Inexpensive Sparklers

A section for those relatively new to wine, 'geeks in training', and for common wine topics
Post Reply
Message
Author
I. Green
Posts: 3
Joined: November 10th, 2014, 4:26 pm

Inexpensive Sparklers

#1 Post by I. Green » February 16th, 2016, 10:44 am

Getting into sparkling wine, but I don't have the money for the really top of the line stuff

I had a 2012 Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs about a week ago that really impressed me, for $24, and I've never yet had a sparkler that good.
Some sparklers that I've liked (though markedly less than that Schramsberg):
Lucien Albrecht Cremant d'Alsace Brut Rose
Dibon Cava
Castellroig Brut Cava
Gruet Blanc de Noirs NV
Roederer Estate - Brut NV
Nino Franco - Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Rustico NV
Scharffenberger - Sparkling NV

Some sparklers I found decent but a bit "meh":
Jaume Cristallino
Charles de Fere Blanc de blancs Brut
Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut
Cave L'aurance Cremant Rosé

Some sparklers that I don't like:
Korbel Brut (gave me a headache)
Cook's (gave me a headache)

What should I be taking a look at? Thanks.

User avatar
Drew Goin
Posts: 6471
Joined: January 18th, 2015, 4:45 pm

Inexpensive Sparklers

#2 Post by Drew Goin » February 16th, 2016, 1:32 pm

I am still trying to recall the Cava we sold back in 2005/6 when I was at the wine shop. Unfortunately, there are a million different ones!

It was like a Sumo wrestler ballerina!!!

User avatar
JC J o u a s
Posts: 151
Joined: July 29th, 2015, 11:21 am
Location: Sparkill, NY

Inexpensive Sparklers

#3 Post by JC J o u a s » February 16th, 2016, 2:07 pm

The cava that I fell in love with were those from Raventos i Blanc in both the L'Hereu and the De Nit bottlings. While prices have crept up a bit you can still find them in and around $20/btl retail.
Jean-Christophe

User avatar
Eric Ifune
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 3519
Joined: June 19th, 2009, 7:43 pm

Inexpensive Sparklers

#4 Post by Eric Ifune » February 16th, 2016, 4:38 pm

Some sparkling Vouvray is really nice.

User avatar
Jason T
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1915
Joined: June 8th, 2014, 7:45 am
Location: London

Inexpensive Sparklers

#5 Post by Jason T » April 28th, 2016, 2:18 am

If you liked the Roederer Estate I'd also take a look at their sparkling rose.
J@son Tr@ughber

User avatar
Craig G
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 14563
Joined: March 6th, 2011, 10:57 am
Location: Town of Cats

Inexpensive Sparklers

#6 Post by Craig G » April 28th, 2016, 6:04 am

If you liked Roederer, Scharffenberger and particularly Schramsberg, it's worth tasting through some of the other CA usual suspects like Domaine Carneros, Mumm and Chandon. I like the Carneros quite a bit but I usually go back to Roederer Estate Brut and Rosé. If you like the Schramsberg best of those above, I'm not sure if you'll find much better in that price range or below. I need to try it again. I liked it quite a bit when we visited but haven't had one recently.
“You need to look down to the bottom shelf where they keep the Fighting Cock” — Corey N.

C. Gle@son

Adam Z A K K A
Posts: 23
Joined: December 5th, 2017, 8:13 am

Inexpensive Sparklers

#7 Post by Adam Z A K K A » December 13th, 2017, 12:26 pm

Mionetto Prosecco is rock solid

User avatar
Ian Sutton
Posts: 5273
Joined: March 6th, 2014, 2:19 pm
Location: Norwich, UK

Inexpensive Sparklers

#8 Post by Ian Sutton » December 18th, 2017, 3:03 am

Eric Ifune wrote:Some sparkling Vouvray is really nice.
Yes, definitely worth trying. Unlike many other sparklers, it's not imitating Champagne, and you'll get a much more appley element to it. Pinon's version is the one we get (now in vintage rather than NV form - a local shop stocks it, so we buy what they can get). The NV used to give good complexity with 3-5+ years in the cellar. Price-wise it should be half the price of the Roederer, maybe even less.

Trento Brut worth a try if looking for another Champagne style wine, Ferrari the big name, with a broad range from ~ $25 up to ~ $100 (the latter has a decade sitting on the lees).
Normal for Norfolk

User avatar
Larry P
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 6803
Joined: June 21st, 2010, 3:13 pm
Location: Livermore, CA

Inexpensive Sparklers

#9 Post by Larry P » December 21st, 2017, 11:32 pm

Your "good" list is pretty good. From CA I'd add the Piper Sonoma Blanc de Noir.

Murgo from Sicily is excellent for the money.
P ! g g ! n s

"You keep me searching for a heart of gold" - Neil Young
"Metal heart, you're not worth a thing" - Cat Power

User avatar
Jeff Vaughan
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1322
Joined: January 22nd, 2013, 9:42 am
Location: Kennett Square, PA

Inexpensive Sparklers

#10 Post by Jeff Vaughan » December 22nd, 2017, 7:27 am

Chidaine and Foreau sparkling Chenin Blanc. Delicious and less than $25.
CT: outplaying

Michael Klein
Posts: 426
Joined: March 24th, 2015, 10:01 am

Inexpensive Sparklers

#11 Post by Michael Klein » January 10th, 2018, 3:08 pm

This is actually where my wife and I spend most our wine budget, by far. We buy a lot of champagne for the cellar, but our "everyday" wine tends to be Cava. We love it.

