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Champagne under $50

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The Geoffroy Cuvee de Reserve Brut is an excellent value at $31. Another good value is the Duval-Leroy Cuvee Femme. It's slightly over the $50 mark at $55, but I have seen it on sale at Sam's in Chicago for less than $50.

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This is a great thread offering up many suggestions I need to seek out and taste test myself. Unfortunately I know many of these lovely bubblies will not be found in my fair state of residence. Boo!

I'm still a Möet & Chandon's White Star fan but I've discovered I LOVE an Italian sparkler with glorious colour -- Banfi's Brachetto d'Aqui which goes for something near $22. The Banfi is spectacular with chocolate.

[when will I ever learn to spell?????!!]

Edited by beans (log)
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but I've discovered I LOVE an Italian sparkler with glorious colour -- Banfi's Brachetto d'Aqui which goes for something near $22.  The Banfi is spectacular with chocolate.

I haven't had this with chocolate, but you're quite right. Damned tasty stuff!

I like the R. Dumont et Fils Brut NV. Mostly Pinot Noir and very rich. Undergoes a malolactic fermentation that really makes it smooth and fruity. About $25.00.

For a Blanc de Blanc I like the Diebolt-Vallois NV. Very crisp and elegant and absolutely unbelievable at the $30.00 price point. It also happens to be the house pour here at Striped Bass (from magnum), but I was fond of it long before I worked here.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Personal favorites:

Bollinger NV- Yummy... I just love the full rich flavor and the lack of sulfury-ness (thanks Jason for making that flavor distinction w/ the Veuve). about $40

Roederer Anderson Valley - Half the price of Bolly, and in the same flavor profile. Bolly's better, but this is good stuff too. Glad others agree. about $20

Gruet Blanc de Noirs- From New Mexico (of all places), but in the same vein as the above... rich, yeasty and excellent. about $10

R. Dumont et Fils Rose- An excellent pink champagne... lacking in oaky or sulfury and a real pleasure to imbibe. about $25

Thierry Triolet- A very weird champagne... almost oxidized like sherry, but not quite. Really interesting. about $25

Billecarte-Salmon Rose is yummy, but I'd prefer Dumont if its me paying.

Nicholas Feuillatte (sp?)- Good wine at its price point... but I'd take any of the above over it of given the choice.

Chandon's Napa stuff is not disagreeable either, and usually a good deal.

I too will weigh in with the Dom and Veuve hatin' crowd... not to my tastes at all... as a matter of fact, downright disagreeable to my digestive system... feels like the acids and sulfur will eat straight through me.

I've had the Iron Horse in several of its incarnations, but it hasn't done much for me.l... ditto Taittinger, ditto Roederer french (even the Cristal), ditto Mumms, ditto Delbeck...

Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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  • 1 month later...

Let me give an European point of view:

White Star, which seems to be quite common in the US, it is hardly on the market in Europe. The comparable standard is the Brut Imperial, more or lest the cheapest among the decent NV bottles.

At that expense level, I much better like: Billecart Salmon Brut (normal one, white etiquette, my favourite and standard NV); Ruinart Brut; Nicolas Feuillatte.

Cristal is in my opinion a little bit overrated, as most of the Dom Perignon vintages. At that level, I prefer the strong taste of Krug. But once in this price category, I prefer to have millesimées, vintage bottles: apart from the better known, already mentioned, DP and Cristal, it goes up towards Taittinger Comtes de Champagne, Perrier Jouet Cuvèe Belle Epoque (two relatively "common" bottles), Billecart Cuvée Nicolas Billecart, Joel Morizet Millesimée, Dom Ruinart...

At the top: Krug Clos du Mesnil and Jacques Selosse. This latter is my favourite, the last I had was 2000. However, in Europe the NV is hard to find outside France, while the vintage is around 250 - 300 euros a bottle, more or less the most expensive hampagne at all.

Finally, may I suggest two alternatives, coming out from the Italian Franciacorta region. I imagine they will be hard to find in the US, but they equal the absolutely best Champagnes and cost about five times less, at least in Europe: "Cà del Bosco Cuvée Anna Maria Clementi" 1990 or 1993; "Franciacorta Uberti Magnificentia", last is 2000, but 1999 was great.

Maybe, a "Franciacorta Cavalleri Brut" is easier to find, and as good as any NV Champagne and some more commercial vintages.

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H. BILLIOT (non vintage is very fine and so is the 1996 Vintage)

AGRAPART (non vintage and 1996 vintage Brut)

ROGER POUILLON "Fleur de Mareuil"




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  • 1 year later...

Piper Heidseick NV Brut & Taittinger Brut Reserve are my personal choices as every day champagnes (I just love saying "every day Champagne").

Weighing in on the "Tete de Cuvee" issue I think Dom, Cristal et al are all more expensive than they deserve to be based on taste HOWEVER this is a classic free market system whereby the demand for these exclusive brands fuels the price.

When people stop paying $200 for these wines the price will come down but as long as folks keep shelling out the price will stay where it is.

''Wine is a beverage to enjoy with your meal, with good conversation, if it's too expensive all you talk about is the wine.'' Bill Bowers - The Captain's Tavern, Miami

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just to add an endorsement: Deutz. 

if i'm going NM, that's where i'm going, at least in my own house.

as noted here and above in this thread, there's the wonderful domestic curiosities everyone should try: Argyle, Mountain Dome, Gruet.

I like Deutz too. For some reason I'm drawn to Bollinger NV as my favorite NM though. Its the Bond thing, I think. Pol Roger is a close second, simply because if it was good enough for Winston Churchill to drink every evening, its good enough for me, but I prefer their vintages over the NV.

I'm not familiar with Mountain Dome. I need to try it.

2roost, I'm working on us doing some sort of a Q&A with Piper Heidseick. Perhaps sometime in Feb or March, my contact over there in PR starts work in January.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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I'm not familiar with Mountain Dome. I need to try it.

produced on a mountaintop outside Spokane, Wash., by Michael Manz and his family. he's a child psychiatrist and just an amazingly nice guy. his commitment to French methods is really a pleasure, too. more on them here.

in addition to the winery, there is, in fact, a geodesic dome that lends its name.

sourcing can be a bit tricky on the right coast, but worth hunting down. NV is great, but if you can pick up a bottle of the '97 brut, it's got a real depth and balance to it. i just brought home some bottles of the 1990, a magnum of '94 and a bottle of their tete de cuvee.

Manz also just got licensed as the state's first distillery since Prohibition and is starting work on cognac-style and fruit brandies, as well as ratafia.

no immediate luck finding a list of tri-state retailers or distributors. best i found was the Pa. LCB, which isn't much help at all.

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