Myth Proven: Why do Magnums of Champagne Taste Better?


Ask anyone in the know & they’ll tell you Mag’s of Champagne Taste BETTER!
… and it’s not just because there is twice as much to go around!

The obvious reason why Champagne shows so well from magnum is that while glass is a storage vessel for whites and reds, it is also, importantly, a fermentation vessel for Champagne. After the vins clairs have been assembled into blends, they are bottled the spring of the following year, with a touch of yeast, sugar and liqueur de tirage, that creates the secondary fermentation, and the bubbles. That much is pretty simple to understand, but there is more to it.

Roederer’s longtime Chef de Caves Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon in a session with the guys at Vinous.

“In tirage, we add a bit less sugar to the magnums than the bottles to lower the pressure under which the wines undergo the secondary fermentation in magnum,” explains Lécaillon. “We do this because the wines really struggle through the secondary fermentation, which takes two weeks longer than in bottle because there is less oxygen. As a result, we have more residual sugar – 1 to 2 grams per liter, as opposed to virtually dry for the bottles, and that produces a lot more glycerol, giving Champagnes from magnum a richer textural feel.”

Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon

These same factors apply to the primary alcoholic fermentation for table wines. Longer, drawn-out fermentations generating glycerol, and, other secondary aromas and flavours.

In a highly commercial winery, cultured yeast, developed to give winemakers fast, clean fermentation to dryness are the go. Safety and economic key criteria.

Ask a Burgundian or Alsatian if they have comfort with their whites taking 12 months to complete alcoholic fermentation and many will nonchalantly reply ‘It’s normal’.

For sparkling production, a fast secondary fermentation in bottles is done and dusted in 10 days to 2 weeks, a slow one may take 2-3 months. Keep in mind, this is a highly toxic environment for the yeast, special super-strong yeast cultures have to be built to do the job.

I tiraged a set of Magnums when I was at Yering Station and dropped the fermentation temp compared to the bottles. This would have undoubtedly further slowed the fermentation in addition to the factors JBL explores above. I didn’t have enough to open bottles and magnums to track and compare the fermentation.

It’s bloody stressy doing your first tirage, get it wrong and you end up with a half fermented wines in bottle or add too much sugar and the bottles will explode! That’s OK when you’re making a couple of slabs of beer, when your knocking out 1 million bottles of fizz it’s not that cool!

Anyway, back to the mag’s. The proof was in the pudding, disgorging, magnums, and bottles of the same wine side by side showed the exact differences described above. They have additional depth in the mid-palate, the aroma and flavour are even more complex and layered.

Looking for a Mag of Champagne? Check these out. If there’s something else you want call us on 1300 811 066 or Request a Wine Here. We have access to an incredible array of tasty fizz!

JM Sélèque Solessence MAGNUM (2018) NV

Champagne | Champagne, France

Brut Nature wines by default have nothing to hide behind so the fruit has to do the talking ... JM's is positively SHOUTING! Based on the 2018 vintage and disgorged in November 2020 with two grams per liter dosage, Sélèque's latest NV Extra Brut Solessence is showing very well, bursting with aromas of white flowers, pear, crisp stone fruits and almond paste. Medium to full-bodied, ample and fleshy, it's lively and saline, with a pillowy mousse and chalky grip on the finish. William Kelley
$219
$212ea in any 3+
$205ea in any 6+
Insane flavour!
There's a purity & intensity about this wine that combined with the juicy acid is so so satisfying! The Côte des Blancs is home to all the great Chardonnay vineyards in Champagne. The Grand Cru vineyards are the best of these. When I worked at Legras et Haas, the Grand Cru Chardonnay was exceptional. I was blown away just tasting the juice. The quality of this wine reminds me of that oh so delicious juice! Péters' flagship Champagne is a blend of 100% Grand Cru Chardonnay spanning more than
$250
$240ea in any 3+
$230ea in any 6+
The Fabrice Session 🎧 & 🎥 Inside!

R.Pouillon Reserve Brut MAGNUM NV

Blend | Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, Avenay-Val-d'Or

The perfect introduction to Pouillon's wines, yet, far from an entry level. The gives you a peak into just how much personality and vitality his wines have. Balancing a hint of oxidative character with delicious fruit with great length and depth. The Reserve Brut represents a little splash of fruit across most of Pouillon's holdings. The blend of Pinot, Meunier and Chardonnay is expertly integrated. Fabrice truly gets élévage. This is an incredibly complex, layered and beautiful Champagne. Suc
$259
$252ea in any 3+
$245ea in any 6+
The Fabrice Session 🎧 & 🎥 Inside!

R.Pouillon ‘Les Terres Froides’ Premier Cru MAGNUM NV

Chardonnay | Montagne de Reims, Tauxières

Often in the 'Pro' wine circles, you're asked to nail your banner to a mast in a blind tasting. Although a Chardonnay, Fabrice has fooled, without malice, many a Champenois, who has called this wine a Pinot. It's not so much the flavours, but, the body, richness, and, mid-palate power that this wine offers that can confuse. In the end, all of this is irrelevant. What you have in front of you is a wine of purity, line, length, excellent acid, with lovely ripe flavours, a little pith and grapef
$412
$397ea in any 3+
$382ea in any 6+
The Fabrice Session 🎧 & 🎥 Inside!

R.Pouillon Rosé Brut MAGNUM NV

Pinot Noir | Vallée de la Marne, Champagne

Such a beautiful Rosé. If finding a good wine is hard, finding tasty Rosé Champagne is a true mission. There are so many tricked up hard angular wines. Fabrice has got it all going on here. Rosé made by allowing fruit skin contact rather than dosing a white wine with some Red really does appear to offer a much more refined result. This one has lovely fresh, yet developed, red fruits, a little savoury edge and so much more going on. The halmark Pouillon harmony and energy. Just that very sligh
$412
$397ea in any 3+
$382ea in any 6+
The Fabrice Session 🎧 & 🎥 Inside!

R.Pouillon ‘Chemins du Bois’ Grand Cru MAGNUM 2014

Pinot Noir | Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, France

“This is our foundation-wine as so many things started with this parcel. First of all, because it’s one of Champagne’s oldest massal selections. Afterwards and most especially because it gave me the idea for my Méthode Fabrice Pouillon used to make all my wines.”  
$885
$865ea in any 3+
$845ea in any 6+

Billecart-Salmon JEROBOAM 3L 2008

Blend | Vallée de la Marne, Champagne

Categorically the finest Extra Brut ever conceived, this is a cuvee of laser line and immortal structure that rejoices in the lightning energy of 2008 and the exacting precision engineering that is Billecart. A glowing, medium straw hue is a dazzling prelude to its scintillating purity and drive, cut with magnificent acid line and high-tensile chalk structure. The distinguished, north-east facing slopes of Verzy and Verzenay take a delightfully fragrant and pure lead, presenting white cherry and
$1,178
$1158ea in any 3+
$1138ea in any 6+

Start the discussion