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TWS Champagne Question

Just wondering if anyone knows whether you can tell the base year or bottling year of TWS own label Champagne by Gratien?

There is a very small number on the front label: MA1171-01-00-205

I’m also hoping that when plucking from my reserves they took the oldest, not youngest bottles, but can’t see a way to tell.

Innocent question. Would you be able to tell the difference?

Very possibly, but that’s because the reason I ask is it’s been stored multiple years - so it could be over the hill. Also, I had some stored more recently and am wondering which has been picked.

But I think what you mean is whether I could tell, say, 2012 vs 2013 base year. Almost certainly not unless they were side by side or I’d tried them before and they were significantly different. That said, I think (though may be mistaken) that Marce said the one with 08 base was especially good.

I’m also particularly interested having kept a couple of grower Champagnes a little too long. The ones I had clearly have less longevity than some grande marque NVs. A more knowledgeable friend said this was probably due to longer lees ageing in many grower Champagnes, making them good earlier, but for drinking sooner.

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From Glass of Bubbly

MA – Marque d’ Acheteur – A brand name owned by the purchaser, such as a restaurant, supermarket or wine merchant.

Between different base vintages? No - or at least you shouldn’t do, because surely that’s the point of NV, it’s meant to be consistent across the years as far as possible.

Between a base vintage 2000 drunk in 2021 or a base vintage 2020 drunk in 2021? Yeah, I’d back myself.

Of course, at TWS towers they will know. BUT they might not tell you - same as any of the Grande Marques, the actual mix will be secret. Sometime in the year the blend will change, but that depends upon stock keeping. AT some point the Magnums might be an entirely different year to the standard bottles.

Does it matter?

It will NEVER be over the hill. And if you think it is, simply evoke TWS promise - no questions asked.

Check the text on the inside of the cork.

I couldn’t evoke the tws promise as kept longer than recommended.

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At the very least I’d want to be able to say that I want the bottles I put into Reserves on a particular date, even if I didn’t know the bottling year. Can you do that?

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I’m sure people have asked similar questions before and the answer is they can tell you which is which as they do track it. There’s enough members wine a pipeline of TWS champagne that they’re ageing that they do make sure they keep track for everyone.

What this actually looks like and how it’s compatible with the new website is anyones guess!


You could email Gratien and ask them the question.

I have found this site useful. :dragon:

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Noot sure how to work it out, but I think the disgorgement date is on the foil

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We had a TWS own label this weekend bought on offer in early 2019. It was delicious: richer in colour and on the palette and with plenty of fizz. A friend gave a party in about April of 2019 with recently bought TWS own label, so very likely the same batch as mine, which I did not especially enjoy. Last weekend we had a Bollinger NV that I’d kept for a good three years and that too was wonderful. I’ve had well aged Bolly before, yum, but this was the first time with a TWS own label that had been kept, and for me the quality/enjoyment gap between the two has closed with age.

I plan to keep some of each for a fair few more years. I had a case of Perrier Jouet NV that was kept variously for up to about 10 years and, although one of these along the way was past its best, the last one was terrific, with a great taste but crucially enough fizz too. Conversely, last Christmas I had a Runiart NV that had been kept for about 5 years and that was very subdued.

But, as so many here are saying, keep your NV champagne, as it invariably matures into a bottle of golden pleasure.


I’m sorry I don’t agree! My policy is ‘buy it and drink it’. To me there is too much marketing hype over expensive champagne. Ruinart is my favourite possibly followed by Perrier-Jouet, mostly because of a couple of visits to the Maison Belle Epoque at PJ. Hey-ho! horses for courses. :innocent:


Belle Epoque was my first taste of premium champagne. Got to compare the '96 and '97 side by side at a PJ tasting. Very impressed with the '96 and still love that bottle. Not so keen on the PJ Grand Brut though, as you say…

Fair point, I got it wrong with the Ruinart! I bought it after a tasting at Roberson, when they still had a shop on Kensington High Street, where Ruiniart was up against some EWS. Can’t remember was the latter was, but I do remember thinking that the Ruinart was a lot nicer & a similar price, and I’d imagine it wasn’t aged at all. So if I ever have one of those again it will be opened pronto. However, I generally find young champagne a bit sharp and prefer a bit more of the biscuit etc, but very much as you say, horses for courses.

Assuming we’re not simply talking NV here, I’ve never had an expensive bottle of champagne, or knowingly even a glass from one. I do have a bottle of Dom Perignon 1998 that was I given and I’ve put off drinking it, not because of any ageing ideas, just that I thought I’d not had the right occasion to crack it, or the occasion might have been good but there were too many people, etc etc. Of course there must have been something worth opening it over the last dozen or so years I’ve had it, so I hope it was indeed ‘built for 30 years’, as I’ve read somewhere, but will get on with it at some point soon! Will let you know what happens . . .


So just going back to this as I was looking for disgorgement date info on some TWS Champagne - I tend to age my NV, depending on the house, for 12-36 months post-disgorgement (up to 5 or 6 years for Bollinger) - but Gratien don;t give it away, do they? I bought some in late 2020 that has code L20076 - 119 on it - anyone know how these are decoded?

This is useful as referenced above, but doesn’t include Gratien: https://www.tysonstelzer.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/The-codebreakers-guide-to-unlocking-champagne.pdf

I would also be interested in knowing this. On a separate note, I had some Henriot Brut Souverain delivered yesterday and have been told that the last four digits on the code are month/year of disgorgement (02/21 for my bottles).

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