I love Champagne and for me, every Friday is Champagne Friday. Still, I don’t always want to break the bank buying my Friday Fizz. Here are three of my favorites priced under (Ok, just under) $30 per bottle. You’re welcome.
LOUIS SACY Brut Originel, Champagne, NV ($29.99)
A blend of 55% Pinot Noir with 30% Chardonnay and 15% Pinot Meunier aged 30 months en tirage (on the yeasts). Gold-straw in color and fully sparkling; dry, medium-light-bodied with fresh acidity. A yeast-fruit-and-mineral nose gives way to a crisp, fresh palate featuring citrus and a bit of red fruit accented by yeast and a sort of flinty minerality. Fresh and focused, it is best suited to be served as an aperitif or with the lightest seafoods. Perfect with oysters. With time in the glass, it layers in some richness and vinousity. BearScore: 91.
J.P. MARNIQUET Brut Tradition, Champagne, NV ($29.99)
An unusual sustainably-grown estate-bottled blend of 50% Pinot Meunier, 35% Chardonnay, and 15% Pinot Noir from an RM (recoltant manipulant) producer (aka a “Grower”) in the Valle de la Marne. No malo-lactic fermentation, over 3 years on yeasts, dosed to 6 grams-per-liter. Straw color, fully sparkling. Dry, medium-bodied with fresh acidity. Toasty-yeasty-biscuity with lively lemony citrus and some red fruit with limestone mineral and a hint of spice. Really very long finish . Delicious. Focused, fresh, alive-in-the-mouth but with good richness. I really like the biscuity taste. Yum. BearScore: 92.
BONNAIRE Brut Tradition, Champagne, NV ($29.99)
An estate-bottled blend of 30% Pinot Noir and 30% Pinot Meunier with 40% Chardonnay (from the villages of Oiry, Chouilly (Grand Cru), Cuis, Bergère-les-Vertus (Premier Cru), and Fossoy) fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks with full malo-lactic fermentation and aged 8 months before blending. Aged 30 months en tirage (on its yeasts) and dosed to 8 grams-per-liter (true Brut). Medium-gold-straw color. Fully sparkling; dry, medium-light-bodied with refreshing acidity. More “Chardonnay” in style than the blend might suggest (but this is a Cote de Blancs producer) with fresh citrus and some richer fruit to go with clean mineral earth and enough yeasty richness. More in the aperitif style but with enough character to handle some food. BearScore: 91+.