What is a vintage wine? It’s the wine made out of the single year’s harvest, the date on the label is the vintage. It does not indicate the year the wine was bottled.
Non-vintage wines are those produced by mixing harvests of two years or more. On occasion you’ll see NV on the label marking the distinction. This is a common practice with Champagne and sparkling wine producers as winemakers provide a continuous house style through the blending of various vintages, to create the yearly non-vintage Champagne.
It’s not uncommon to see vintage year sparkling wines in California. However, in the Champagne region of France, vintages are generally produced three or four times a decade. This represents less than 5% of total Champagne production.
As you see, the vintage of this Lanson Champagne is 1998
This label does not indicate a year which would suggest a non-vintage Champagne
I should note, often a vintage date may appear on the foil of the bottle or on an attached tag,
especially these days with screen printed wine labels.
As you see here, Lanson does put their vintage dates on the label so it is likely the Black Label is a
non-vintage Champagne. As it turns out, Black Label was chosen to indicate a specific non-vintage Champagne they bottle to honor the long relationship it has with the British Court.