Some others that I would add to the list:

- Juve y Camps Reserva de la Familia - for under $20 (price recently went up a bit) I still think it's about as good as it gets.

- Gramona La Cuvee - Again, for under $20, about as good as it gets.

I go back and forth between the above two as favorites at that price.

For even less....(yes, we drink $10/btl wine)

- Frexinet
- Cordineau

I would call both of those good, to ok. More like ok. But.....way, way better than competing US wines at that price. And they are available most everywhere.

Anything more than $20, buy Champagne. It is markedly better starting at ~$30.

User avatar
Jeff Vaughan
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1322
Joined: January 22nd, 2013, 9:42 am
Location: Kennett Square, PA

Inexpensive Sparklers

#12 Post by Jeff Vaughan » January 10th, 2018, 4:06 pm

Michael Klein wrote:This is actually where my wife and I spend most our wine budget, by far. We buy a lot of champagne for the cellar, but our "everyday" wine tends to be Cava. We love it.
Weird timing. A half an hour ago I reached out to Rob Panzer at DTE Wines for more Chidaine and/or Foreau. He is out and suggested I try the Cava he sells - Pere Mata.
CT: outplaying

User avatar
Brian S t o t t e r
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 656
Joined: April 21st, 2015, 6:05 am
Location: St. Louis, MO
Contact:

Inexpensive Sparklers

#13 Post by Brian S t o t t e r » March 1st, 2018, 5:18 pm

If you can find Weingut Fitz-Ritter Sekt Trocken (sparkling riesling) I highly recommend it. Had it at an industry tasting today, on WS for $20 or less in most places. Amazing QPR.
CT: InZinity

2019 WOTY (so far):
1987 Dunn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain
1990 Chateau Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape
1993 Edmunds St. John Zinfandel Amador County

fnaessens
Posts: 3
Joined: August 31st, 2016, 1:02 am

Inexpensive Sparklers

#14 Post by fnaessens » April 21st, 2018, 8:51 am

Not sure if available in the US but:
JL denois brut tradition
Frederic

Jonathan Sirot
Posts: 804
Joined: April 15th, 2011, 8:37 am

Inexpensive Sparklers

#15 Post by Jonathan Sirot » April 29th, 2018, 3:31 pm

The 2014 Argyle Brut is very good and sells for 18-20 at most places . I have also had their extended tirage high end bottling which is pretty impressive.

Gary Schulte
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 2713
Joined: May 27th, 2010, 7:30 am
Location: Southeastern New England

Inexpensive Sparklers

#16 Post by Gary Schulte » April 29th, 2018, 3:54 pm

I would try some dry Lambruscos. Most are under $20 and can be had in red or rosé. There are berserker members that know these well and hopefully they chime in with nice choices to try. Every summer I like to have Cleto Chiarli's Vecchia Modena on hand for any occassion. My spouse discussed these in a couple of blog posts with links ..... http://enoviti-hanumangirl.blogspot.com ... =lambrusco .

