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Good Midpriced ($75 ish) champagne for holiday gifts

omotosando Dec 13, 2008 12:06 AM

Okay, it is that time of the year again, and clients must be gifted. In better economic times, I wouldn't have thought twice about that $125 bottle of champagne. This year something in the $50 - $75 range sounds right.

Anyone have any suggestions for the best bang for buck in this range?

  1. b
    Brad Ballinger Dec 13, 2008 08:06 AM

    NV Billecart-Salmon Brut Rose.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Brad Ballinger
      vickib Dec 13, 2008 11:37 AM

      yum

      1. re: Brad Ballinger
        invinotheresverde Dec 14, 2008 06:46 PM

        I need to move out of MA; that's a $100 bottle here.

        1. re: invinotheresverde
          b
          bubbles4me Dec 14, 2008 07:02 PM

          Ouch $100?! Less than $75 here in SoCal...but even for that price I would rather have the Camille Saves Brut Rose.

          1. re: bubbles4me
            omotosando Dec 14, 2008 08:26 PM

            Camille Saves Brut Rose sounds interesting and is well-priced. I had settled on the Tarlant Cuvee Louis Brut Prestige Champagne, but now I am reconsidering. Rose seems so festive for the new year.

            1. re: omotosando
              b
              bubbles4me Dec 16, 2008 09:15 AM

              I really like Tarlant but the Camille Saves Rose is a full on Rock Star. So Pinot Noir rich that it almost drinks like a Burgundy, expansive on the palate with a very long, full finish....oh yeah, and it's pretty too!

      2. BillB656 Dec 13, 2008 08:13 AM

        Just about anything imported by Terry Theise/Skurnik. Pierre Peters is a fave of mine.

        2 Replies
        1. re: BillB656
          vickib Dec 13, 2008 11:42 AM

          Don't know where you live, but in the LA area, I get P.Peters for less than $55 retail. And it's better than big names that cost more, IMHO. Also, Agrapart & Fils makes many delicious ones. They start at high $30's, and have some lovelies in your price range - Mineral is really good. I just gave a very short review on RH Coutier a day or so ago.
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/579701

          1. re: vickib
            BillB656 Dec 13, 2008 12:51 PM

            I'm in Phoenix metro, Vicki. Peters is around here for about that price as well. I haven''t had Agrapart but thanks for the tip. I love rocks in my wine.

        2. r
          RicRios Dec 13, 2008 08:21 AM

          Outside of your range, but on the good side:
          Heidsieck Monopole Blue Top $30

          FWIW, here's WS's opinion re. 07 release, still valid for the 08s:

          Elegant and expressive, this delivers floral, pear and toffee flavors matched to a creamy texture. Beautifully integrated, this lingers nicely on the mineral finish. Drink now through 2010. 35,000 cases imported. –BS
          Score: 91
          Release Price: $35

          Country: France
          Region: Champagne

          Issue: Oct 15, 2007

          Top 100 Wine
          Year: 2007 Rank: 77

          1. z
            zin1953 Dec 13, 2008 08:36 AM

            Obviously it depends upon what is available to you LOCALLY, in Los Angeles, but here are a few suggestions. All are between $50-$75, and are listed alphabetically.

            A. SOUTIRAN BLANC DE BLANCS NV BRUT CHAMPAGNE

            A. SOUTIRAN PERLE NOIRE GRAND CRU NV BRUT CHAMPAGNE

            Ayala 1999 Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
            Beaumont des Crayeres 2002 "Fleur Noire" Brut Blanc de Noirs Champagne
            Billecart Salmon nv Brut Reserve Champagne
            Billecart Salmon nv Brut Rosé Champagne
            Bollinger nv Brut "Special Cuvée" Champagne
            Canard Duchene 1999 Brut Champagne
            Charles Heidsieck nv Brut Réserve Champagne
            Delamotte 1999 Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne
            Egly Ouriet "Les Vignes de Vrigny" Brut Champagne
            Egly-Ouriet "Tradition Grand Cru" Brut Champagne
            Gaston Chiquet nv Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
            Gosset nv Brut "Grande Réserve" Champagne
            Joseph Perrier nv Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
            Larmandier-Bernier nv Brut Blanc de Blancs 1er Cru Champagne
            Perrier-Jouët nv "Blason de France" Brut Rose Champagne
            Pierre Gimonnet 2002 Brut 1er Cru "Fleuron" Champagne
            Pierre Gimonnet nv Brut 1er Cru "Cuis" Champagne
            Pierre Gimonnet 1999 Brut "Special Club" Champagne
            Pierre Peters nv Brut Blanc des Blancs Champagne
            Tarlant "Cuvée Louis" nv Brut Prestige Champagne
            Tarlant "La Vigne d'Antan" Blanc de Blancs Single Vineyard Extra Brut Champagne

