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Celebrating Champagne: Category-Defying Selections from K&L - 12/23/2017 - Champagne

At K&L we pride ourselves on our remarkably wide and diverse selection of Champagne. From the big Champagne houses to the lesser known growers and everything in between, we have a special bottle of bubbly for every style and every taste. Central to our Champagne department’s success has been our direct import program. By working directly with producers like Lanouis, Baron-Fuenté, Franck Bonville, Louise Brison, Ariston Aspasie, Fallet-Dart and others, we’ve been able to source top-quality Champagnes at truly amazing prices. Common among all the producers we work with, is their singular commitment to produce Champagne that elevates the already high standards of this esteemed region. Assembled here is a hand-curated list of our top picks from our direct import program. Whether you are looking for a bottle to ring on the New Year, or some other special occasion, the Champagnes featured here are all sure-fire winners.

Vintage Item Name Score Retail Link
Ariston Aspasie Brut Rosé Champagne $34.99 View
Ariston Aspasie "Carte Blanche" Brut Champagne $27.99 View
Arthur Marc "Initiale Noir & Blanc" Brut Champagne $29.99 View
2008 Baron-Fuenté "Grand Millesime" Brut Champagne $29.99 View
Baron-Fuenté "Grande Réserve" Brut Champagne $23.99 View
Fallet-Dart "Grande Sélection" Brut Champagne $34.99 View
Franck Bonville Grand Cru Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne 91 $34.99 View
Jean-Jacques Lamoureux "Réserve" Brut Champagne $29.99 View
Launois "Cuvée Reserve" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne $34.99 View
2010 Louise Brison Brut Champagne $29.99 View
Maxime Toubart "Pur Meunier" Brut Champagne $39.99
Wine Club Price: $34.99.
Pierre Mineral "Vielle En Fut" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne (Mesnil Sous Bois) $39.99 View
Trudon "Monochrome" Brut Champagne $39.99
Wine Club Price: $34.99.

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Ariston Aspasie Brut Rosé Champagne ($34.99)

Our best deal in pink bubbles! Fans of Billecart-Salmon take note: this is an elegant, dry style that is made entirely from estate-grown fruit in Brouillet. This Champagne is a blend of half and half Pinot Noir and Meunier. The color comes from 12% Meunier that is vinified red, from an old-vine plot that gets quite ripe. It is a very pretty tarnished pink color and has a lazy bead from over five years of aging on the lees. Our current selection has a 2012 base wine. It has gorgeous red cherry fruit on the nose and mid-palate, but still finishes snappy and dry. The wine also has a nice mineral note on the finish, and I can't help thinking about all the fossils that I filled my pockets with in their vineyard while enjoying its long finish. Now with the Aspasie label. (Gary Westby, K&L Champagne Buyer)

Staff ImageDiana Turk | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 27, 2016

An electric rosé! Composed of 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Meunier, this expensively-made wine goes through carbonic maceration and the saignée method, with a little still red wine added in. The result is stunning: gorgeous wild berry fruit with delicate bead, bracing acidity and a clean, minerally finish.

Staff ImageKeith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 17, 2016

A perennial favorite, the rose does not disappoint on this go-round. Pretty raspberry and black cherry notes highlight the freshness and richness of the wine. Unbelievable quality at the price.

Staff ImageDavid Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 27, 2016

Just astonishing how delicious this is for the price. It hits every note you want from a rose champagne, both power and elegance, round and rich with great long structure, aromatic pinot fruit with a hint of savory spice. You could decant it and serve it with a filet mignon as easily as you'd serve it with your aper'eau. A triumph of wine making fit for the most frugal lover of bubbles and the most opulent spender alike.

Staff ImageGary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 03, 2015

Nobody in Champagne works harder on making a great rose than Paul-Vincent Ariston, owner of Champagne Aspasie, and no bottle that we carry is as outstanding of a bargain. Most producers either make a red wine to blend into their white or do a maceration of all the skins for a short time to make rose. Paul does both, as he likes the complexity that the maceration method brings to the wine, and the control that the addition of red wine offers. This isn't just a good deal, it is a Champagne of spectacular depth and character, that is also super easy to drink.

Staff ImageHeather Vander Wall | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 04, 2015

Lovely rose champagne from one of our favorite producers! With a pale coral color, this is a light bodied rose with hints of wild strawberry, vanilla, clove, and a gorgeous, creamy texture. Certainly one of my top rose champagne picks!

Staff ImageJeff Garneau | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 29, 2014

Always my favorite rosé champagne here at K&L. Drank it with Thanksgiving dinner this year. Quite dry with a pronounced red fruit character - crisp red apple and tart cherry. For die hard Pinot fans - 50/50 Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.

Staff ImageIllya Haase | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 26, 2012

This my friends is my go to Rose Champagne! Great acidity, intermingled with some bright cherry notes. Balanced minerality which is perfect for some salmon or Friday night sushi!

Staff ImageSarah Covey | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 29, 2011

Minerally, cranberry and tart- the perfect pairing with smoked salmon appetizers. The richness of the salmon would be outstanding with the crisp mineral zip of this fantastic rose. Another excellent demonstration of the care and passion that Ariston Aspasie and family put into their champagne. Drink deep- Happy New Year!

Staff ImageJacques Moreira | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 09, 2010

Profound and fun at the same time. Deliciously rich but still delicate, with an explosion of berry fruit. My first choice for a Lobster Bisque, hors d'oeuvre, sushi or to accompany a romantic sunset...

Staff ImageMari Keilman | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 25, 2010

The Ariston Aspasie rosé ($32.99) is such a richly impressive, full-bodied rosé made up of 50% pinot noir and 50% pinot meunier. 12% vinified still red pinot meunier is added to give this rosé its beautiful salmon color. What makes this rosé stand out amongst the crowd of trendy charlatans is the 5 years it is aged on its lees. The complexity, the richness, the layers of berry fruit balanced by vibrant acidity and lazy bubbles is matched by only a few lone standouts in a rosé world full of so many imposters.

Staff ImageDavid Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: July 13, 2009

This wine is always our answer to the Billecart Salmon, which by the way sells for more than twice as much. This is all about the red Ariston fruit and their champagnes are permanent staff picks. Cherry notes from the pinot noir, crisp and vibrant acidity and brioche flavors swirl together with delicate bubbles. Anyone care for some?

Staff ImageCindy Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 09, 2009

It blows my mind. $32.99, really? Small production grower rose champagne, aged on the lees for 5 years?? Are you sure, only $32.99? Beautiful to behold with its tawny pink color - and a joy to consume with layers of flavor and aroma. Enjoy alongside baked ham, herbed quiche - or even smoked almonds as an afternoon treat!

Staff ImageScott Beckerley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 26, 2008

Fresh off de boat! Just tried this last Saturday night (4th of July). Those of you who are fans, don't be confused by the new Aspasie label! It's the same wine you have loved for years! Loads of raspberry, strawberry and bing cherry fruit. Hints of minerality hit the tongue and make this a winner for those of you who like the Billecart-Salmon style at a greatly reduced price. We always sell out of this one!

