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Domestic Bubbly Recs

TonyO Nov 20, 2007 04:58 PM

We enjoy Argyle Brut (just bought a 2002). The Argyle runs about $23. Any other favorites that represent good value ?

  1. d
    domaine547 Nov 20, 2007 05:26 PM

    I haven't had it but I've heard good things about Gruet. Also, Schramsberg...and Gloria Ferrer.

    2 Replies
    1. re: domaine547
      z
      zin1953 Nov 21, 2007 08:50 AM

      Gruet is perhaps the best of the "bargain" US-produced sparkling wines -- you can find in the the $12-13 range . . . not as great of a bargain as when it was $8.99, but still --

      Gloria Ferrer is one of California's best (as opposed to New Mexico's best) "bargain" methode champenoise wines -- you can often find their "regular" Brut and Blanc de Noirs for as little as $10.99 on sale. But it's their Royal Cuvee that is exceptional -- in the $24-27 range. (Note: they have a relatively new "reserve" sparkling wine, called "Carn Cuvee" -- it's approximately $60, and I've not had it.

      Schramsberg was great in the 1960s, hit a rough patch during the mid-1970s through 1990s, but is once again making very fine wines. Not very good value, though (IMHO). Their wines range from the mid-to-high $20s for their "regular" wines, to as much as $80 for their J. Schram top-of-the-line . . . clearly NOT bery good QPR.

      Cheers,
      Jason

      1. re: zin1953
        ibstatguy Nov 27, 2007 09:03 PM

        Jancis Robinson did a nice write up on Gruet a couple of months back; its a free read on her web page...

    2. w
      whiner Nov 21, 2007 12:14 AM

      I think Argyle Brut is one of th ebetter domestic sparklers.

      Mumm's Napa Blanc de Noir is one of the best deals going on domestic sparklers. I buy it buy the case at $11.80/bottle at Safeway whenever it goes on sale. Even at $20 (the normal price) it is a very good deal.

      All of Schmsberg's wines are good, but they can be a bit too pricey for what they are.

      Perhaps the best deal for a domestic sparkler is Soter Brut Rose of Pinot Noir. It is $50 -- not cheap. But it is a *GREAT* bottle of wine and worthy of consideration over a similarly priced Rose Champagne.

      3 Replies
      1. re: whiner
        maria lorraine Nov 26, 2007 04:00 PM

        The Mumm Napa bubblies are fantastic buys when on sale, as they will be shortly. Can't be beat at $12.

        The other great buy is the Roederer Estate Brut at $16, as mentioned below. That would be my first choice for bargain bubblies, though I have never seen it at that price. Now, of course, I'll have to keep my eyes peeled.

        Will have to try the Argyle as it is not on my radar. Anything above $23 and I turn toward the great buys in grower Champagne (capital C). Cheers.

        1. re: maria lorraine
          TonyO Nov 26, 2007 04:10 PM

          We had the 2002 Argyle Brut over the weekend. It really is a nicely done bubbly.

          1. re: TonyO
            z
            zin1953 Nov 26, 2007 05:46 PM

            Yes it is. Champagne, it's not. But Argyle makes wonderful sparkling wines . . . .

      2. scrappydog Nov 21, 2007 06:21 AM

        I like the Roeder Estate Brut (Anderson Valley). Picked up some last night for $15.99 on sale. The Rose is also good for a few dollars more.

        3 Replies
        1. re: scrappydog
          MMRuth Nov 21, 2007 06:22 AM

          I agree - and that's a good price!

          1. re: MMRuth
            scrappydog Nov 21, 2007 06:32 AM

            Yes, I have not seen it at that price for a while. Purchased at Bevmo in SOCAL, on sale for $6 off their regular price. Accordingly, it is widely available for that price in this area. Not sure how long the sale goes on.

            1. re: scrappydog
              MMRuth Nov 21, 2007 10:16 AM

              I know I paid less than $20 for it, but it's been a while since I've seen it at "your" price.

        2. LNG212 Nov 21, 2007 08:41 AM

          We've loved Glenora Brut (from upstate NY) and had it fairly regularly. Unfortunately, they weren't carrying it in the last few months at Vintage NY where we usually purchase these things. So we went with Chateau Frank Brut, also from the Finger Lakes region, and it was quite good too. Both are good values for under $30.

          5 Replies
          1. re: LNG212
            z
            zin1953 Nov 21, 2007 09:06 AM

            Really??? Hmmm, perhaps I'll have to try another bottle. Every time I've had Glenora, I've -- well, let's just say I've been really disappointed. It's been a couple of years though; perhaps I should try it again.

            1. re: zin1953
              LNG212 Nov 21, 2007 10:04 AM

              Well, the Glenora Brut was the only one of theirs we had. We've not had the rose or the fruit flavored ones. We liked the Brut. We thought it was light and crisp. But I'm not nearly the Connoisseur that you all are.

