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Favorite NV Champagne?

What's your favorite best-bet nonvintage champagne, preferably under $40? I rather like Veuve-Clicquot, but it seems to get something of a bum rap this days. Thinking maybe I should branch out a bit.

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  1. Yellow label used to be my go-to, but for my palate, it's changed since the company was sold. It's not bad... just not what it was, and - for all of it -- a bit pricy. I prefer Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve. It's also a full-bodied NV, and feels better in my mouth. I can get it at Wine Library for $29.95. That's a qpr that's hard to beat. ;)

    1. If you want a bargain why not go with the metode champenois sparkling wines made in California by the French champagne companies? Domaine Chandon comes to mind. Cuvee Mumm isn't bad either.

      8 Replies
      1. re: kagemusha49

        I don't much like Moët's French NV offering, so I'm not particularly excited to try the domestic one. Maybe I'll give it a go, however. I've heard better things about Roederer's California sparkling. Any experience with that?

        1. re: Fozzie_Bear

          Haven't tried it but my basic point remains - any French champagne house selling a California Methode Champenoise has to maintain its reputation and standards - expect a relative bargain. Oh and IMHO I like the Moet California product better than its French NV counterpart.

          1. re: Fozzie_Bear

            The N.V. Roederer from Cali is outstanding for the price. 91 points in my opinion and for $15 hard to beat.

            1. re: wineglas1

              Wow. I live in CA and don't find Roederer for under $17 when on big deal sale. Often even sale price is over $20 and usually at $25 regular price. I agree though that it is best of the CA made French-owned sparklers, esp their more expensive bottlng.

              1. re: wineglas1

                Ditto on the Roederer quality, but around here the lowest it comes in at is $18 these days. more likely $21.

                1. re: ChefJune

                  Minnesota has some of the best prices on wine in the country on certain brands and the closeout deals are crazy in our market. I can't even post them it is so low on certain well known producers. I just picked up Mondavi Napa Cab 2008 for $14.44 which is the lowest price I have seen well over a decade.

              2. re: Fozzie_Bear

                You make a great point - wine is all about one's personal tastes, and their palates.

                If you like it, then what I, or others think, should be mostly discounted.

                In the end, it is about what YOU like. Do not be ashamed, whether it's Crystal, Dom Perignon, La Grand Dame, or others. It is about what you like best.

                Now, that does not mean that you will not like some small houses' offerings, but then, you might not.

                Personally, in the VC lineup, I like Yellow Label over most offerings of La Grand Dame, and I have many of those in my cellar, along with several vintage offerings for that house.

                Enjoy,

                Hunt

                1. re: Fozzie_Bear

                  Roederer is good and definitely a solid pick for the money. It's pretty big - lots of body, not as refined as a lot of bubbly out there. Toasty. But if that floats your boat and you're looking for an option that won't break the bank, it's a great one.

              3. One way to greatly improve Champagne (NV or Vintage) is to bottle age it for 6 months to 2 years. Producers have a habit of releasing wine early to help with thier cash flow but all quality wine benefits from a resting period after shipping. I've done this with Veuve, Henriot, Bollinger, Heidsieck, Guy Charlemagne, and others with positive results

                1 Reply
                1. re: KraTToR

                  Although Charles Heidsieck and Piper-Heidsieck are owned and made by the same company, their styles are quite dissimilar. The Charles is not released early. So if you're bottle aging that one, it's already been..... Not to say it can't improve.

                2. A few recent finds that I quite enjoyed last christmas.

                  Barnaut Blanc de Noirs Brut Champagne grand cru
                  and
                  Pascal Doquet Blanc de blancs Brut

                  they both are around $45 canadian pesos in Québec (all taxes included), so probably around $30 US pesos.

                  1. Launois "Quartz"
                    Franck Bonville
                    H. Billiot
                    Pierre Moncuit

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Brad Ballinger

                      I agree I too like Billot, especially the rosé.

                      1. re: cosmogrrl

                        Thank you for mentioning Franck Bonville. I especially love the Cuvée Les Belles Voyes Brut Blanc de Blancs.