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Ariston Aspasie "Carte Blanche" Brut Champagne ($27.99)

Don't let the low price fool you; this is a great bottle of Champagne. The Ariston Aspasie "Carte Blanche" is made of 40% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir and 30% Meunier. A balanced cuvée in every way, this Champagne is clean and powerful at once. It has a natural toasty quality from spending five full years on the lees, and plenty of refreshing zip from the far northern location of the vineyards. No bottle in our inventory transports me to Champagne like this one. It is as true to the terroir and as pure as anything I could wish for! You don't have to settle for sparkling wine when you can have great Champagne at this price! Our current selection has a 2010 base wine. (Gary Westby, K&L Champagne buyer)

Staff ImageAlex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 27, 2017

A great amount of effort and care goes into Aspasies Carte Blanche, and it is instantly clear when you taste it. Low temperature macerated in small volume, then lightly filtered and aged for at least five years on the lees, it is a true wonder that the cost is not much higher than it is. Bright, pure flavors of Anjou pear, granny smith apple, toasted pastry dough, and hisbiscus, with a light creamy texture and crisp acidity.

Staff ImageSal Rodriguez | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 27, 2017

Probably my most favorite champagne ever! When people call in asking for something delicious, fresh and easy to drink, and not a lot of money, this is the first thing I look for inventory on. I can always get behind this and know it will be a huge hit. This recent bottling comes across as a little more complex, with a little more richness than the last bottling. Don't get me wrong, it's still fresh, and bright, but there's a real mineral backbone to it. The mouth-feel is more substantial this time around and I can't help but think that it's growing into an even more serious version of itself. Incredible value!

Staff ImageShaun Green | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 27, 2017

Ever since I had this wine at my wedding in 2008, it has been getting more and more impressive. This current cuvee is the most amazing value yet in a truly first class Champagne. You owe it to yourself to try one if you haven't yet. My number one pick of Champagne values in the store!

Staff ImageDiana Turk | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 26, 2017

Just when I thought I couldnt love Aspasie more, they charm us at the annual Champagne Tent Event AND make improvements to their production facilities that send Carte Blanche over the top in elegance and quality. The current release of Carte Blanche still spends five years on the lees, and has the biscuity notes to prove it, but shows even crisper acidity. Paul-Vincent Ariston is committed to making exceptional entry level wine, and theres no doubt hes accomplished that here. A traditional cépage of 40% Chardonnay and 30% each of Pinot Noir and Meunier, the Carte Blanche shows apple and crunchy pear fruit, tempered by underlying chalky notes, mousse texture, and a toasty finish. This is a bright spot in our DI Champagne line up both figuratively and stylistically and I love turning savvy drinkers on to this value-driven, family-owned favorite.

Staff ImageJordan Stone | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 26, 2017

The "Carte Blanche" Ariston Aspasie bottling is a mere $27.99 for real Champagne. This allows you to buy well crafted Champagne that is made within the strict rules of the Champagne region at a very reasonable price. This Champagne has richness but is very light in feel. Nice green apple flavors, brioche and vanilla bean, chalky with a mousse texture. Just lovely.

Staff ImageMuriel Sarik | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 24, 2017

This Champagne is TRUE value and TRUE pleasure! The work and time spent on making this alone is worth more than $27.99. It shows aromas of sourdough yeast and crisp green apple on the palate. The price allows one to buy a case for all the celebrating to be done from now until next year.

Staff ImageRalph Sands | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 23, 2017

This is absolutely incredible Champagne for the money! Deeply flavored, intense and powerful it is in the style of Bollinger and Krug at nowhere near the price and I love that!

Staff ImageDoug Burress | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 22, 2017

Caroline and Paul-Vincent Ariston rank up there with some of the best people I know in the world. Their Champagnes rank up there as one of my favorite wines at K & L. In my house we have to have a case on hand of the Carte Blanche at all times. The Aristons facility is ultra-modern, employing a super efficient diagonal press & temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. On my trip to Champagne this was by far my favorite place to visit, and I made friends for life. The current release of the Carte Blanche is fresh and youthful. It provides fresh baked apples and a toasty quality that I attribute to the terroir of the Aristons surrounding land and air. One sip and I am reminded of this wonderful place and that great Champagne does not have to cost a fortune.

Staff ImageCindy Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 22, 2017

January is freedom. Freedom from the holiday hustle, freedom from all the rich food, freedom from the in-laws. Celebrate your freedom with one of the best Champagne values in town, Aspasie Carte Blanche. Thanks to the investment in a fancy Coquard grape press, and thermo-regulated fermentation tanks, the quality of this Champagne has never been better! So as you come out of the holiday haze into some lighter eating, more fresh-air and a bit of financial frugality, look no further than this crazy good value packed bottle from our friends the Aristons - at Champagne House Aspasie!

Staff ImageGreg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 22, 2017

I've always been a fan of this wine since we started bringing it in way back in 2001. It's always been the top price performer for the price point, but when I tasted the latest batch I did a double take. I had to ask Gary Westby if he had poured me the right wine, and he nodded at me and said ya, you figured it out, this batch is out of this world! There isn't a Champagne around that can compete at this price point with the Carte Blanche, layers of complex brioche, wonderful aromatics...wow.

Staff ImageScott Beckerley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 22, 2017

Excellent bubbles at an excellent price! For those of you who like Veuve Clicquot, this effort from Ariston has ample yeast and toast but, not too much. Golden apple fruit and hints of caramel and vanilla. Great by itself or with chicken, salmon or pork. Update: 12/22/2017-As is standard with this gem, it still has that bread dough, yeast and toast quality but, this latest version has a nice hint of zippy acidity, minerals, and lemon curd. Also, still retains that caramel and vanilla bean background. Buy some to drink and some to lay down for a year or so. The caramel comes out even more as it ages!

Staff ImageHeather Vander Wall | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 22, 2017

If you ask any K&L staff member for a champagne recommendation, this is most likely the bottle they will instinctively reach for. Why? Because this is the wine that time and again has graced our own tables, marked our celebrations, and found its way, more often than not, into our weekly wine diet. This is undeniably one of the best values for true champagne that we offer. The wine is both approachable and layered, with distinctive toast and brioche notes complementing the orchard fruit on the palate. Whether you need some bubbles for your dinner tonight, you want to gift a friend with something special, or you're celebrating with your family, you really can't go wrong with this wine. Enjoy with us!

Staff ImageRyan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 22, 2017

***Update: One of the best Champagnes in the store just got even better! Many years ago the Ariston family made significant investments in their family winery including a new press and temp controlled fermentation tanks. As with many things in life good things take time and so finally after 5 years resting on the lees, the latest batch of Aspasie Carte Blanche contains base wines crafted after the winery made these improvements. All this means a wine that was always one of the best QPRs in the store is now even more pure and polished than ever.***

Staff ImageDavid Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 22, 2017

I know what you might be thinking: "I've had the Ariston Aspasie Carte Blanche dozens of times at this point." I've consumed at least 100 bottles of this in my 10 years at K&L, but unless you've bought a bottle post-November 2017 then you haven't had the new and improved Carte Blanche. You can look at my colleague Gary Westby's review for the technical details, but the short version is that the technological advancements put into place six years ago at Aspasie are just now showing up in the bottle, after five years of lees aging. If you thought you were getting a bargain for a sub-$30 Champagne before, you're getting a better version today. The control that the Aspasies have over the fermentation and pressing now results in a much fresher wine. More dynamic on the palate, cleaner on the finish, and livelier in every way, my most recent experience with the Carte Blanche was like drinking it again for the first time. If it's been a while since your last bottle of Aspasie Carte Blanche, you may want to consider revisiting this soon.

