Are there any good, affordable champagnes you recommend?
While Champagne does start at an understandably higher price point than most wines, there are wonderful values spanning several styles available that won’t break the bank:
- VINTAGE: Veuve Clicquot, Vintage 2008 Rose ($89): Hand-crafted by the Chef de Caves, Dominique Demarville, and aged for 7+ years (same as Dom Perignon!), with grapes sourced from Grand Cru villages, including the famed Pinot Noir village of Bouzy – an incredible value.
- BLANC DE BLANCS: Ruinart, Blanc de Blancs, NV ($74): A Champagne composed of the most challenging and least planted grape in the region, Chardonnay. Grapes are primarily sourced from Premier Cru vineyards, meaning that of the 318 classified villages of Champagne, these plots are located in the 43 considered to be superior. Not only is Ruinart the first established Champagne house (1729!), it’s cellars, “crayeres”, are also UNESCO world heritage sites.
- GROWER: Chartogne-Taillet, “Sainte Anne”, NV ($40): An opportunity to taste a grower at a reasonable price point. Alexandre Chartogne sources from his 11 hectares (27 acres) of grapes in the village of Merfy, with a primary goal of letting the wines express the unique terroir of his plots, a skill honed while apprenticing in Burgundy.