Inexpensive Sparklers

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I. Green
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Inexpensive Sparklers

#1 Post 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.

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#2 Post 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!

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#3 Post 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.
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#4 Post by Eric Ifune »

Some sparkling Vouvray is really nice.

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#5 Post by Jason T »

If you liked the Roederer Estate I'd also take a look at their sparkling rose.
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#6 Post 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.
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#7 Post by Adam Z A K K A »

Mionetto Prosecco is rock solid

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#8 Post 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).
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#9 Post 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.
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#10 Post by Jeff Vaughan »

Chidaine and Foreau sparkling Chenin Blanc. Delicious and less than $25.
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#11 Post 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.

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#12 Post 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.
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#13 Post 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.
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#14 Post by fnaessens »

Not sure if available in the US but:
JL denois brut tradition
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#15 Post 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.

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#16 Post 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 .

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#17 Post 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.
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#18 Post 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!

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Re: Inexpensive Sparklers

#19 Post 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.
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#20 Post 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.
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Re: Inexpensive Sparklers

#21 Post by Mark.Ricca »

Cleto Chiarli Brut Rose.
100% Pinot Noir really well made. Fine sparkle, persistent bubbles. Great fruit/acidity balance.
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Re: Inexpensive Sparklers

#22 Post by Bdklein »

Larry P wrote: December 21st, 2017, 11:32 pm
Murgo from Sicily is excellent for the money.
+1
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#23 Post 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.
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#24 Post by Jay $$ Winton »

We drank a bottle of the Costco champagne last week. Chardonnay forward so a bit sweet but quite quaffable for $20.
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Re: Inexpensive Sparklers

#25 Post 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.
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Re: Inexpensive Sparklers

#26 Post 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
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Re: Inexpensive Sparklers

#27 Post by R0$$ M 0 R R 1 $ 0 N »

Faustino Rosado Cava is an excellent buy from Rioja.

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Re: Inexpensive Sparklers

#28 Post by Joe W i n o g r a d »

I had a chance to try Filipa Pato’s “3B” rose and BdB this week.

Both are under $20, totally dry, clean, and understated.

She makes these from traditional Portuguese grapes that I am not familiar with (the BdB is Maria Gomes, Bical, and Cercial and the rose is Baga and Bical) and gets precise flavors with none of the off-notes that sink so many entry level sparklers.

These make me want to buy a pallet and invite my 100 closest friends to party in the yard. (Not gonna happen anytime soon, but a guy can dream.)
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Re: Inexpensive Sparklers

#29 Post by John Glas »

For the price Mumm Brut Prestige is the best under $20. I have paid $13.99 recently.

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#30 Post by matthewgoldman »

I picked up a Carboniste Sparkling Albarino for $27.50 the other week. Not your normal one, but really enjoyed it. Sadly, no longer at the local shop! Good for that bit funky millennial-friendly wine ;)
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Re: Inexpensive Sparklers

#31 Post by PeterH »

Joe W i n o g r a d wrote: 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.
Our neighbor must have cases of that socked away. She gives us a bottle every holiday and birthday. It's drinkable, unlike most inexpensive sparklers that leave an aftertaste reminiscent of artificial sweeteners.
The best QPRs in sparkling wines we've had over the past few years have been Portuguese. Sorry I can't remember names, but availability is so sporadic it probably wouldn't help.
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Re: Inexpensive Sparklers

#32 Post by Joe W i n o g r a d »

I couldn’t agree more, Peter. See post #28 for a game-changer. 8^>
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