            . . . and many, many more!

            Cheers,
            Jason

            1 Reply
            1. re: zin1953
              girobike Dec 13, 2008 12:45 PM

              Bravo!

            2. wineglas Dec 13, 2008 09:16 AM

              If you can find it go with Sparkling from Argyle

              the 1997 or 1998 Extended Tirage is better then any NV Champange I have tasted under $75. I can get it for $35 and is a highly rated Spectator wine.

              1. omotosando Dec 13, 2008 01:49 PM

                Thanks all. These are great suggestions. I am leaning toward the Tarlant Cuvee Louis Brut Prestige Champagne, which is available in L.A. at K & L Wines. Maybe I will even buy a bottle for myself!

                1 Reply
                1. re: omotosando
                  SteveTimko Dec 13, 2008 02:34 PM

                  I'm kind of late to the thread, but if it doesn't have to be Champagne, consider 2002 Huet Vouvray Petillant Brut, which is $28 a bottle at both Woodland Hills and Wine House. Yumm! Buy a bottle of that to check it out.

                2. m
                  mengathon Dec 13, 2008 10:24 PM

                  There are so many. Anything in the Theise/Skurnik collection is a good place to start. A couple of others not mentioned...

                  Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blancs
                  Jacquesson Cuvée 732 (? not sure what number is the current release)

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: mengathon
                    ibstatguy Dec 14, 2008 08:14 PM

                    third vote for the Theise imports

                  2. w
                    whiner Dec 14, 2008 04:45 AM

                    NV Billecart-Salmon Brut Rose
                    NV Billecart-Salmon Blanc de Blanc

                    1. invinotheresverde Dec 15, 2008 06:56 AM

                      I was pretty wowed by the Egly-Ouriet Extra Brut VP at a recent tasting. It was intensely biscuity and yeasty and just plain super good- best grower stuff I've had in a while.

                      I've seen it in your target price range in MA, but I don't know the sitch in your area.

                      1. Vinny Barbaresco Dec 15, 2008 10:12 PM

                        Diebolt-Vallois Blanc de Blancs

                        1. v
                          vinosnob Dec 16, 2008 10:27 AM

                          Bruno Gobillard Brut Vieilles Vignes - stunning, but might be out of your price range now since the dollar is so weak.

                          Or, since you live in Los Angeles, it might be worth your time to check out Wine Expo. They have a lot of grower/producer champagnes that you won't find at other retailers.

                          -----
                          Wine Expo
                          2933 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90404

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: vinosnob
                            omotosando Dec 16, 2008 11:19 PM

                            Just checked online. Bruno Gobillard Brut Vieilles Vignes seems to be about $70. So many choices. Christmas is next week - I had better get cracking and make a choice.

                            I've had mixed luck at Wine Expo - bought some champagnes there in the past that did not blow me away, even at $100 or so.

                            1. re: omotosando
                              z
                              zin1953 Dec 17, 2008 06:13 AM

                              Why? What was it about the Champagne that you did NOT like? What was it about the Champagne that you DID like?

                              Wine Expo has an excellent selection, but not everyone on the planet will love every wine made on the planet. If you can tell Roberto what it is you liked and disliked about "Wine X," he (or another member of the staff) will be able to make better (and better and better) recommendations . . .

                              The more a consumer can express his or her likes and dislikes, the more the recommendations the wine merchant will be based on YOUR taste and not their own . . .

                          2. Eugene Park Dec 16, 2008 06:16 PM

                            Dom Ruinart rose.

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