Staff ImageGary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 22, 2017

I can't think of a single bottle of Champagne at K&L that has brought me such consistent pleasure as the Ariston Aspasie Carte Blanche. The Ariston family has worked very hard to deliver this great bottle to the Champagne lovers of the world. Most producers age their Champagne for less than three years in the bottle before shipping, but the Carte Blanche gets five years. It is entirely estate grown by one of the most careful growers in the business. On top of all that it is made in one of the most modern facilities of any small producer that I have visited. The pressing is done in a 1/4 million euro Coquard diaganol press and the fermentation is all done in computer regulated temperature controlled tanks. The result is one of the best aperitif bottles that we sell; toasty and full, yet refreshing and crisp, a perfect balance between aged complexity and youthful vigor. And then there is the price--so fair that Cinnamon and I have had the opportunity to impact the world supply with our consumption! Don't miss it.

Staff ImageDavid Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 27, 2016

A great mousse, clean apple, subtle cherry. Lovely freshness with a distinct bready top note. Rare to find a better value than this in Champagne, the Ariston's commitment to quality is second to none and thanks to our DI relationship, we're selling this at Cremant prices!

Staff ImageMari Keilman | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 03, 2015

The rich, deep, golden yellow color of the Ariston Aspasie Carte Blanche is a tiny hint at the expressive, and explosive purity fruit that lies within this cuvee of 40% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir and 30% Meunier. Very few Champagnes have the amount of chalky minerality that is present in the Carte Blanche, let alone a cuvee that is priced less than $30! Whats even more impressive than the amount of minerality is the broad, rich texture that lets everyone know how perfectly this Champagne with pair with foods of all fairs.

Staff ImageJim Barr | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 14, 2014

It is remarkable to me, and to much of our wine staff, some of the unique, profoundly produced Champagnes from the small producers that Gary Westby, our Champagne Wine Buyer, has discovered over the last decade. Virtually all of these producers, including the Aristons, are making sparkling wine strictly from estate fruit from Grand Cru recognized vineyard sites, and in small lots. As with any small producer, these wines are hands-on creations that are given extensive individual attention and long term aging before being disgorged. The Ariston Carte Blanches exquisite, superb quality is at a mind boggling low price vis-à-vis its style and complexity. Rich and authoritative both on its nutty, doughy yeasty nose and in the mouth, the very fine mousse leads to an amazingly rich, full style brut, with a long, intense finish. Some of you will probably not enjoy this Gem, due to the fact that you have gotten use to flavorless, bulk productions from the international, well-known, simply made name brands, but for those of you that seek complexity and profoundness in your Champagne, you will not find one even close in quality to this Gem at this price. The Guys (Rusty, Eby, The Beaner, and Rizzo) have forcefully made this our house sparkling wine forever. Don't be afraid to age this wonderful Champagne; it will only keep getting better. ABV 12%

Staff ImageJeff Garneau | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 02, 2014

I think the Ariston Aspasie Carte Blanche Brut was one of the first grower-producer Champagnes I ever purchased from K&L. It remains to this day our best value in Champagne, and a superb introduction to the grower producer (RM) Champagnes. If your usual Champagne experience is Veuve Clicquot or Moet & Chandon, you owe it to yourself to try the Carte Blanche from Paul-Vincent Ariston. With roughly equal parts of the three classic Champagne grapes, and a retail price comfortably south of $30, this is a no-brainer. Open a bottle for no reason in the middle of the week. You'll feel like royalty.

Staff ImageJoe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 07, 2014

Carte Blanche is always tasty, a Champagne with a soft bead, nice toast, crowd appeal and great value. This current batch, though, based on the very strong 2008 vintage, is impressive. Brighter than usual, with great purity and tasty fruit, easily the most impressive batch we have received. I'd be happy with this at $40, but for $28 it's one of our great values right now.

Staff ImageJohn Majeski | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 02, 2013

Vines have been cultivated on this tiny property in the hamlet of Brouillet for five generations, and it has remained a customer and staff favorite here for several years. Yeasty, full and complex, the Carte Blanche exhibits a fine intensely-focused bead with lively notes of tart apples, dried hazelnuts, vanilla and toast, all in all a remarkably well-built Brut that will compare well to cuvées at double the price. It is perfect for entertaining.

Staff ImageIllya Haase | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 27, 2012

This is my kind of Champagne! Toasty, yeasty, and dry. The price speaks for itself! We are so lucky to get great champagne at sparkling wine prices!

Staff ImageJim Boyce | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 26, 2012

A great toasty, rich, dry brut to serve at any occasion, be it with food or without. Clean and pure, this is well balanced champagne with great apple and nut notes at an unbelievable price.

Staff ImageKirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: July 29, 2011

This is the go to value Champagne here at K&L. Dry, toasty with subtle fruit notes. Everything you want from Champagne except for the price tag!

Staff ImageMike Parres | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 18, 2011

This is made of 40% chardonnay, 30% pinot noir and 30% meunier. Bone dry,with good complexity & GREAT price.

Staff ImageGary Lai | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 06, 2010

Yes, this is it! A balanced Champagne not too light, nor yeasty. This is an elegant bubbly tasting just right on the palate. For the price, this is clearly a winner! Drink one tonight and keep another bottle on stand-by, for special occasions!

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Arthur Marc "Initiale Noir & Blanc" Brut Champagne ($29.99)

This Champagne is composed of even parts Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the Marc estate in Fleury-la-Riviere. located in the heart of the Marne valley. The wine does not go through malolactic fermentation and is aged a minimum of three years on the lees. This elegant, restrained Champagne is dry and has the pin-point streamer of bubbles that fans of the expensive stuff love. The nose has the honest baguette toast of long ageing and the finish is citric and bracing. At the price, it is a no-brainer to try at least once! (Gary Westby, K&L Champagne Buyer)

Staff ImageRyan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 05, 2015

Really impressive new producer...you have to tate it to believe the quality at this price...do not miss this one.

Staff ImageGary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 09, 2015

Our best new producer, Arthur Marc makes great Champagne entirely from their estate in the Marne. They are located in the beautiful village of Fleury-la-Riviere with heritage in the region going back 12 generations... All the way to the 1600's! This wine is an even blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir that is aged for three years on the lees. It is excellent as an aperitif, as it is bracing and dry without being austere.

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2008 Baron-Fuenté "Grand Millesime" Brut Champagne ($29.99)

Baron-Fuenté is a négociant that owns almost 90 acres of vines and purchases another 90 acres "sur pied," meaning that they pick the grapes. This is an important distinction since many négociants buy "sur lattes," meaning in bottle! The Grand Millésimé is a blend of 45% Chardonnay, 40% Meunier and 15% Pinot Noir that spent more than seven years on the lees.

