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on the grapevine; sam wylie-harris ON... FIVE CHAMPAGNES TO MAKE YOUR NEW YEAR'S EVE POP.

Byline: SAM WYLIE-HARRIS

CHAMPAGNE is the ultimate party tipple and who doesn't love to flirt with French fizz? If you're a fizz-fanatic and hosting a swish soiree this New Year's Eve, here's our edit of the best corks to pop as we count down to 2019...

| Champagne Comte de Senneval Millesime Brut 2013, France (PS16.99, Lidl stores): Cited as a very promising vintage, we're thrilled that Lidl is giving us first dibs on its new release, which is ready to drink now - but, being a young gun in the world of vintage champers, will also improve with age. Why wait, though, when you can revel in the generous smattering of bready notes with bright, juicy citrusy fruit, lovely creamy mousse and fresh, vivacious finish as you toast 2019.

| Tesco Finest Premier Cru Champagne, France (PS19, Tesco): This rich, complex, full-bodied style is the jewel in the crown for Tesco. With an IWC (International Wine Challenge) Gold medal under its belt, among other accolades, you can happily expect to find the finesse, purity of flavour, brioche and honeycomb nuances, crisp acidity and all-round gorgeousness you'd usually associate with a top-notch label.

| Champagne Castelnau Reserve Brut NV, France (PS28, thewinesociety.com): A champagne for those in the know, the name Castelnau may not be the most familiar, but in champagne circles, it has an excellent reputation for quality - enhanced by an award-winning cellar master. With plenty of complexity from extended ageing, floral aromas, toast and spicy overtones dominate, with rounded peach and wonderful freshness on the finish.

| Champagne Ayala Le Blanc de Blancs 2012, France (PS52.50, champagnedirect.co. uk): A shiny new release, this blanc de blancs is made from 100% chardonnay, and it's fascinating how something so bright and luminous can disappear so quickly - and leave you completely in the dark as to why it tasted so good. Beautifully balanced and elegant, with bready blossom, white fruits and a chalky minerality that reflects the superb vintage.

| Sainsbury's Blanc De Noirs Champagne Magnum, France (PS38 for 150cl, Sainsbury's): Big is beautiful, especially when it's a blend of pinot noir and pinot meunier (blanc de noirs), which hints at a little bit of magic as there'll be more body and fruitiness to the champagne, compared with a classic blend of pinot noir, chardonnay and pinot meunier. With pastry and biscuity notes, this own-label champers has a nutty, fruity richness and a giant of a finish.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:4EUFR
Date:Dec 30, 2018
Words:404
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