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Inexpensive Sparklers

Posted: February 16th, 2016, 10:44 am
by I. Green
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.

Inexpensive Sparklers

Posted: February 16th, 2016, 1:32 pm
by Drew Goin
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!!!

Inexpensive Sparklers

Posted: February 16th, 2016, 2:07 pm
by JC J o u a s
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.

Inexpensive Sparklers

Posted: February 16th, 2016, 4:38 pm
by Eric Ifune
Some sparkling Vouvray is really nice.

Inexpensive Sparklers

Posted: April 28th, 2016, 2:18 am
by Jason T
If you liked the Roederer Estate I'd also take a look at their sparkling rose.

Inexpensive Sparklers

Posted: April 28th, 2016, 6:04 am
by Craig G
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.

Inexpensive Sparklers

Posted: December 13th, 2017, 12:26 pm
by Adam Z A K K A
Mionetto Prosecco is rock solid

Inexpensive Sparklers

Posted: December 18th, 2017, 3:03 am
by Ian Sutton
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).

Inexpensive Sparklers

Posted: December 21st, 2017, 11:32 pm
by Larry P
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.

Inexpensive Sparklers

Posted: December 22nd, 2017, 7:27 am
by Jeff Vaughan
Chidaine and Foreau sparkling Chenin Blanc. Delicious and less than $25.

Inexpensive Sparklers

Posted: January 10th, 2018, 3:08 pm
by Michael Klein
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.

Inexpensive Sparklers

Posted: January 10th, 2018, 4:06 pm
by Jeff Vaughan
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.

Inexpensive Sparklers

Posted: March 1st, 2018, 5:18 pm
by Brian S t o t t e r
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.

Inexpensive Sparklers

Posted: April 21st, 2018, 8:51 am
by fnaessens
Not sure if available in the US but:
JL denois brut tradition

Inexpensive Sparklers

Posted: April 29th, 2018, 3:31 pm
by Jonathan Sirot
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.

Inexpensive Sparklers

Posted: April 29th, 2018, 3:54 pm
by Gary Schulte
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 .

Inexpensive Sparklers

Posted: April 29th, 2018, 4:02 pm
by SBayard
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.

Inexpensive Sparklers

Posted: June 18th, 2018, 10:21 am
by Bob Kot
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!

Re: Inexpensive Sparklers

Posted: September 6th, 2018, 2:52 pm
by Mike Kuller
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.

Re: Inexpensive Sparklers

Posted: September 29th, 2018, 4:34 pm
by Jason T
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.

Re: Inexpensive Sparklers

Posted: March 9th, 2019, 1:30 pm
by Mark.Ricca
Cleto Chiarli Brut Rose.
100% Pinot Noir really well made. Fine sparkle, persistent bubbles. Great fruit/acidity balance.

Re: Inexpensive Sparklers

Posted: March 10th, 2019, 3:06 am
by Bdklein
Larry P wrote:
December 21st, 2017, 11:32 pm

Murgo from Sicily is excellent for the money.
+1

Re: Inexpensive Sparklers

Posted: April 11th, 2019, 2:59 pm
by J a y H a c k
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.

Re: Inexpensive Sparklers

Posted: April 12th, 2019, 8:34 am
by Jay $$ Winton
We drank a bottle of the Costco champagne last week. Chardonnay forward so a bit sweet but quite quaffable for $20.

Re: Inexpensive Sparklers

Posted: April 12th, 2019, 11:52 am
by Joe W i n o g r a d
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.

Re: Inexpensive Sparklers

Posted: April 14th, 2019, 8:39 am
by J. Rock
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