If you’re unsure of what to bring to a holiday party this season, a nice bottle of Champagne will always do the trick.
We partnered with alcohol review site Under the Label to determine which bottles of bubbly are the best — and most affordable — picks.
All bottles on our list retail for less than $100 and are ranked according to Under The Label’s smart rating, a weighted average of scores given by 11 wine review publications and websites including Wine Spectator, Wine Advocate, and Wine Enthusiast.
Here are the best and most affordable sparkling wines to drink this season.
20. Argyle Extended Tirage Brut 2000 ($55.99)
The Argyle Extended Tirage hails from Oregon’s Willamette Valley. The sparkling wine’s aromas include “a revolving sense of red plum, apple pie, ripe pear fruit, blossom honey, graham cracker yeastiness” and, according to a taster, flavours of “beautifully intense layers of pear, caramel, spice and whole-grain toast that mingle seamlessly as the finish rolls on and on.”
19. Moet & Chandon Grand Vintage Brut 2002 ($79.99)
The Grand Vintage 2002 is the 69th from the Maison. It’s “mature, harmonious, and precise” with “toasty flavours, both sweet and dry” complemented by “warm notes of grain and frangipane along with toasted almonds and malt, mocha and light tobacco.” What follows the initial taste is notes of pear, candied citrus, plum, nectarine, and white peach.
18. Louis Roederer Brut Rosè 2010 ($74.99)
The bouquet of this 2010 Louis Roederer Rosè is intense and complex with fruity, floral, and mineral aromas and notes of gingerbread. It’s energetic yet elegant upon tasting; “an intense energy ‘interwoven’ with a rich, almost ‘proud’ material, accompanied by a swirl of velvety flavours.”
17. Schramsberg Brut Rose 2007 ($33.99)
The 2007 Schramsberg Rosè smells of strawberry, raspberry, and cherries complemented by mandarin orange and papaya. In the mouth, it has “exotic flavours of mango and cantaloupe, followed by mouthwatering citrus” ending with a “long, lingering” finish.
16. Gilt Deutz Cuvee William Brut 1998 ($89)
Aromas of the 1998 Gilt Deutz Cuveè are “reminiscent of baked apples, together with light and pleasant hints of preserved ginger and nutmeg.” To taste, it’s crisp with a rich and savoury finish.
15. Deutz Blanc De Blancs 2004 ($74.99)
Champagne Deutz’s well-respected house style is reflected in this Blanc de Blancs Champagne. Tasters say this bubbly is “firm and juicy, with a creamy mineral undercurrent to the flavours of yellow pear, light pastry, candied lemon zest, apricot and spice set on refined texture.”
14. Schramsberg J. Schram 2003 ($95)
The 2003 J. Schram has developed aromas of “lemon-lime, pineapple, baked pear, and orange marmalade” followed by sourdough, vanilla crème brûlée, and toasted marshmallow. On the palate, this vintage Champagne has a profile of “viscous, caramelised apple and citrus” and finishes with “a delicate minerality, a hint of warm almonds, and a lingering acidity.”
13. Roederer Estate L’Ermitage 2007 ($39.99)
The 2007 L’Ermitage has great notes of “tarte tain: baked apples and buttery crust, with notes of apricot and delicate vanilla bean.” To taste, it’s creamy with flavours of quince and bread crust.
12. Bollinger Brut Rose ($89.99)
This non-vintage Bollinger Rose is richly complex, with balanced acidity, and pale copper in colour. It has aromas of strawberries, raspberries, and toasty lees and is “full-bodied with a round flavour.”
11. Argyle Extended Tirage Brut 1998 ($62.99)
This 1998 Argyle Extended Tirage is harmonious and intense. In flavour, it exhibits “wave after wave of rich toast, spice, and baked apple” with an elegant finish.
10. Veuve Clicquot Rare Vintage In Cellar Box 1988 ($99)
This rare vintage Veuve Clicquot is 68% Pinot Noir and 32% Chardonnay with aromas of dried fruits and flowers with toast and brioche notes. On the palate, it’s “firm and well-structured, with masses of substance and refinement.”
9. Iron Horse Green Valley Chinese Cuveè 2004 ($99)
Iron Horse’s second vintage is this Chinese Cuveè in celebration of the Year of the Snake. It’s a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay with “wonderful complexity and creaminess” and is considered to be “remarkably dry, spicy, vibrant, and bright.”
8. Charles Heidsieck Vintage Brut 1995 ($64.99)
This sparkling wine has a deep complexity with “toasty, sweet, caramelised lemon and grapefruit aromas plus a wealth of grilled hazelnuts and sweet-smelling spicy accents.” On the tongue, the vintage brut is “smoky, savoury and has sherry-like nutty aged characters.”
7. Billecart-Salmon Cuveè Nicolas Francois Brut 2000 ($89)
This Billecart-Salmon cuveè is a mixture of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay developing a “balance between richness and persistence” with aromas of white flowers and subtle notes of brioche.
6. Argyle Extended Tirage Brut 2002 ($69.99)
Released in 2012, the Argyle Extended Tirage was aged a decade but remains fresh with “delicate layers of cut pear, shortbread cookie, flan, persimmon, quince, and funnel cake” and “flavours of crisp red pear, straw notes, and crusty baguette.”
5. Schramsberg J. Schram 2005 ($89.99)
The vintage J. Schram 2005 has a fresh aroma of green apple, ripe grapefruit, and pineapple followed by subtle notes of lemon custard, crème brûlée, and toasted hazelnut. To taste, the Champagne is layered with sweet and spicy flavours of candied ginger and lemon curd.
4. Charles Heidsieck Blanc Des Millenaires Brut 1990 ($84.99)
The 100% Chardonnay Blanc Des Millenaires has flavours of “honey, coffee, citrus confit and ginger notes” in its firm and grained texture.
3. Charles Heidsieck Vintage Brut 1990 ($71.99)
This “Reserve Charlie” is named after Champagne Charlie, the man who reportedly first brought Champagne to America. One taster said this vintage is “seamless from start to finish” with “fruit blossoms, citrus, honey and vanilla, creamy and pliant, finely integrated with the firm structure.”
2. Schramsberg J. Schram 2004 ($89.99)
To the nose, this 2004 J. Schram smells of fresh green apple, apricot, and lime with creamy vanilla custard and marzipan followed by fresh baguette. To the taste, it’s full of orange, melon, and lemon flavours accentuated by warm spices, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
1. Schramsberg J. Schram Rose 2004 ($71.99)
This unique rosè has rich aromas of blood orange and melon mixed with notes of raspberry spice and ruby grapefruit. Its finish is crisp and tangy with a “long, quenching acidity.”
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