In the last few months, I’ve tasted a significant amount of sparkling wines including many Champagnes. Here are my impressions of the overall quality level of these highly sought (especially during the Holiday period) festive wines presently available at the SAQ.
For the past five years or more, I’ve been singing the same old song over and over : Champagne offers by far the worst quality-price ratio of any wine produced on this planet ! Many sparkling wines from other regions of France and other countries can be of equal if not better quality at much lower prices. It is well known that the region of Champagne is overproducing, unfortunately too many experts refuse to inform the public. Because overly high yields too many Champagnes dissatisfy the fan of good sparkling wine.
All the products recommended in this article have been crafted in the traditionnal Champagne method : a second fermentation in the bottle to produce a lovely creamy froth from tiny bulles.
Since most Champagnes are overpriced, it becomes obvious that seeking out sparkling wines from California, Alsace, Spain or Italy should be your priority during this upcoming Holiday season !
Ca’ del Bosco Cuvée Prestige 2012 Franciacorta, Italy 40,75 $ 11008024
This lovely sparkler was voted best in its category at the last Grande dégustation de Montréal. Lots of character for a such a light bodied wine. Complex nose with fruity and floral hints. Refined and charming, flavourful with good length. Excellent! Note : 92/100
Mumm Napa Brut Prestige California 30,75 $ 11442701
When compared to its Champagne counterpart, this well made California sparkler offers a much better quality-price ratio. Finesse, freshness with subtle satisfying flavours. An obvious crowd pleaser. Note : 89/100
Crémant d’Alsace Wolfberger, France 20,25 $ 732099
Might be the «best value sure bet» sparkler at the SAQ! Remarkably constant, this charming well crafted bubly offers great balance, good intensity and a creamy texture. Note : 88/100
Villa Conchi Seleccion Cava, Spain 18,95 $ 12728533
Intense nose displaying apple and petroleum scents reminiscent of Riesling. Lovely creamy froth, soft and velvety with lots of character and a satisfying lengthy finish. Great value! Note : 88/100
Codorniu Seleccion Raventos Brut Cava, Spain 17,30 $ 12206671
A perfect blend of international chardonnay (50%) with the local xarel-lo (50%) grape. Typical Spanish nose displaying toasted bread and petroleum scents. A fresh and flavorful sparkler with a seductive mouthfeel : delicate bubbles producing a creamy froth. Very well priced! Note : 88/100
CHAMPAGNES : two champagnes for those who wish to pay more!
Paul Goerg Blanc de Blancs 45,75 $ 11766597
Made from 100% chardonnay grapes. Complex and evolved nose displaying scents of toasted bread and green apple. A fresh and silky bubly that should satisfy the Champagne afficionado. Note : 88/100
Champagne Duval-Leroy Brut Rosé 55 $ 12666117
Beautiful pink-salmom colour. Lovely fruity nose with scents of pink grapefruit and green apple. This pink Champagne is velvety and a tad sweet (11 gr/l sugar) but remains fresh due to lively acidity. The fan of rosé champagne should be more than satisfied with this fine inexpensive effort from Duval-Leroy. Note : 89/100
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