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When Only The Best Champagne Will Do: Six Prestige Cuvées To Drink Now

Champagne Bar Cart. (Photo by Lauren Mowery)

If you missed my article in Forbes last week, I’ve reposted it here…

Luxury Champagne deserves to be drunk on more occasions than milestone celebrations; at the very least, it complements tragedies equally well, if not better. Consider the notoriously depressing events that have defined 2016. Even if you achieved personal bests in health, love, or money, regarding the collective we can agree the year unfolded like a Cormac McCarthy novel, exacting a psychic toll on the country.

From the deaths of legendary musicians Prince, David Bowie, Phife Dawg, Leonard Cohen; to the passing of wine icons Peter Mondavi, Margrit Mondavi, Mary Novak, Paul Pontallier; to the ceaseless loop of negative election coverage that failed to end with the election. Brexit, Ryan Lochte, Harambe, the Syrian refugee crisis, Zika, heat records, massive flooding, and Trump’s tweets. Even the year’s most acclaimed film stars an Affleck brother plumbing the depths of Manchester’s saddest janitor. And who knows what December surprise looms ahead. So, I suggest popping corks and putting this broken year out of its misery one month ahead of schedule, and the only wine with the gravitas to pair to the tragicomedy of 2016 (after all, Alec Baldwin returned), is prestige cuvée Champagne.

While no rules define the term prestige, typically these cuvées represent the producer’s best and most expensive bottle; the wine a Champagne house considers its top expression from their finest fruit. This generally entails grand cru grapes from the oldest vines, with extended cellar aging, often with a late disgorgement.

Here are six acme Champagnes to celebrate the end of an outrageous year.

Freshness and Finesse from a Founding Family…

Billecart-Salmon (Photo by Lauren Mowery)

Billecart-Salmon Cuvée Nicolas Francois Brut 2002, $200

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