Champagne moves in such exalted circles—glamorous parties, society weddings, Grand Prix podiums—that it is easy to forget that it is actually a wine. And, like every wine with the potential to age, it is much in demand both from collectors and investors, and never more than now. Over the past two years, leading cuvées have soared in value: 1992 Krug Clos du Mesnil has jumped 92% from £1,176 a bottle to £2,260, 2008 Louis Roederer Cristal by 68% from £167 to £281 and the 2007 vintage of the prestigious growers’ champagnes, Pierre Péters, has leaped from £125 a bottle to £282, up 126%.*

Richard Young, vice president, senior specialist, wine for Sotheby’s, explains that interest in champagne has been increasing since the start of the pandemic. Despite champagne’s production levels being at their highest, even for many of the most prestigious cuvées, Young identifies two main factors that led to the hike in prices. “Emerging markets have pushed up global demand, while market leaders—Dom Pérignon, Krug, Louis Roederer Cristal, and some of the best growers’ champagnes—have tightened allocations, driving prices up and fuelling speculation from both trade buyers and collectors.”

The temptations for investors are obvious: Young also credits “a string of outstanding vintages—2002, 2008, 2012—that have strongly encouraged speculation. And it’s interesting to note that collectors now desire champagne in their cellars just as much as fine burgundy or bordeaux.” And champagne, he thinks, is promoting and marketing itself “very successfully to a younger, more diverse and affluent clientele”.

And what of the future? Can champagne sustain the growth levels of the past few years? Young feels that champagnes that have been allowed to age and those with a smaller production will do best. The fizzing interest in champagne is unlikely to slow down anytime soon.

The three main grapes for champagne are chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier



Salon, Le Mesnil Blanc de Blancs Brut 2008 (magnum/1.5L), $5,635

Unusually for Salon, this cream of the Mesnil crop was only bottled in magnums in 2008: a mere 8,000 of them, so demand certainly outstrips supply for this magnificently concentrated and complex wine.

Jacques Selosse Extra Brut Millésime 2008 (750ml), $4,295

There is something almost burgundian about the texture and power of Selosse’s champagne—it is vinified in old barrels from Domaine Leflaive —and the hauntingly herbal, lemon-scented 2008 is a fine example from a great vintage.

Louis Roederer Cristal 2008 (magnum/1.5L), $1,295

60% pinot noir and 40% chardonnay, from the vintage in which Roederer first used biodynamically grown grapes (40% of them): stunningly rich and opulent champagne that will easily last another decade.

All available at

*Data from Liv-Ex. Photos: John Heseltine/Alamy Stock Photo

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About Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC Founded in 1976 to provide independent brokerages with a powerful marketing and referral program for luxury listings, the Sotheby’s International Realty network was designed to connect the finest independent real estate companies to the most prestigious clientele in the world. Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC is a subsidiary of Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE: RLGY), a global leader in real estate franchising and provider of real estate brokerage, relocation, and settlement services. In February 2004, Realogy entered into a long-term strategic alliance with Sotheby’s, the operator of the auction house. The agreement provided for the licensing of the Sotheby’s International Realty name and the development of a full franchise system. Affiliations in the system are granted only to brokerages and individuals meeting strict qualifications. Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC supports its affiliates with a host of operational, marketing, recruiting, educational, and business development resources. Franchise affiliates also benefit from an association with the venerable Sotheby’s auction house, established in 1744.

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