The results of the Champagne Masters 2013 have been released and once more the competition highlighted the quality and value available in the vintage category.
In 2013, as in previous years, the highest number of gold medals were awarded in the vintage £35+ category, with five Champagnes gaining a gold and a further two receiving the top title of Master.
Just two further Masters were awarded in 2013, one in the prestige cuvee (£35+) category and a further in the tasting flight for non-vintage Champagnes priced over £35.
Outstanding in this year’s competition was the house of Charles Heidsieck, which gained the only Master for a brut non-vintage, as well as another for its Brut Millesime 2000 in the vintage category (£35+).
Charles Heidsieck was also the only producer entered into this year’s competition to take home not just one but two golds in the rosé category, with one for its Rosé Reserve and another for its Rosé Millesime 1999.
Sister house Piper Heidsieck also performed well, earning a gold for its brut in the non-vintage category (£25-35), and a further gold in the vintage (£35+) flight for its 2006 release, followed by a Master for its Rare Millesime 2002.
Piper Heidsieck also gained a gold for its Cuvée Sublime demi-sec, which the judges agreed was a brilliant example of this sweeter style.
Other standout Champagnes in the competition included Champagne Palmer, which gained the only gold in the flight of non-vintage wines priced below £25, and Henriot’s Brut Souverain, which earned one of only two golds along with Piper-Heidsieck in the category for non-vintage Champagnes between £25 and £35.
Some lesser-known houses also performed well, with Champagne Autréau de Champillon and Chassenay d’Arce both picking up golds in the vintage (£35+) category.
Meanwhile, among the blanc de blancs over £35, both Mumm and Cattier were awarded golds while, in the vintage category, Philipponnat was given a gold for its Cuvée 1522 from 2004.
Aside from the high number of medals awarded in the vintage category, it was notable that the ultra-brut style of Champagnes performed less well in the tasting competition, along with the rosés, which earned mostly bronzes and silvers, despite the high cost of the Champagnes in this category.
The full results can be viewed over the following pages and the judges are listed below.
- Nicola Arcedeckne-Butler MW, buying director, Private Cellar
- Patrick Schmitt, editor-in-chief, the drinks business
- Anthony Foster MW, director/buyer, Bonhote Foster
- Michael Edwards, journalist/author/ Champagne expert
- Michelle Cartwright, consultant and former Searcy’s Champagne bar development manager
- Euan Murray, tastings director, The Wine Society
- Jamie Hutchinson, owner, The Sampler
- Sue Daniels, wine buyer, Marks & Spencer
About the competition:
The Champagne Masters is a competition created and run by the drinks business and an extension of its successful Masters series for spirits. The competition is exclusively for Champagne and almost 100 entries were judged by a selection of highly experienced tasters using Riedel Chianti/Riesling glasses supplied by Sensible Wine Services. The top Champagnes were awarded Gold, Silver or Bronze medals according to their result, and those Champagnes that stood out as being outstanding received the ultimate accolade – the title of Champagne Master. The Champagnes were tasted over the course of one day at the Dorchester Hotel in London.