Erik Neilson on December 17, 2016 0 Comments With New Year’s Eve right around the corner, many people are already making plans regarding where and what to eat and drink. After all, what better way to ring in a new year than with a tremendous meal and a bottle of incredible wine? When it comes to choosing wines for New Year’s Eve, no list of offerings would be complete without at least one bottle of Champagne. With all the options to choose from, however, finding the right Champagne for the occasion can be easier said than done. Instead of blindly picking a sparkler to ring in the new year, go with something tried and true. Here are 8 great Champagnes for New Year’s Eve 2016, all of which are sure to impress. 1. 2004 Pascal Doquet Blanc de Blancs Coeur de Terroir 1er Cru Champagne If you want to get straight down to it and pick up a bottle that will leave your guests stunned this holiday season, run — don’t walk — to find at least one 2004 Pascal Doquet Blanc de Blancs Coeur de Terroir 1er Cru Champagne. It’s priced at around $60, which is a veritable steal considering the overall quality of the wine. 2004 Pascal Doquet Blanc de Blancs Coeur de Terroir 1er Cru Champagne is unique in that the grapes used to produce the wine are grown directly on the estate, which gives it a taste and aroma that won’t be found in Champagnes made by other producers. White flowers transition into marzipan and brioche, with a stout graphite backbone that doesn’t disappoint. Great quality-to-price ratio. 2. Bollinger Spécial Cuvée NV There’s a reason that Bollinger Spécial Cuvée has won the hearts of wine lovers worldwide for nearly 200 years. It has a tremendous amount to offer in terms of value, especially when you consider just how consistent a product it’s been all these years. Bollinger Spécial Cuvée kicks things off with flavors of burnt apples, roasted peaches and candied walnuts, which give way to a peppery, flinty finish. It’s a beautiful wine that can be purchased for around $50, yet tastes like it costs 3x as much. The finish alone — with its caramel toastiness and fine bubble structure — makes this wine worth picking up. 3. 1995 Charles Heidsieck Blanc des Millénaires Champagne If you find yourself considering a proposal of some sort or would simply like to ring the new year in with immense style and class, a bottle of 1995 Charles Heidsieck Blanc des Millénaires Champagne should do the trick perfectly. Most people don’t get the chance to drink wines that are more than 20 years old, and certainly not those which have been aged on leftover fermentation yeast for 15 years! The result is a wine that simply cannot be replicated in any other way, which is perhaps why bottles sell for around $150. Apple notes are the star of the show here, with plenty of pepper on the finish. Wedged between, you’ll find hints of butterscotch, caramel, gingerbread and candied spice. 4. 2008 Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve Champagne is so often described utilizing terms such as graphite and minerals, but what about those that are on the fruitier side? How about a Champagne that brings to the palate tastes of doughnut glaze, burnt cherries and lush tropical fruit? 2008 Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve is such a wine, and at under $50 for a bottle, it’s an excellent value that will scratch the Champagne itch while bringing something new and interesting to the table. The fruity middle of this wine transitions to a finish rife with vanilla, box spice and almonds — a well-rounded experience of what Champagne is capable of. 5. 2008 Louis Roederer Vintage Brut Speaking of minerals, you’ll find them in droves upon opening a bottle of 2008 Louis Roederer Vintage Brut. With one of the most impressive structures of any Champagne from 2008, the bottle-aging capabilities of this wine are outstanding. Brioche complexities hint at seafoam and oceanic minerals, lending this wine a refreshing, almost salty palate. Bottles are becoming more and more difficult to find, but at around $80, you’ll have a hard time coming upon a better value. 6. Gosset Champagne Excellence Brut NV Gosset is another Champagne house that has been producing wine for the better part of 400 years. Their Champagne Excellence Brut NV is a prime example of how a winery like this is capable of producing consistent, stellar wines for centuries at a time, and it’s priced extremely fair at around $40/bottle. With an extremely fine bubble structure and a considerable amount of heft, Champagne Excellence Brut NV is loaded with pear and almond flavors, which transition to a vanilla-laden, yet sharp finish. Look for a bit of lemon in the aftertaste — it’ll leave you wanting more. 7. Bruno Paillard 1999 N.P.U. Brut Champagne Bruno Paillard 1999 N.P.U. Brut Champagne is a blend of grapes from four Grand Cru vineyards. It’s a blend of 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Chardonnay, and it wears its uniqueness on its sleeve. With the amount of age it has on it, there’s no getting around the fact that it’s mature, and it’s currently drinking better than ever before. Lots of toast, quince and pear in this wine, with a finish reminiscent of fresh grapefruit. It’s not a cheap bottle at nearly $190, but if you have the budget, you won’t regret this purchase. 8. Champagne Henriot Brut Souverain NV Another incredible value, bottles of Champagne Henriot Brut Souverain NV can be had for only $44 if you look hard enough. Henriot knows how to make Champagne, having been facilitating production since 1808. This is another blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay that benefits from a small addition of Meunier, and the strong acidity in the wine allows for each grape to impart unique characteristics such as vanilla, citrus and hazelnuts. If you’re looking for a bottle to grab multiples of, this is the one. So get out there and find the right bottle of Champagne to ring in 2017! Stick to the list above, and you can’t go wrong.