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The Wine Advocate’s William Kelley on recent and forthcoming Champagne releases

The Wine Advocate has published a new instalment of Champagne reviews by William Kelley, including two 100-point wines.   

General trends

William Kelley has reviewed 182 wines from Champagne in his latest report on the region’s recent and forthcoming releases. 

His report also tracks important developments in the region over the past two years, from rising grape prices to changing ways of working in the vineyards.  

Kelley observes how rising costs of fruits have prompted growers to reposition their entry-level non-vintage bottlings to more premium products. He believes that “as long as this trend isn’t mere marketing and finds justification in stricter selection, augmented percentages of reserve wines, longer maturation on the lees and other enhancements, then it is to be welcomed”.  

Kelley also makes a point about the “agronomic foundations of quality”. He notes that many of Champagne’s big players are now moving away from herbicides and other chemicals and that “things are moving in the right direction”.  

Top scoring wines

Kelley has awarded 20 wines a score of 97-points and above, with two wines achieving a perfect 100-points.  

In his tasting note of Collin’s NV Extra-Brut Blanc de Blancs Les Roises, Kelley writes: “Despite my best intentions, as soon as I tasted this Les Roises, I knew that my self-imposed embargo on any further 100-point scores for Champagne in 2021 would have to be broken”. He claims that this is one of “the region’s contemporary benchmarks”, “an arresting, thrilling wine”. 

Bollinger’s 2008 Blanc de Noirs Vieilles Vignes Françaises also received the highest praise from the critic. He called it “one of the monumental wines of this great vintage”. The wine commands a Market Price of £15,600 per 12×75. 

His full report and tasting notes can be found on The Wine Advocate. 


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