this layered, thrilling Champagne for immediate consumption, or, should you like a more evolved fizz, further ageing. The style is a delicious mix of semimature and fresh fruit flavours, with some tinned pineapple and dried citrus, creamy coffee and roasted nuts, then baked bread, crisp apple and Comice pear, complemented by a long, dry, chalky-tasting finish. (Patrick Schmitt MW)


  • Producer: Champagne Castelnau
  • Blend: Chardonnay: 65, Pinot Noir: 25, Pinot Meunier: 10
  • Vintage: 2000
  • Dosage: Brut Price Category: £50+
  • Approx UK Retail Price: £350
  • Medal: Gold

One of my favourite Champagnes of the competition, this outstanding magnum-only release from Castelnau’s cellars is a fantastic find for those who love their fizz with toasty, roasted aromatics, ranging from grilled nuts to fresh coffee. Mingling among these enticing characters is a note of burnt lemon, ginger, some tangy citrus and fresh apple too, complemented by a mouth-filling creamy-textured mix of fine bubbles and rich flavours. (Patrick Schmitt MW)


  • Producer: G. H. Mumm
  • Blend: Pinot Noir: 50, Chardonnay: 50
  • Vintage: 2006
  • Dosage: Brut Price Category: £50+
  • Approx UK Retail Price: £100
  • Medal: Gold

G.H Mumm’s flagship fizz, Lalou, is a brilliant, if little-known, prestige cuvée, and this expression from the 2006 is on song right now. Just starting to show some evolution, there’s a touch of dried fruit, creamy coffee and honey, mixing with nutty notes and chalky dryness, providing a refreshing finale to this powerfully-flavoured, indulgent Champagne. (Patrick Schmitt MW)


  • Producer: Rare Champagne
  • Blend: tbc
  • Vintage: 2006
  • Dosage: Brut Price Category: £100+
  • Approx UK Retail Price: £tbc
  • Medal: Master

My top-scoring wine of the tasting, this magnum of Rare 2006 – the single harvest prestige cuvée brand, and formerly the flagship expression of Piper-Heidsieck – is a magnificent Champagne. Yet to hit the market – this was a special pre-release tasting – this 2006 is a fizz that combines maturity and richness with freshness and energy in a wonderful way that so few manage to master in Champagne. It could partly be due to the ‘magnum effect’, which slows down the evolution of fruit flavours in fizz, but I believe it’s primarily due to the strict wine selection and skilled handling in the cellar. After all, Rare cuvées in standard formats have consistently been top-performers in the Champagne Masters. So what is it like to drink? A light pale gold appearance draws you in to its cappuccino and vanilla pod aromatics, with notes of stone fruit. On the palate, there’s charred bread and grilled nuts, pear and peach fruit, with a touch of bitter orange on the finish, which is long, dry, and chalky – the wine’s flavours gradually taper to a mouth-watering finish. Rare 2006 in magnum will be available from September 2022. (Patrick Schmitt MW)

Read more

The medallists from the Champagne Masters 2022

Top 10 non-vintage Champagnes

Top 10 vintage Champagnes

Top 10 blanc de blancs Champagnes

About The Champagne Masters

The Champagne Masters is a competition created and run by the drinks business, and is an extension of its successful Masters series for grape varieties, such as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, as well as regions like Rioja and Tuscany. The competition is exclusively for Champagne, and the entries were judged using Schott Zwiesel Cru Classic glasses supplied by Sensible Wine Services. The top wines were awarded Gold, Silver or Bronze medals according to their result, and those expressions that stood out as being outstanding received the ultimate accolade – the title of Champagne Master.

The Champagnes were judged on 10 March at London’s Coravin Wine & Bubbles Bar by Patrick Schmitt MW, Patricia Stefanowicz MW, Jonathan Pedley MW, David Round MW, Susan Hulme MW, and Siobhan Turner MW.

Please visit The Global Wine Masters website for more information, or, to enter future competitions – giving you the chance to feature online and in print – please call +44 (0) 20 7803 2420 or email Sophie Raichura at:

It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No