Ariston Aspasie "Réserve" Brut Champagne

SKU #993861

Don't let the name change fool you, this is the same great Champagne that used to be called "Carte Blanche". The Ariston Aspasie reserve 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! (Gary Westby, K&L Champagne buyer)

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Price: $34.99

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Product Reviews:

By: Jeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/2/2023 | Send Email
This champagne is always a favorite of mine. It is lively, fresh, dry and full bodied. It is complex and has an inviting light golden hue in the glass.

By: Aaron Hughes | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/2/2022 | Send Email
When I first came here to K&L the supply on this was low and its absence was spoken of in somber and melancholy tones. I can see why, now, because it's an absolutely gorgeous Champagne at an excellent price. This is a rich and brioche-y nose that straddles the line between rich and cloying with amazing finesse, always staying on the right side while remaining opulent and luxurious. Rich apple and pear with hints of cream and vanilla and lovely toast on the finish. A must-buy for anyone trying to experience the best that Champagne has to offer!

By: Lilia McIntosh | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/6/2021 | Send Email
Aspasie is our absolute favorite Champagne here! It's beautifully balanced and structured, full of rich citrus, a bit of brioche. Flavor is so deep and finish lasts so long that it's just hard to believe. On the nose, the aroma is captivating with honeysuckle and hint of white acacia flower. Great wine to bring for any occasion!

By: Tim Telli | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/1/2021 | Send Email
This is a staff and customer favorite for very good reasons. It's just delicious Champagne that is very easy to drink. I find it really well balanced. It is rich yet has good acid and is very rounded overall. It's basically the house Champagne at K&L that we frequently drink for our celebrations. One key part of the cepage here is that the Ariston's include 30% Pinot Meunier, an unusally high amount and I think it comes through when you drink the wine. Buy a bottle, you won't be disappointed.

By: Neal Fischer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/29/2021 | Send Email
The Aspasie Reserve has been one of my favorite go-to sparklers since I started working at K&L (back when it was called Carte Blanche). The name may have changed, but luckily the quality of the juice is exactly as high as it has always been. For me, Aspasie Reserve is all about freshness and balance, and it's amazing that it delivers so fully on those characteristics for under $35. That price is even more impressive when you know that this wine spends five years on the lees and contains 15-20% reserve wines. Yellow apple floats on top of fresh lemon for the nose. There's a great mineral base accented by a touch of toasted buttery brioche, golden raisins, and light honey. The palate has baked apple and pear notes that lean towards richness, but never crosses over that line. The fruit maintains its presence and the acid keeps just a little edge going. Wonderful!

By: Alex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/29/2021 | Send Email
A great amount of effort and care goes into Aspasie Reserve, and it is instantly clear when you taste it. Low temperature macerated in small volume, then lightly filtered and aged for an impressive 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 never fail to impress even the most discerning champagne drinkers.

By: Steve Bearden | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/3/2021 | Send Email
This is so fresh and vibrant at first but as it warms and gets air lemon Brule`, cream, apricot and wet stone all emerge in the mid-palate and finish. The aromas and flavors stay bright, clean and focused even as the texture turns creamy and rich. Just amazing for the money.

By: Thomas Smith | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/15/2021 | Send Email
For a couple of years now, another Staff member and I have had a tradition where every Friday we have pizza and Champagne. At this point, we’ve had nearly every grower-producer Champagne on the shelf, but when Friday evening rolls around, the Ariston Aspasie Brut Reserve is the one I buy 9/10 times. The quality here is off-the-charts good for its price point. With five years on the lees and a classic cepage of 40% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir, and 30% Pinot Meunier this is versatile, exceptionally well crafted Champagne that deserves all its credit and more. The nose is light and citrusy with touches of cream and toast, followed up by a palate that expresses red fruits, minerality and an intense, crisp bite. There’s a ton of detail and fine-touches that keep you returning to the glass, finding something new each time. An excellent and versatile Champagne that dramatically outplays its price.

By: Gary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/30/2021 | Send Email
I can't think of a single bottle of Champagne at K&L that has brought me such consistent pleasure as the Ariston Aspasie "Réserve." 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 "Réserve" 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 €250,000 Coquard Diaganol press, and the fermentation is all done in computer-regulated, temperature-controlled tanks. The result is one of the best apéritif 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.
Top Value!

By: Jennifer Lee | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/9/2021 | Send Email
This champagne is perfect for a New Year's Eve celebration bubbly as it's liveliness shines through and tantalizes your palate with crisp, juicy and refreshing notes. Aged 60 months on the lees, the Ariston Aspasie Reserve will not disappoint and this greal deal it's a steal. Chill, sip and enjoy.

By: Muriel Sarik | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/9/2021 | Send Email
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This Champagne is TRUE value and TRUE pleasure! I am always in awe of how well made this champagne is. This time I found the aromas to be more floral with a subtle musky perfume. The work and time spent on making this alone is worth more than $34.99. 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.

By: Jordan Stone | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/8/2021 | Send Email
The "Carte Blanche" Ariston Aspasie bottling 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.