              1. re: LNG212
                z
                zin1953 Nov 21, 2007 11:00 AM

                connoisseur - schmonnoisseur . . .what's important is what YOU like!

                And I'll see if I can't find a bottle of Glenora to try again. Happy T-day!

            2. re: LNG212
              w
              WNYamateur Nov 21, 2007 10:34 AM

              Glenora also has a Very good Blanc de Noirs, made from Chardonnay & Pinot Noir. Such an interesting change of pace!!

              1. re: LNG212
                k
                kenito799 Dec 3, 2007 09:01 AM

                Second Chateau Frank Brut, in general they do spakling well. The vintage stuff ages nicely.

              2. truefoodie Nov 21, 2007 08:47 AM

                Not a huge fan of domestic bubblies but Schramberg's blanc de blanc(Trader Joes $22) and Roederer's Brut Rose (you'll have to look around or call Roederer) are both decent...
                I saw someone mention a wine in the $50 range and for my money, although not domestic, I'd go with the Veuve Cliquot Vintage Reserve for bubbles in the $50's - can not be beat!! As I recall J also makes some decent domestic bubblies. Enjoy!

                1. z
                  zin1953 Nov 21, 2007 09:04 AM

                  Argyle IS one of this country's best producers of methode champenoise/methode traditionelle sparkling wines.

                  By good value, are you looking for a particular price point, or merely for a wine that "outperforms" others in its price range? In other words, are you looking for a wine under, say $20, that's really good, or a great wine at (e.g.) $50 that's better than most $100 bottles?

                  Of the large(er) scale producers of methode champenoise/methode traditionelle sparkling wines in the US, the "best for the least" is the already mentioned Gruet and Gloria Ferrer. These can be had in the $11-13, and they're hard to beat.

                  The three best large(er) scale producers of methode champenoise/methode traditionelle sparkling wines in the US (regardless of price) are, IMHO, Roederer Estate in the Anderson Valley of California, Domaine Carneros in the Carneros District of California, and Argyle up in Oregon. (Well, it's "up" from where I live.) Across their respective lines, the quality is excellent.

                  This is the "right" time to buy, of course, as with the holidays coming up, many sparkling wines (AND true Champagnes) are available at their lowest prices of the year. Roederer Estate's wines, for example, generally run from the mid-$20s through the $50s or higher. But I've seen Roederer Estate L'Ermitage on sale for as low as $34.99. (That said, you can also find a lot of tasty French Champagnes in the mid-$30s, so it's more of a "personal taste" decision as to which you pick up this time of year.)

                  Then again, of the SMALL producers, I have no doubt that Equinox makes the finest sparkling wines in the US, period. That is, regardless of price. And while I can certainly find true Champagnes for the same or less, I find that Equinox remains a great value, even with its high price tag.

                  Cheers,
                  Jason

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: zin1953
                    TBird Nov 21, 2007 10:21 AM

                    "Argyle IS one of this country's best producers of methode champenoise/methode traditionelle sparkling wines." <--- agreed. you've started with the best!

                    1. re: TBird
                      TonyO Nov 21, 2007 03:23 PM

                      Thanks all. I think I will keep it simple and buy a few more Argyle. 2002 is supposed to be an exeptional year for their Brut. I have had other vintages that were excellent. Enjoy your holiday, one and all.

                      Tony O

                      1. re: TonyO
                        TBird Nov 26, 2007 11:03 AM

                        i served argyle brut at my wedding, at a california winery that wouldn't allow any other wines to be brought in, but had to concede since they did not make a sparkler. i was VERY happy with that little glitch. ;-)

                        1. re: TBird
                          l
                          Leonardo Nov 26, 2007 01:30 PM

                          Before I even saw the OP my answer was going to be Argyle also.
                          I was in their tasting room only a couple of weeks ago.

                  2. Frodnesor Nov 26, 2007 02:24 PM

                    Roederer Estate and Argyle are my favorites. I prefer them to the Gruet from New Mexico. I haven't had it recently but I've previously had a decent bubbly called Pacific Echo, also from Mendocino like Roederer.

                    1. d
                      davebough Nov 27, 2007 06:43 AM

                      Larry Mawby's Talismon Brut is under $30 and has been picked as one of the best 40 wines made in North America in a recent book. Seems like nobody outside of Michigan ever tries it. You can order from the vineyard.
                      dave
                      http://www.lmawby.com/buy/wines.asp

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: davebough
                        z
                        zin1953 Nov 27, 2007 10:17 AM

                        It is very nice, but my problem is that I can get "real" (true) Champange at that price.

                        YMMV.

                        1. re: zin1953
                          d
                          davebough Nov 29, 2007 06:35 AM

                          I agree Jason, and tend to drink Champagne in the $40-50 range. The question though was about domestic bubblies, not champagnes/
                          dave

                      2. w
                        whiner Nov 30, 2007 02:55 AM

                        Public Service Announcement: Mumm's Napa is currently $11.70 at Safeways in Northern CA.

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