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The Champagne Club Awards’23 [oldest bottle of the year]

Björnstierne Antonsson

Björnstierne Antonsson

Or shall we call it ‘The Richards’ ?! Instead of ‘The Champagne Oscars’ ? We want to sum-up the year of 2023 from a Champagne perspective. In 20+ categories we hand out awards for this years most memorable Champagnes & Champagne related topics!

[featured partner – vigneron.se]

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

‘I thought I would open a dead bottle as Abel Lepitre’s older wines in most cases have not stood the test of time very well. This bottle was also from an Italian cellar and then the odds were even worse. Imagine my surprise as the wine was bright and bubbly with fresh floral notes paired with oyster shells and sea salt. A little short and lacking some fruit, but as impressively young as most 52’s. A vintage that impresses more with its youthful vitality than with its grandeur.’

92(92)p
HISTORICAL WINNERS
20231952 Abel Lepitre Millésime
20221921 Pol Roger ’Millésime Vinothèque’
20211921 Pol Roger ’Millésime Vinothèque’
1921 Moët & Chandon ‘Grand Vintage Collection Zero Dosage’ 
1921 Moët & Chandon ‘Grand Vintage Collection’      
20201911 Heidsieck & Monopole ’Vinothèque’                                     

Abel Lepitre

★★

Founded in 1924 in Ludes. Abel Lepitre was a relatively poor young man who succeeded thanks to his knowledge and stubbornness, selling 100,000 bottles as early as 1939. Hitler put a stop to this young man’s success, and Abel Lepitre died a tragic death in one of the Nazi concentration camps. Fortunately, Abel’s son was also ambitious. He managed to get the firm to expand still further by buying a grand house with its own chalk cellar in Reims in 1955. In 1960, Abel Lepitre ceased to be an independent Champagne house when it merged with two others of similar size. Today Abel Lepitre is closely linked to Philipponnat, which is run by the same man, Charles Philipponnat. This company is hard to get a grip on as they often change the name of their cuvées. They lack any vineyards of their own and have few permanent contracts with growers. This means that the quality has been quite inconsistent over the years.

‘In reality, the firm is Philipponnat’s second brand.’

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