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New Parcel of Aspasie Champagne, Now In-Stock - 12/27/2017 - Champagne

Our second best-selling Champagne ten years running, the Ariston Aspasie "Carte Blanche" Brut has built a large and devoted following and for good reason as if offers a classic profile for a fraction of the price of other Chamapgnes. If you haven't tasted the Aspasie Carte Blanche yet this winter, you will be surprised when you do - it has taken a giant step up in quality. Six years ago, the Ariston family made a massive investment in their winery. Among their many improvements, their old press was retired, and a quarter-million euro diagonal Coquard was installed. We didn’t know it was possible, but this new addition as made and already impressive Champagne even better. Since this wine is aged five years on the lees, it has taken this long to see the results - and wow are they fantastic! This is our most dramatic deal in Champagne, and will easily compete with big brands at the $40 and $50 price point!

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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 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!