Staff ImageMorgan Laurie | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 10, 2017

A vintage Champagne for $29.99, from a highly lauded vintage no less?! Yes, you read that right. This wine is drinking excellently now but is also a bottle you could lay down for years to come. It's showing some delicious toasty, creamy qualities on the palate while maintaining mouth-watering acidity and freshness. It has an almost creme fraiche like note on the nose along with freshly pressed apple juice, caramel covered almonds, and butterscotch cheesecake. Just a spectacular showing and a bottle I'd like to see evolve over time. And while I'm waiting, I'll just have to grab a couple of bottles to drink in the meantime.

Staff ImageGary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 05, 2017

This is a very special bottle of vintage Champagne. For many years now, the Baron Fuente Millesime has been one of the greatest values in the entire category. The 2008 is certainly the very best vintage we have had from them.. Even better than the great 1996! Like past vintages, this has great richness and toast from a nice long rest on the lees, and fine power from their great estate vineyards. The great 2008 vintage has added an electric length and profound minerality to this wine that is rare in Champagne at any price, and almost unheard of at this price! Take a case... You won't regret it!

Staff ImageRachel Vogel | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 17, 2017

I have been lucky enough to try the few 2008 vintage Champagnes we have in the store, and all have impressed me with their exceptional quality and their ability to cellar. The 40% of Pinot Meunier also makes me love this bottle! I always find PM adds elegant aromatics and suppleness to champagnes which molds well into the high acid of the 2008 vintage. A small bit of Pinot Noir adds extra body and texture while the majority of Chardonnay brings those fresh green apple and citrus notes. The mid palate is long and lean while the black fruit adds weight and texture to the side palate. Elegant and impressive.

Staff ImageChristina Stanley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 09, 2017

This Champagne offers richly concentrated flavor and power, with aromas of toasted hazlenut, dried golden apple and sultanas. The palate is bright and dry, with lively flavors of meyer lemon and chalky mineral, but the real surprise is in the luscious finish! Suddenly cocoa and baking spices take the forefront. It is thrilling to become acquainted with the Grand Millesime, and even more thrilling under thirty dollars.

Staff ImageAndrew Stevens | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 08, 2017

I am so happy vintage Baron Fuente is back!!! Seriously these wines are insane, vintage champagne for under $30 and not just any vintage, but the great 2008 vintage! Baron Fuente does a lot with Meunier, and although this blend is only 40% Meunier and 45% Chardonnay and the rest Pinot Noir. there is the classic rich nutty notes that I love in these wines. Floral, almond, and vanilla are all at play here with the high acid one would expect from this vintage to play against the richness of the fruit. A wonderful finish helps to draw this delightful wine to a close and ensures me that this will be a wine to buy more than one of because I may go through it fairly quickly.

Staff ImageJoe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 07, 2017

Yet another direct import 2008 vintage Champagne for a laughably low price, the Baron Fuente is not only from a great vintage, but also consists of 100% estate grown fruit (for added context, you are likely to pay at least 2.5x as much for a larger grande marque's vintage wine, consisting of large amounts of purchased fruit). Big, bright, golden fruit along with brioche/challah dough nuances combine for a delicious Champagne that should please lots of folks for drinking now, though with a recent disgorgement and at just 9 years young, it should drink well for quite some time.

Staff ImageStefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 07, 2017

Vintage Champagne can be difficult to come across as it accounts for less than 5% of production, so when you find a vintage bottling this delicious, that makes it all the more special. K&L Champagne buyer Gary Westby introduced me to Baron Fuente and it was a light bulb moment in how complex and interesting vintage Champagnes can be. This bottling is a unique blend of estate fruit (which is rare for a house this size) made of 45% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Meunier, and 15% Pinot Noir. This is a delicious balance and a great value for a vintage Champagne.

Staff ImageSal Rodriguez | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 06, 2017

It's not easy to purchase a bottle of vintage Champagne for anywhere near this price! Baron Fuente, a small producer we've been highly focused on for many years, has offered up some of the best values in Champagne-dom. Lots of intensity on the nose, full of baking spice and apple skins. Lovely intensity and wonderfully creamy on the palate. Although it's dry it has a round, medium weight body and presence that is not typical for Brut. The finish has hints of fresh spiced mango. What a tremendous value!

Staff ImageShaun Green | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 06, 2017

I probably don't have to tell you that the '08 vintage is one of the best lately, and I think my favorite for this Champagne ever. It shows a lovely nutty and leesy nose and a rich stone fruit palate - lovely balance and a fantastic wet stone note. Full and rich and balanced with a fantastic crisp finish, it's a credit to its vintage!

Staff ImageAlex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 10, 2016

Baron Fuentes latest vintage release is causing excitement among K&L staffers! It displays the opulent rich ripeness afforded by the warm, dry finish to the growing season, but with a vibrant freshness that animates the wine! Mineral driven with lively citrus and stone fruit flavors, it has classic Champagne balance and structure that I plan on revisiting as many times as possible given its remarkably low price-point!

Staff ImageScott Beckerley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 09, 2016

I just tasted a sample bottle of this last night (9/8/2016) and it is magnificent! It is clean and crisp with a long finish and a core of apples, cream and notes. Lemon meringue and nectarine on the finish. This is a SUPER bargain, so don't miss it. One of the BEST vintages since 1996. It is on its way folks, so please be patient! One of the benefits of tasting a preview bottle. It will sell out quickly!

Staff ImageDavid Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 24, 2016

Another stupendous value from the magicians at Baron Fuente, this magically little bottle should embarrass most grand marque producers releasing lesser wine for 2 or 3 times the price. The nose has fresh nuts, strong stone fruit and yellow flowers (honeysuckles!). The palate shows exceptional balance with extreme focus revolving around citrus and stone fruits again, but with a freshness that can't go unnoticed. Supremely drinkable, but still taught hinting at wonderful potential in the cellar. Early proof that 2008 was truly the special vintage that was promised.

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Baron-Fuenté "Grande Réserve" Brut Champagne ($23.99)

Vinous: "Light gold. Fresh melon, orange and peach on the fruity nose and in the mouth. Supple and broad on the palate, showing a hint of warmth on the back half. In an easygoing style, finishig with gentle cut and good length. (JR)" (01/2015)

Wine & Spirits: "Broad and Cognac-like in its scent, this has an earthy bitterness that pushes back with gingery spice. Its rich enough to stand up to Shanghai soup dumplings." (12/2016)

Wine Enthusiast: "This is the producers nonvintage cuvéea crisp, apple-flavored wine dominated by the softness of Pinot Meunier. Its fruity with an attractive and zesty acidity. A great apéritifstyle Champagne. (RV)" (06/2017)

Wine Spectator: "A firm bead and lively acidity structure this broad bubbly, with tightly knit flavors of white raspberry, candied lemon zest, pickled ginger and salted almond. (AN)" (08/2014)

K&L Notes: Baron-Fuenté is a négociant that owns almost 90 acres of vines and purchases another 90 acres "sur pied," meaning that they pick the grapes. This is an important distinction since many négociants buy "sur lattes," meaning in bottle! This delicious Champagne is composed of 10% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay and 60% Meunier and had been aged three years on the lees. It is fermented at relatively cold temperatures in stainless steel with 100% malolactic fermentation. The wine has a very light, white-gold color for the blend, which is predominantly black grapes and a very pretty, tight bead. On the nose it is flowery and exotic, with a doughy richness to anchor down the wildflower elements. On the palate the wine is well balanced, light and finishes very cleanly. This Champagne is a spectacular aperitif. The current batch is 40% reserve wines and dosed at 10 grams per liter. (Gary Westby, K&L Champagne buyer)

Blake Conklin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 10, 2017

You probably won't find a good quality champagne at this price anywhere else, and on top of that, this champagne is actually fantastic! You want to bring champagne to a party, celebration, or dinner party, but don't wanna spend more than 25 bucks? Then this is the champagne for you!

