Vintage champagne (millésime) is made in better than average years and cellared longer than non-vintage champagnes (36 months minimum). Unlike non-vintage champagnes, vintage champagnes are not meant to be stylistically consistent year after year. Typically, the cellar master composes vintage champagnes from the base wines that best reflect the particular year’s characteristics. Despite the variation between different vintages, champagnes of this category are comfortable for consumers to buy: whenever a champagne house releases a vintage, theoretically it indicates that the year is a good one and, consequently, so should be the champagne.
Moreover, vintage champagnes contain longer-life base wines, and while they are quite enjoyable immediately upon release, they still have significant development potential. Vintage champagne entails a promise of greater tasting pleasure in the years to come.
See my list of Champage Vintages.