The 20 best champagnes in the world by Richard Juhlin

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Richard Juhlin

Over the past 20 years, interest in champagne has increased dramatically worldwide. The Japanese drink Salon like never before, the Americans have started to fall in love with grower champagnes and the Russians no longer drink only Cristal. Wherever I go in the world, I meet initiated amateur connoisseurs at a level that had made the members of win clubs in the 90s blush. However, we find the largest new champagne frontiers in China, where the potential is enormous. It is with mixed feelings that I myself enter the Chinese market with my Champagne Hiking app and my award-winning books. On the one hand, it is a fantastic market, but at the same time I am of course a little worried about what a giant Chinese champagne interest will do with the price picture here in Europe in the long run. If you talk to the winemakers in Champagne, it is still we in Scandinavia who have changed our relationship with champagne most dramatically in recent years. In a relatively short time, we Swedes in particular have gone from brandy-pimping vinignorants to quality-demanding amateur connoisseurs where malolactic fermentation, Grand crubyar and oak barrel character have become concepts that have ended up in almost every man’s mouth. Even in terms of consumption, we today end up extremely high on the world list despite our small population.

Of course, the increasing level of knowledge and quality requirements from consumers have forced champagne producers to listen and offer an even more interesting range. The most obvious changes are, of course, organic and biodynamic wines that are gaining more and more ground in all camps. The champagnes have also become drier, more and more often presented in rosé form and the proportion of oak barrel-fermented champagnes from individually selected locations has increased very significantly.

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