Staff ImageScott Beckerley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 10, 2016

Surprisingly, for such a blend of dark grapes, this is very light in coloralmost a light straw. On the nose it starts out light and pretty with aspects of fresh-cut flowers and bread dough. In the mouth it has a tight bead with very well-balanced flavors of apples (both green and gold), lemon curd and white cake, in a lighter style that finishes very cleanly. Ten grams of dosage per liter make this a perfect aperitif bubbly.

Staff ImageAndrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 25, 2015

"Value Champagne" doesn't begin to do this bottle of bubbly justice. Baron Fuente brings all of the class and elegance of the Grand Marque Champagne brands to your table for such a reasonable price (and with more flavor and finesse!). The aroma wafts out of the glass like freshly rising bread finished in a lemon and tangerine zest. The wine strolls gracefully balanced down your palate and finishes with a clean and friendly flourish that brings you right back to the glass wanting more. This is a remarkable bottle of Champagne, especially when you consider it's only 24 bucks.

Staff ImageAndrew Stevens | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 18, 2015

The best priced Champagne in our store and an amazing offer especially with the upcoming holidays. This beautiful Grande Reserve has an amazing mid-pallet that is toasty and full with a hint of almond and dried fruit. This makes it ideal as a Champagne to serve with dinner, it has enough weight to enjoy before and with food. Fantastic finish and flavor make for a truly beautiful Champagne and with the price you can afford to pick up several.

Staff ImageGreg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: July 15, 2015

A broad, creamy, texturally rich Champagne, lots of leesy complexity, yet remarkably well balanced, and for a song of a price. Only because we import this directly can you get prices like this with quality as well!

Staff ImageGary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: July 02, 2015

Why bother with sparkling wine when you can drink real Champagne at such a great price? This fantastic bottle is aged for three years on the lees and has great honest toast from the aging process, as well as great refreshment from the high percentage of estate-grown vines used in the blend. I love this Champagne for its friendly, open-knit personality and its easygoing refreshment, but it has more than this for those who want to take the time to get to know it... It is a serious bottle of Champagne! Don't let the low price fool you!

Staff ImageDavid Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 25, 2014

Gwah?!? $24 champagne that taste great! The French must be pissed. Fruit tart candies, slight brioche,leesy on the palate are evident, but not cheesy. Wonderful texture and great freshness. An inexpensive champagne with a wonderful personality.

Staff ImageMari Keilman | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 29, 2012

This delicious Champagne is composed of 60% Meunier, 10% Pinot Noir & 30% Chardonnay and has been aged three years on the lees. Pinot Meunier is always characterized with upfront floral and fruity notes and that is exactly what jumps out of the glass with the Grand Reserve. Loaded with tons of ripe, fresh apple and carmalized citrus, this cuvee conveys how powerful and full-bodied Pinot Meunier can be while simultaneously having a clean and elegant finish.

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Fallet-Dart "Grande Sélection" Brut Champagne ($34.99)

Wine Spectator: "A firm, elegant style, this reveals floral, dough and candied berry notes. Harmonious, ending with a refreshing crispness. (BS)" (12/2006)

K&L Notes: This all-estate Champagne is aged for six years on the lees and is composed of 70% Pinot Noir, 15% Chardonnay and 15% Meunier. This wine has very fine, brioche like aromas from the long sur-lee-aging as well as a savory cherry note from the high-quality Pinot. It is very rich and long in the mouth, with a fine bead, again from long aging. (Gary Westby, K&L Champagne Buyer)

Blake Conklin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 04, 2018

As far as our portfolio of direct imports go, I'm personally a huge fan of everything Fallet Dart has released, and the Grande Selection is definitely one of my all time favorites. If you need a good house champagne, look no further. Grande Selection delivers on so many levels. It's well balanced, the acidity is damn near perfect, and it has a nice toastiness to it like no other. Try it with pizza. Trust me.

Staff ImageRachel Vogel | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 13, 2017

As my colleagues have said- this wine is all about the lees. 7 years give this wine an elegance of weight down the mid palate while the Pinot Noir dominance gives a tart fruit character. That small addition of high quality chardonnay brings bright meyer lemon flavor and enough acidity to keep the wine long lived on the palate. I can see this wine being extremely food friendly- a grilled swordfish or a baked chicken would be perfect pairings!

Staff ImageChristina Stanley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 09, 2017

A more subtly rounded Champagne than the Grand Reserve, the Grand Selection from Fallet Dart is blended with mostly red fruit, like the Grand Reserve, but the small about of high quality Chardonnay in the blend makes an impression, and an important distinction. There is also an extra two years on the lees, with a total of six years aging, which creates a slightly funky nose with a clean, bright palate with a hint of toast, and an earthy, chalky quality.

Staff ImageJoe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 07, 2017

The mere fact that this cuvee from Fallet Dart has a whopping seven years on the lees should immediately grab your attention. That said, it's not all about the lees, you need to start with great base wine. This is absolutely the case for this delicious bottle of Pinot Noir based bubbles made an hour west of Epernay. A bright nose loaded with citric fruits leads to a focused, lively, fresh and engaging palate. Compared to their also tasty Grande Reserve, this wine comes across as drier and slightly lower dosage. Fantastic value for money, and a likely selection for house Champagne at our place. If you are inclined to do the same, it will be super affordable at under $35!

Staff ImageStefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 07, 2017

This Champagne hits all of the elements for me that I expect in a great sparkling and is one of the most well balanced I have ever come across, which is incredibly rare at this price. Fallet-Dart is situated in the far western, slightly lesser-known village of Drachy and this wine benefits from being made from only fruit grown on the estate. With up to seven years aging on the lees, this Champagne exhibits fantastic body and depth and the Pinot Noir heavy blend really showcases that varietal. The Chardonnay brings brightness and acidity and rounds of the palate fantastically. Definitely my favorite Fallet-Dart and at this price can be one approachable for any Champagne lover.

Staff ImageShaun Green | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 06, 2017

The Fallet-Dart Champagnes all represent fantastic values, and there are a number to choose from depending on your preference and budget. Each on shows a lovely toasty note from their preference for long lees contact.The Grande Selection adds 15% Chardonnay to the cuvee but still has the Pinot Noir/Pinot Meunier dominant. It shows a bit more of a creamy refined character with lovely plump white fruits and a tangerine hint on the edges. It shows a nice bold mouthfeel and a long finish

Staff ImageHeather Vander Wall | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 20, 2016

For those of you excited about varietal character in your Champagne, this is a great wine! Showing plenty of red fruit from the Pinot Noir dominance, this wine is richer, with nutty texture and excellent follow-through on the palate. I generally lean towards Chardonnay-based Champagnes, but this wine might be changing my mind. The elegant Pinot Noir character shows through with such purity and finesse, it easily rivals the elegance of a blanc de blancs. I will definitely be stocking up on these!

