A Champagne “Dégorgement Tardif” (often abbreviated DT) can also be called Champagne Récemment Dégorgé (RD) depending on the terminology used by each Champagne House. The two terms designate the same reality and are generally translated in English under the generic labelling term “Late-Disgorged”. They are used for sparkling wines produced in the Champagne region located in France. They fall into the AOC Champagne and can be made from either white and/or black grapes. They must be made according to the “Methode Traditionnelle” (also called “Méthode Champenoise”).
When Champagnes have been “sur pointe” for years, if not decades, they are referred to as “late-disgorged” (see the article on what does “sur pointe” mean here to learn more). Without oxidation (no contact with air), this prolonged vertical aging (with the bottle upside down) results in strong autolytic aromas (brioche, baked bread…). They can, nevertheless, look considerably younger and fresher than their actual age might indicate. They are typically ready to drink upon release onto the market, contrary to what people usually believe. This is because they are disgorged soon before being on sale. They have a long or short life span once on the market, depending on how long they were aged on lees. The longer they spent on lees before disgorgement the shorter their lifespan after disgorgement. Hence, they age more quickly than typical vintage wines after being disgorged. It is believed that the effects of disgorgement are greater on late-disgorged Champagnes.