A non-vintage Champagne
A. Is made from a blend of wines from chardonnay, pinot noir, and meunier, unlike vintage Champagne wines which are made from just one of those grapes in an especially good vintage year
B. Is primarily made from chardonnay in good but not great vintages
C. Is a blend of dozens of different wines from the same year but from potentially dozens of different villages (crus)
D. Is a blend of wines from several years and from several different vineyards and villages (crus)
Non-vintage Champagne (designated NV on the wine’s label) is a blend of wines from different years’ harvests and from different vineyards and villages (crus) within the Champagne region. Non-vintage Champagne wines represent the vast majority of Champagne wines produced. (By contrast, vintage Champagne represents a little less than 6% of exports). Non-vintage Champagne wines are valued for their consistency year to year. By blending multiple vintages, each Champagne maker can maintain a “house style” that consumers can depend on. Amazingly, in some cases, the range of vintages in a non-vintage Champagne can span up to 20 years. By law, non-vintage Champagne wines need to age on the yeast lees for at least 15 months, although most are aged longer. The minimum aging for a vintage cuvée is three years on the lees.