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Franck Bonville Grand Cru Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne ($34.99)

91 points Wine Enthusiast: "From the heartland of Chardonnay in Champagne comes this rich, creamy, apple-flavored wine. It has lively acidity, balanced with some sweetness from the dosage. It has weight and a crisp aftertaste. (RV)" (12/2012)

Jancis Robinson: "100% Chardonnay from Oger, Cramant and Avize. From a 50-ha estate. Olivier Bonville is the third generation to make wine here. Super-clean fresh nose, smells like a health scrub. Vigorous mousse. Crisp edges and a creamy middle, streaked with verbena. More green than lemon, and just slightly sour. Quite weighty and substantial yet with a cutting edge, like prow of a ship. *Good Value* (TC)" (12/2014)

K&L Notes: All Champagne producers should be judged on their entry-level wine, and Olivier's is as good as they get. This is always the fastest non-vintage Champagne to sell out--so get it while we have it! The nose is effusive, with baguette, white flowers, and a nice salinity, while the flavors have a fine balance of white fruit, cream, and precise Avize chalk. Don't miss this. The Underground Wine Letter also rates this wine Outstanding Plus: "This is a terrific Champagne with great balance, flavor, and style, and it is a real value. Pale yellow in color, the wine has a lovely perfume with hints of peach and citrus and faint floral nuances accented by a kiss of vanilla. Creamy and very flavorful, this is a Champagne that is very harmonious showing subtle hints of peach, citrus, and spice. Elegant and long on the finish this is gorgeous to drink now or keep for many years." Our current release has a primary blend from 2013 and 2014 and is dosed at a very low 5g/L.

Staff ImageAlex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 11, 2018

Olivier Bonville carries on the tradition of his grandfather, Franck, producing wines of incredible richness and complexity from his estate vines in the Grand Cru villages of Avize and Mesnil on the picaresque Cote de Blancs. It has the rich flavors of Anjou pear, Meyer lemon, white apricots and a touch of delicate spice. The real magic is in the chalky minerality and zippy acidity that the Cote de Blancs is famous for. When you consider that similar offerings from the Big Houses cost three to four times more, this becomes a must-buy for anyone calling themselves Champagne enthusiasts.

Staff ImageGary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 20, 2017

This is one of K&L's best selling Champagnes for a very good reason. The Bonville family has some of the best terroir imaginable for growing Chardonnay--every acre that they own is super chalky, east-facing Grand Cru on the Cote des Blancs. They have been making their own Champagne here since the 1920s, and growing here for many generations before that. This is their entry level bottling, and what a way to start! It is made of at least half reserve wines, giving it not only the dry, chalky drive that makes this area famous, but also giving the wine toasty, creamy, delicious drinkability. A must-try for any Champagne lover.

Staff ImageDavid Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 27, 2016

This is basically the non-vintage champagne that everybody wants, everybody needs, and everybody can have! It checks every box. It suits any occasion. It fits nearly any budget. It delivers in every single way. Perfect blanc de blancs nose, vibrant soft white fruit, fresh crisp apples and citrus, slight saline, and that grand cru chalkiness that you can't miss. Lively, pointed and open - it slips from the glass like a slithering snake, just disappears. Where did it go? I don't know. Buy another.

Staff ImageMari Keilman | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 18, 2016

The Franck Bonville Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs is crisp, refreshing and vibrant with just the perfect balance of green apple and lime on the nose and palate. This cuvee sets itself apart from other Blanc de Blancs with how the Bonville family is able to create a creamy, full-bodied palate in conjunction with the bright and zesty flavor profile. They were able to achieve the harmonious balance between the acidity, the elegance, finesse and balance in this entry level cuvee.

Staff ImageSteve Bearden | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: July 07, 2011

When it comes to Champagne this is probably our all time staff favorite. The fact that it is a direct import and sells for less than half what it would if it went through the same distribution system as the big name brands doesn't hurt either. Fresh and ripe Chardonnay flavors, intense mineral notes and hints of earth leap from this vibrant and full-textured bubbly.

Staff ImageJim Boyce | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 30, 2011

This is another outstanding, easy to like champagne from Bonville. 100% estate chardonnay from three vintages, this bottle intertwines clean citrus and crisp apple with solid, chalky minerality to create some seriously great bubbles. Refreshing alone on a warm summer day or paired with some of your favorite seafood appetizers, this champagne is sure to please.

Staff ImageJason Marwedel | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 26, 2010

Made from all estate fruit from Bonvilles Grand Cru vineyards in Avize, this champagne displays ripe citrus and apple fruit on the nose, followed by a rich mid palate and a snappy mineral finish. The Bonville Prestige has everything I am looking for in a Blanc De Blancs at an extremely reasonable price!

Staff ImageIllya Haase | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: July 29, 2010

For me, one of the best finds at our recent Champagne tasting! It's off-dry, with beautiful fruit and a nice toasty nose. All this from third generation winemaking family whose holdings consist of 15 hectares of Grand Cru vineyards. The winemaking here is all about elegance and finesse and allowing the terroir to speak for itself and it shows.

Staff ImageJeff Garneau | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 09, 2010

This may be the best deal in Champagne that K&L offers. 100% Chardonnay. 100% Grand Cru fruit from some of the best vineyards in the Côte des Blancs. Don't write this wine off because you didn't pay more for it! This is an outstanding Champagne at an unbelievable price. It will delight you with its rich, creamy texture. Ripe pear and chalky mineral notes give way to toasty, fresh baked apple tart on the mid palate. The wine finishes with a crisp, zingy citrus note of Meyer lemon. Enjoy this wine alone, as a refreshing aperitif or together with chilled, cracked Dungeness crab.

Staff ImageJeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 02, 2009

What a great producer Franck Bonville is! This excellence shows in the Brut Selection Blanc de Blanc. When one opens the bottle and pours some of this Champagne into a glass, beautiful aromas are the first teasing impression. The Champagne is dry and crisp with clean delicate flavors. Great alone or with lighter foods.

Staff ImageJacques Moreira | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 20, 2009

If there is such a thing as a Champagne for everyday use, well this has to be it. Not because of the price, but for its quality and poise. Very crispy, citrousy end elegant. Perfect for hors d'oeuvres, seafood, egg dishes, guacamole, goat cheeses, and "fantastic" with caviar!

Staff ImageJoe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: July 06, 2009

Very easy to like - soft textured, citrus and cream flavors. Plump, round and delicious. For someone who usually goes for a bit lean and austere, I'm always surprised I like this as much as I do. It's just delicious stuff.

Staff ImageScott Beckerley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 27, 2008

There is simply no better Blanc de Blanc in the store at this price! Classic Avize minerality with crisp apple-y fruit, lemons, limes and wet stone aspects. A wonderful Chamnpagne with caviar or baked Brie. Too good of a value to pass up. We can also go for months without having this sparkler in stock. Also available in 375ml and magnum. It also comes in a gorgeous 2002 vintage as well!