SBayard
Posts: 4
Joined: September 30th, 2015, 10:39 pm

Inexpensive Sparklers

#17 Post by SBayard » April 29th, 2018, 4:02 pm

I've greatly enjoyed the blanc from Patrick Piuze called Val de Mer. It's grapes from just outside Chablis made into sparkling wine at his friend's estate in Champagne. Really minerally, delicate and one year in the cellar does wonders.
~~~
$uzy
ITB

Bob Kot
Posts: 41
Joined: September 7th, 2017, 5:19 am

Inexpensive Sparklers

#18 Post by Bob Kot » June 18th, 2018, 10:21 am

Several suggestions

• Aria Estate Brut Cava

• Zardetto Z Brut Prosecco DOC

• +90 Cellars Prosecco – Lot 50, probably 51-52 now

• Champy Sparking Wine Brut

• Jose Dhondt – Blanc De Blancs Brut


Cheers!

User avatar
Mike Kuller
Posts: 1610
Joined: April 17th, 2012, 2:59 pm
Location: East SF Bay Area

Re: Inexpensive Sparklers

#19 Post by Mike Kuller » September 6th, 2018, 2:52 pm

Roederer Brut ($17 at Costco) is our house favorite and their Brut Rose is a great alternative.

Next is the Graham Beck Brut Rose from South Africa around $20.
No Vino Sin Cojones

User avatar
Jason T
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1915
Joined: June 8th, 2014, 7:45 am
Location: London

Re: Inexpensive Sparklers

#20 Post by Jason T » September 29th, 2018, 4:34 pm

Jonathan Sirot wrote:
April 29th, 2018, 3:31 pm
The 2014 Argyle Brut is very good and sells for 18-20 at most places . I have also had their extended tirage high end bottling which is pretty impressive.
The 2015 Argyle Brut is fantastic for $20. May unseat Roederer as my house sparkler.
J@son Tr@ughber

User avatar
Mark.Ricca
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 3199
Joined: January 27th, 2009, 12:43 pm
Location: Central NJ got central heating and I'm alright...

Re: Inexpensive Sparklers

#21 Post by Mark.Ricca » March 9th, 2019, 1:30 pm

Cleto Chiarli Brut Rose.
100% Pinot Noir really well made. Fine sparkle, persistent bubbles. Great fruit/acidity balance.
ITB
"Bacon would improve the flavor of an angel"
"Outside of a dog a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read."
"We're a lot like licorice. Not everybody likes licorice, but the people who like licorice, really like licorice."

Bdklein
Posts: 4496
Joined: November 10th, 2013, 1:16 pm

Re: Inexpensive Sparklers

#22 Post by Bdklein » March 10th, 2019, 3:06 am

Larry P wrote:
December 21st, 2017, 11:32 pm

Murgo from Sicily is excellent for the money.
+1
Bruce Klein

User avatar
J a y H a c k
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 12659
Joined: May 29th, 2009, 9:59 am

Re: Inexpensive Sparklers

#23 Post by J a y H a c k » April 11th, 2019, 2:59 pm

Volage - Cremant de Loire made from Cabernet Franc. Very well received BLIND at a dinner of serious amateurs two weeks ago. Better that those that I have tasted except maybe the Albrecht, which I have not had in a while. Beats the pants off Korbel, Cooks, Freixenet, Zardetto, Minonetto and Gruet.
Yes, that's a DM of 1978 Mouton!

You can read my Financial Institutions Law Blog at https://www.gdblaw.com/blog?practiceID=4985.

User avatar
Jay $$ Winton
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 2730
Joined: June 1st, 2009, 5:21 pm
Location: University Park, MD/Rehoboth Beach, DE

Re: Inexpensive Sparklers

#24 Post by Jay $$ Winton » April 12th, 2019, 8:34 am

We drank a bottle of the Costco champagne last week. Chardonnay forward so a bit sweet but quite quaffable for $20.
Immaturity-my life, not my wine.

User avatar
Joe W i n o g r a d
Posts: 498
Joined: March 20th, 2013, 10:19 pm
Location: San Diego

Re: Inexpensive Sparklers

#25 Post by Joe W i n o g r a d » April 12th, 2019, 11:52 am

This is a category where I generally get the least satisfaction from bottom fishing.

However, the J Laurens Cremant de Limoux Brut is pretty good and for $14 beats anything else I’ve tried under $30.

J. Rock
Posts: 269
Joined: March 11th, 2019, 4:53 pm

Re: Inexpensive Sparklers

#26 Post by J. Rock » April 14th, 2019, 8:39 am

I'm in a similar boat, kind of. I love sparkling wine, but am always looking for good/great sparkers that are inexpensive enough to drink often or on a weekday.

Here are some good ones I've had for $30 or less (I think I found them all for $25 or less) along with a summary of my notes/thoughts (full disclosure: I prefer richer/fruitier/creamier/brioche-ier flavor profiles over crisp/minerality):
  • Gramona Imperial Brut Gran Reserva Cava 2011 - it's complex and has some good qualities (the yeast and almond flavors and the fairly foamy finish), but the bubbles open a bit stronger than I'd like and there's more minerality than I'd like, especially on the finish. I think someone that likes the traditional Cava grapes would enjoy this significantly more than I did, but it's not really the style I prefer. Still, this is good and has great complexity for the price. 86

    Parigot & Richard Crémant de Bourgogne Blanc de Blancs Brut NV [disgorged 8/18] - Very good or better mouth feel and solid, although fairly simple/generic, blanc de blanc flavor; fairly balanced. Enjoyable and good, but nothing special, other than the very good mouthfeel. ... gets foamier and a slight hint of cream as it opens up over time. 88

    La Perle Brut Cremant de Bourgogne (NV) - Really nice flavor profile, with good mix of fruit (lemon) and some flavors the I believe are from the lees/aging (yeast, almond, and a hint of smoke) ;no significantly noticeable minerality. Good perlage/mouthfeel (persistent but not aggressive) and nice acidity to keep it lively. 89
If you want to extend the budget a bit to get something nicer or for when you have company or something, I highly suggest the following Champagne, which can be found for $40 or less and punches well above its weight class.
  • Pierre Moncuit Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut (NV) - Really great. Very nice balance on the palate in terms of mouthfeel and flavor. Fine bubbles with an appropriate strength on the palate. The cream is the most noticeable flavor for me, although not exceptionally strong. Great foamy and creamy finish. There is some minerality, but it's balanced very nicely and adds complimentary element. 92
J o r d a n

R0$$ M 0 R R 1 $ 0 N
Posts: 89
Joined: December 30th, 2018, 8:08 am

Re: Inexpensive Sparklers

#27 Post by R0$$ M 0 R R 1 $ 0 N » May 1st, 2019, 4:51 am

Faustino Rosado Cava is an excellent buy from Rioja.

Post Reply

Return to “Wine 101: The Basics”