From Brut to sparkling rosé, sparkling wine and Champagne can improve with age just like bold reds and crisp white wines. When mature, they develop wonderful secondary aromas and flavors of dried fruit, honey, hazelnut, and biscuit with effervescent bubbles of toast and cream.
Over the years, the carbonation will mellow, leading to soft tingling fizz along with high levels of acidity on the palate.
Check out the six best age-worthy sparkling wines to save for a special occasion.
Pol Roger 2012 Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill Brut (Champagne); $360, 99 points. The great 2012 vintage shows well in this rich, full Champagne. Dominated as usual by Pinot Noir, the wine is powerfully ripe and impressively full of white fruits and tight minerality. Ready to drink from 2022, it is worthy of aging and certainly drinkable even in 10 years’ time. Frederick Wildman & Sons, Ltd. Cellar Selection. —Roger Voss
Philipponnat 2012 Clos des Goisses Extra Brut (Champagne); $380, 98 points. This single-vineyard, one of the steepest in Champagne, produces fabulous wines. Richness restrained by the minerality from the terroir is balanced by the structured Pinot Noir fruits that bring touches of toast, spice and white fruits. Drink through 2025 at least. Banville Wine Merchants. Cellar Selection. —R.V.
Billecart-Salmon 2007 Cuvée Nicolas François Brut (Champagne); $150, 97 points. This beautiful Champagne is amazingly at its peak. Not too mature, not too young, the wine is in fine balance, showing some nervy edge as well as touches of toast. With a small amount of wood vinification, the wine has extra fullness. Drink through 2025. Billecart Salmon USA. Cellar Selection. —R.V.
Louis Roederer 2013 Cristal Rosé Brut (Champagne); $579, 97 points. A pale rosé color of this great Champagne leads to a wine that has toast, spice and layers of citrus and red fruits. Its richness is balanced by freshness that will take several years to fully mature. So, even at eight years, the wine has plenty of room to develop. Drink from 2023. Maisons Marques & Domaines. Cellar Selection. —R.V.
Schramsberg 2012 J. Schram Rosé (North Coast); $160, 97 points. This wonderful wine layers together subtle red fruit, cinnamon, tamarind and savory, meaty accents for an extraordinarily complex outcome. Mouthfilling and rich in texture but also lively and bright in underlying acidity, it is beautifully balanced and will age well. Best from 2023. Cellar Selection. —Jim Gordon
Moët & Chandon 2013 Grand Vintage (Champagne); $64, 94 points. The effects of a cool year on this new vintage release is impressive in its texture, acidity and serious aging potential. Crisp apple and white-fruit flavors come together with a tight structure and a pure line of freshness. Drink from 2023. Moët Hennessy USA. Cellar Selection. —R.V.