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Jean-Jacques Lamoureux "Réserve" Brut Champagne ($29.99)

This is one of the most exciting small-estate Champagnes that we have found recently. It is composed of 100% Pinot Noir with a 2011 base wine blended with 2009 and 2010 vintage, 50% of which is reserve stocks. This is a clean style of Pinot Noir with fine acidity and a small bead. Frothy and just plain lovely! Watch the bubbles go on and on and on when it is in the glass. Initially, there are baked apple flavors followed a mid-palate of grapefuit and nectarine leading to a creamy finish. A very small 15,000 bottle production. Winemaker Vivien Lamoureux is the third generation winemaker at the estate. This bottling has won gold and silver medals at the Concours General Agricole de Pairs for the last three years! (Scott Beckerley, K&L Wine Merchants, 3/13/2015)

Staff ImageAlex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 23, 2017

Stone fruit and Anjou pear flavors are broad and pure on the palate. Lively acidity on the crisp finish makes the flavors last for a minute. The fruit is pronounced and very clean, with just a hint of autolytic flavors mingling with the fruit on the back end. Delicious Blanc de Noirs!

Staff ImageJohn Majeski | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 04, 2017

In trying to get my head around the physics behind all those tiny bubbles in a bottle of Champagne l discovered a wonderfully fascinating little book called Uncorked, by Gérard Liger-Belair. Apparently gravity drives the velocity of the bubbles in a flute of Champagne, so the best spot in the solar system to achieve the absolute tiniest bubbles would be on you guessed it Jupiter, with about 100 times the gravity of our own sparkling blue orb. Pack your bags, but before you go flying off into space, try a bottle or two of this incredible direct import. Created from superb Pinot Noir cultivated in the renowned Le Riceys terroir near Aube, the Reserve harbors a panoply of rich flavors ranging from citrus fruits to fleshy pears, apples, nectarines and beyond, embodying an elegant, creamy mousse and miniscule, dare I suggest, out of this world bubbles. Now prepare for takeoff!

Staff ImageMari Keilman | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 01, 2015

Gary has hit the ball out of the park with his latest DI offering! The Lamoureux Reserve Brut is sure to please every palate at the party. Elegantly toasty with notes of ripe pear and apple up front, this cuvee continues its decadent journey with a sumptuously sinful palate loaded with white nectarine and exotic starfruit. Couple this with a ridiculously creamy, full-bodied texture and ultra fine bead and you have a true 5 star Champagne!

Staff ImageKeith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 01, 2015

What a revelation! I'm a huge fan our DIs but this new arrival may be one of the best yet. Layers of fruit erupt from the glass including notes of apple, pear, peach and blood orange. A hint of the exotic as well including some starfruit, kiwi and a bit of ginger. On the palate the mousse is creamy with flavors that are generous and keep unfolding. Bravo! (A side note - don't miss the STILL rose that they also make. Truly special!)

Staff ImageKrista Johnson | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 19, 2015

What an intensely pretty Champagne! Peach and blood orange waft from the glass, which makes me think of a spring-time sunset. The texture is moussey and very playful and carries flavors of white stone fruit and orange blossom. I'm so happy that this Champagne exists!

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Launois "Cuvée Reserve" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne ($34.99)

This 100% estate grown, grand cru blanc de blancs is made entirely with old Chardonnay selections from Mesnil, Cramant and Oger. This is our number one most re-purchased Champagne, and is often sold out! -Gary Westby

Staff ImageGary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 05, 2017

We are very fortunate to be the importer for this great cult producer of blanc de blancs in the famous village of Mesnil. Launois is the only Champagne that I have sold to someone from Champagne to bring back to Champagne with them! It is that sought after! All grand cru, estate grown Champagne doesn't get better than this, but it is almost always more expensive. This is a wine of depth, finesse and intrigue and yet is about as easy as it gets to drink without engaging the grey matter at all. When we get it, it is always snapped up in a hurry... Don't wait and get disappointed!

Staff ImageMari Keilman | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 18, 2016

From the first sniff of the Launois Cuvee Reserve, the Grand Cru Cotes des Blancs minerality is upfront and present. The Cuvee Reserve can be enjoyed in its youth with notes of clean chalk, bright meyer lemon and a surprisingly long finish of toasted brioche.

Staff ImageDavid Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 17, 2016

An absolutely delicious, world-changing, life-altering experience. When you taste Launois's Cuvee Reserve and you realize that you only paid $35, you start to wonder what else you've been overpaying for? What about those shoes you ordered online? What about that special cheese you bought from the artisan market? Maybe there are other secrets like this out there that you just don't know about. Credit our own Gary Westby for the epiphany. Just don't bother him once we're sold out again. This is bright, clean, refreshing, and stunningly elegant 100% Grand Cru quality fruit and it's TO DIE FOR.

Staff ImageAndrew Stevens | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 17, 2016

This is one of the most highly anticipated bubblies we carry, both from our customers and from our staff. Stone fruit and minerality play against the bright citrus notes and lively acid carries the wine to incredible length without being too tart. This bottle just drinks so well and goes down so smoothly that it always seems a shame that we cannot carry more of it. Pick it up soon because it will sell out fast.

Staff ImageJim Barr | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 14, 2013

Produced from Chardonnay [obviously, since it is Blanc de Blancs], this amazing Gem throws tons of yeasty, nutty, creamy fruit at you both in the nose and on the palate, with brilliant complexity, and a lush, broad, and rich finish. The Bean has ordered me to bring at least one case of this home for our consumption in the next one to three-plus years. I will probably bring home more than that. 12.0% ABV

Staff ImageShaun Green | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 07, 2013

There's not a lot more to say about this one, it a no-brainer! Grand Cru Champagne of this quality at this price is just not to be missed.

Staff ImageMike Parres | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 14, 2011

This is one of the best Champagnes in our entire stock, all Chardonnay and all Grand Cru from the villages of Mesnil, Oger, Cramant and Avize. Buy now, it will be gone soon !

Staff ImageJeff Garneau | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 09, 2011

I am embarrassed to admit that before I met Gary Westby, our Champagne buyer, I was not a drinker of Champagne. I probably had had one or two bottles of mediocre, bulk-produced sparkling wine (not Champagne) and dismissed all sparkling wines on that basis. Then Gary introduced me to grower-producer Champagnes like the Launois "Cuvée Reserve" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne. The quality--the authenticity--of the wines was a revelation. And the great prices made possible through our direct import program made it impossible not to try as many as I could. If you want to learn about the Côte des Blancs--the home of the finest Chardonnay in Champagne--about Grand Cru sites like Mesnil and Oger, then this is a tutorial in a glass. Fine bead. Clean. Crisp. Wonderfully mineral in its expression, while still rich in texture. Try it on its own as an aperitif or, better yet, with our local Dungeness crab.

Staff ImageKirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: July 09, 2009

It is hard to miss this wine with its great packaging, but more importantly it is the juice between the bubbles. Ever since I started working for K & L, first bottle I took home was this wine!, I have been a big fan. Broad rich on the palate with a great bead. The flavors lean towards white Burgundy, what's not to like?

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2010 Louise Brison Brut Champagne ($29.99)

Floral, citrus-y, and with a touch of salinity, this Champagne is a blend of 50 % Pinot Noir & 50 % Chardonnay, vinified and aged in oak barrels. Pair this beauty with savory appetizers & seafood.

