2022 has been good to the Champenois.
The harvest has been widely touted as a success, with the Comité Champagne describing this year as a “solar” vintage due to the intense summer heat. Unlike recent years, there has been less than 10% vineyard loss to early spring frosts. Above average volumes of healthy grapes, with musts having potential alcohol on average greater than 10% by volume, have been reported across the region. Following suit, the 12,000 kilograms per hectare available yield, the highest level in 15 years, has been met. This increase will allow grape growers to start rebuilding their reserves. This is great news following the short and somewhat disastrous 2021 vintage and helpful in completing a unslakable demand for champagne worldwide.
Champagne shipments in the first half of 2022 were nearing 130 million bottles globally, representing a 13.8% increase compared to the same period in 2021. LVMH, the parent company of Moët & Chandon, Veuve Clicquot, Krug, and Dom Pérignon, recently reported “running out of stock on our best champagnes.” According to Moët Hennessy CEO Philippe Schaus, “As people are coming out of Covid, there’s been pent-up demand for luxury, enjoyment and travelling.” LVMH reported a 28% growth in revenue in the first half of the year.
Of course, the wine world is recovering from global shipping backlogs and dry goods shortages. Combining those delays with an increased Champagne demand means finding familiar bottles on store shelves is once again a tricky task, especially heading into the holidays. Our advice: stock up early and try something new. Many of the 90+ champagnes reviewed this year are sold outside government monopolies, so go meet your local wine merchant. They are listed in alphabetical order below. Click here to read our Sparkling Report, with 130+ recently tasted wines outside of Champagne.