The year’s best-value Champagne

NV Chartogne-Taillet Champagne, France

NV Chartogne-Taillet, Sainte Anne Brut, Champagne, France (£25, The Wine Society, 01438-741177).

I have tried to add up how many NV Champagnes I have tasted this year, but the paper mountain is too high to scale. Suffice to say that in this crowded category there are wines that range from 12 or so pounds a bottle, in the foothills (without exception these are idiotic Christmas discounts on shockingly poor wine), to the great Krug Grande Cuvée at the peak – still a wine with enough grandiose flavours and soaring aromatics to shock you, priced at around £115.

But if you want to drink sensational Champagne, at the right price, and I balk at spending over £25 for party Champs, then this is the finest bottle by a mile andit will amaze even the most pompous of Champagne bores, too!

Get your order in this morning and make sure that you cover off your Christmas and New Year purchases because Christophe Chartogne’s tiny estate has rewarded us with one of the most exotic, graceful, enchanting and silky-smooth Champagnes imaginable. With a 50% chardonnay, 40% pinot noir, 10% pinot meunier recipe, and using a touch of oak, this is categorically the finest value Champagne of the year.

• Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Communicator of the Year (

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