Age of NV Champagne?

Is there a way to determine the age of non vintage bottles of Champagne assuming that there is finite shelf life for those in the $30-50 range? The bottles being considered are on offer at auction so I do not have access to the labels.


If you cannot look at the labels and they did not provide disgorgement dates then you are SOL. Of course NV Champagne ages much longer than most people will give it.

Retailers routinely show the critiques and associated scores on NV Champagnes that are for disgorgement dates for other than what they are selling. So even with a disgorgement date disclosed, unless you have the bottle in hand to verify, you are not buying what you thought you were.

Well, sort of. Some producers (names escape me at the moment) have alphanumeric codes or other secret glyphs that provide disgorgement, release, or vintage information. Brad Baker speaks this foreign language, and his Champagne Warrior (a must-have pub) publication notes them on occasion.

With Veuve Clicquot, there are lot numbers on each bottle. Older ones have them printed on the capsule, while the newer bottlings have them printed on the bottles at the base. If you email those numbers to them through their website, they will respond within a few days with the disgorgement date. On one inquiry I made, they also gave me the date they shipped the wine.

I’ve not tried this with other wineries, but I suspect others will do this as well.

And Krug has a website and an app where you can enter the code numbers and get the blend as well as the disgorgement date.

But for many producers, you just don’t know.

Agreed. Definitely seek out Brad`s CW. He has named many in his pub and interpreted some upon request.

But if you cannot see the labels you cannot get the codes.

call the auction house and see if they can give you the info.