Staff ImageMorgan Laurie | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 28, 2017

Part of what I love about about working in the wine industry is changing people's preconceived notions about wine; what it should be, what it should taste like, and most importantly, what a good bottle should cost. I can shout it from the rooftops! A good bottle of Champagne does not have to cost over $60! Sure, there are fantastic bottles at that price point (and higher), but if I can find Champagne that I can afford to drink on a regular basis, I'm all about it. This is one such bottle. It's got a rich apple-y nose with a yeasty baguette note and fresh lemon to boot. The palate mirrors the nose and feels vibrant yet rich at the same time with a great balance of texture and acidity. If you love Champagne, this is one to pick up on your next visit.

Staff ImageDiana Turk | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 27, 2017

Bright with golden apple and leaner citrus fruit, plus more lift here than the easygoing 2009, 2010 Louise Brison Brut Champagne feels aligned with the crisp 2008, pairing vivid acid with accessibility. This showed beautifully at our Champagne Tent Event, where we were charmed by the story of the familys matriarch and brand namesake, and impressed by the quality of this DI release. This is bargain-priced Champagne, and in stock just in time for a season full of celebrations cheers!

Staff ImageRachel Vogel | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 25, 2017

Year to year the Louise Brison vintage Brut is one of the best deals in the store! The family takes no short cuts in production- all estate grapes, barrel fermented and aged, and giving the wine a few months to rest after disgorgement. It is the perfect recipe for a textured, complex champagne filled to the brim with notes of ripe apples, gentle spice and fresh acidity that keeps it long on the finish.

Staff ImageAlex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 23, 2017

One of the first grower-producers I ever tasted, Louise Brisons vintage Champagnes hold a special place in my heart. The 2010 continues the legacy of vintage greatness with vibrant pear, lemon and toasted brioche flavors alongside a stellar acidity for length and structure.

Staff ImageGary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 17, 2017

The vintage wines from Louise Brison are an incredible deal in fine wine. Delphine Brulez is one of the few grower-producers that we work with to have a diploma in oenology, and she works her vines in Noe-les-Mallets organically before fermenting her juice entirely in small oak barrels. The results in 2010 are electric and refreshing, but still round enough to have alone as the aperitif. This blend of half each Chardonnay and Pinot Noir will fool even the most discerning connoisseur for Champagne that costs no less than 50% more. We recently had a bottle of the 1992, and I am here to tell you that if you can keep your hands off of it, it will age very well too! If you like your Champagne clean, refreshing, dry and long, this is one to load up on.

Staff ImageCliff Spinola | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 11, 2017

Right away my curiousity was peeked while sticking my nose into the glass. Distinctive floral and mineral characteristics develop into a long lasting, toasty finish with bright fruit and acidity. A steal of a deal at this price point!

Staff ImageJoe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 10, 2017

Vintage Champagne for under $30 is an anomaly to be sure. Thanks to our DI Champagne program, though, we have a Champagne here that is not only vintage dated and carefully aged (for a good bit longer than the AOC dictated minimums) but also stylish and much more expensive/serious tasting than the price would suggest. There are two very good reasons for this: very expensive Chardonnay from Kimmeridgian soils and barrel ageing. I love Louise Brison's vintage Champagnes not only for their fair pricing, but also the inherent quality, craft and style in each one that I've had. These are always incredibly popular Champagnes here - don't miss out on the 2010!

Staff ImageDavid Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 26, 2017

If you liked the 2009 Louise Brison, you'll probably enjoy the 2010 as well, albeit for completely different reasons. 2009 was a ripe vintage for Champagne and that richness of fruit came through immediately in the Brison expression, but 2010 was back to traditional temperature levels so the 2010 has a laser beam of acidity that was definitely not there in the 2009 and for me that was a welcome addition. What is consistent between the wines is the brown apple flavors and the texture from the barrel fermentation that adds weight. However, whereas I would have recommended drinking the 2009's immediately, the 10's can age forever. That note of citrus and minerality is a total palate cleanser if you choose to drink the 2010 as an aperitif wine now, but it's also what will help the wine maintain its composure as it continues to evolve in your cellar. It's a can't lose proposition: you can drink it tomorrow, or twenty years from now! And you get a wine of that quality for just under thirty bucks. Hard to beat, right?

Staff ImageStephanie Vidales | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 02, 2017

This is one of our best Champagne deals at K&L! For right under $30, you get all 2010 fruit that was vinified and aged in French oak barrels and has a perfect balance of toast and freshness. On the forefront there are floral, yellow apple and citrus notes followed by bright acidity and minerality. This is a fantastic bottle of bubbly to enjoy before dinner with appetizers!

Staff ImageStefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 02, 2017

All of the elements you would expect in a complex and pricey bottle of Champagne come in this wine at a truly unbelievable price. A vintage Champagne that is fully aged in oak barrels from such a well-respected producer almost always costs twice this much. This vintage of Brison is made by a phenomenal female winemaker, Delphine Brulez, with an extensive background in both the science and art of great Champagne making and it really is a labor of love for her. A wonderful balance of soft fruit and richness without being heavy, this wine is drinking fantastically now. The Pinot Noir adds a great depth and the Chardonnay keeps it bright and energetic. A great choice for the hot days of Summer, but will also lead you right through the Fall.

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Maxime Toubart "Pur Meunier" Brut Champagne ($39.99) Wine Club Price: $34.99.

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Pierre Mineral "Vielle En Fut" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne (Mesnil Sous Bois) ($39.99)

This Champagne is made entirely from selected grand cru estate fruit from the village of Mesnil. It is fermented and aged in 600-liter new-oak casks before being bottled and aged four years on the lees. It has a super-rich nose of vanilla, sourdough toast and Mesnil minerals. In the mouth it's very racy and dry, not nearly as broad as the rich nose suggests. I think this is one of the ultimate lobster Champagnes in our stock, and will repay five years of cellaring with a gorgeous drink. If you love Selosse's Origine and Tarlant's Cuvée Louis, this is one to try for sure! (Gary Westby, K&L Champagne Buyer)

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Trudon "Monochrome" Brut Champagne ($39.99) Wine Club Price: $34.99.

The Trudon "Monochrome" Brut Champagne is 100% Meunier from some of Jerome Trudon's best plots. This Champagne has been aged three years on the lees, but has 1/3 reserves from past vintages added in for complexity and roundness. I found this wine to be strikingly pure, with generous aromas of white flowers framed by a touch of freshly baked bread. The finish is very bright, maybe the brightest I have ever tasted from an all-Meunier Champagne, and has yet to cross over into the savory mushroom like character of other Meuniers (Gary Westby, K&L Champagne Buyer)

Staff ImageGary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 13, 2017

This all Meunier Champagne is made by Jerome Trudon, who used to make the wine at Roederer, both in Anderson Valley and in Reims. He returned to his family farm, and the Monochrome is his flagship. It is made entirely out of Meunier, aged for three years minimum on the lees and benefits from 1/3 reserve wines from older vintages. This is strikingly pure Meunier, with great white flowers and fresh bread on the nose and in the mouth. It is very fresh, as Jerome does not let the wine go through malolactic, and has very good length and quite a bit of minerality.