By: Giovanni Bueno | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/20/2020 | Send Email
My wife and I drink a bottle of Champagne every Friday, we call it Champagne Friday. It’s been running strong for almost a year now and I am amazed that we haven’t gotten around to Ariston Aspasie Réserve. The price wrongly directed me to think that this wine would ride the middle of the road in terms of quality and taste and I’m always happy to admit I’m wrong when the reward is this good. In the bright and sultry nose it’s all lemon peel, pretty orange flowers, toasted almonds, flaky croissant and a hint of orchard fruit demonstrating the power of this 40/30/30 ratio of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. You can really taste the zippy, zingy and punchy flavor of the exceptionally well grown cool climate grapes and world class wine making facilities. We enjoyed our bottle with a succulent and fatty pork chop--not too intensely flavored but rich in flavor and the biting acid of this wine really helped to make the flavors sing---but aperitif and after dinner cheese would also make this sing.

By: Heather Vander Wall | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/18/2020 | Send Email
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.

By: Chris DePaoli | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/18/2020 | Send Email
Warm candied oranges and fresh herbal notes make this an incredibly delicious wine that keeps you coming back for another taste. I've always loved how the greatest champagnes are process driven, and in the Aspasie Reserve you can taste the level of effort five years on the lees gets you. Yet another overachieving bottle of champagne we're directly importing; and while I love the high end bubbles of the world as much as the next person, it's so easy to forget how good these bottle can be when you look at their crazy low prices.

By: David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/17/2020 | Send Email
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 crement prices!

By: Cindy Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/17/2020 | Send Email
As we hunker down this holiday season - why not treat every evening as a "small victory" with a glass of champagne? The Aspasie Reserve is substantial enough to enjoy by itself and has plenty of acidity to be food friendly. You deserve it!

By: Shaun Green | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/17/2020 | Send Email
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Ever since I had this wine at my wedding in 2008, it has been getting more and more impressive, the name has changed from 'Carte Blanch' to Reserve but it's the same wonderful Champagne. 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!
Top Value!

By: Scott Beckerley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/17/2020 | Send Email
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: 12/17/2020-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. The quality has increased quite a bit over the past two years, so it just keeps getting better and better! A staff favorite.
Top Value!

By: Greg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/17/2020 | Send Email
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!

By: Sal Rodriguez | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/17/2020 | Send Email
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!!

By: Diana Turk | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/26/2017 | Send Email
Just when I thought I couldn’t 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 there’s no doubt he’s 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.

By: Ralph Sands | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/23/2017 | Send Email
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!

By: Doug Burress | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/22/2017 | Send Email
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 Ariston’s 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 Ariston’s 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.

By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/22/2017 | Send Email
***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.***

By: David Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/22/2017 | Send Email
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.

By: Daniel Maas | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/21/2016 | Send Email
I'll be the first to admit it. I grew up somewhat spoiled. When it came to things that really mattered, like what movie to rent, I pretty much had CARTE BLANCHE. Unfortunately, that freedom and joy absolutely PALED IN COMPARISON to the delight that I encountered upon my first taste of this gorgeous bottling from one of our long-time favorite Champagne producers. Composed of almost-equal shares of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier,there's simply too much to love here: Bright traces of apple; the present-yet-balanced yeast; and the toastiness that I absolutely require in champagne. Simply remarkable, it is, to find a wine so complex and meticulously crafted for such a price!

By: Kyle Kurani | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/19/2015 | Send Email
Update: This wine continues to amaze me year after year. Each time I open a bottle I marvel at the quality of the wine for the price tag. Re-reading my review from 2011, I have tasted hundreds of different bottles of Champagne, and this bottle of wine still makes me incredibly happy. With 6 years on the lees, the integration is wonderful, soft mouth feel, ripe orchard fruit, toasty at the back. Still good after all these years. Wonderfully balanced bubbles for a wonderfully balanced price tag. The Carte Blanche is my most often used excuse to open bubbles just for the sake of having a glass of Champagne, there are always a couple of bottles stashed away around my house. Powerfully elegant, with toasted nutty notes and a length on the finish that reasserts why I love this wine.

By: Mari Keilman | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/3/2015 | Send Email
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! What’s 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.

By: Jim Barr | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/14/2014 | Send Email
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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 Blanche’s” 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%
Drink from 2014 to 2020

By: Jeff Garneau | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/2/2014 | Send Email
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.

By: Joe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/7/2014 | Send Email
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.

By: John Majeski | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/2/2013 | Send Email
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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.
Top Value!

By: Mike Barber | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/27/2012 | Send Email
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Bright and racy with a little toast, this is our best deal in champagne!
Top Value! Drink from 2013 to 2016

By: Illya Haase | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/27/2012 | Send Email
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!

By: Jim Boyce | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/26/2012 | Send Email
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.

By: Kirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/29/2011 | Send Email
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!

By: Mike Parres | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/18/2011 | Send Email
This is made of 40% chardonnay, 30% pinot noir and 30% meunier. Bone dry,with good complexity & GREAT price.

By: Steve Greer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/7/2011 | Send Email
This is our best value Champagne in the store. Comprised of all three grapes this Champagne shows you can have both good value and great taste. Nutty, brioche and apple fill the nose and palate with a mouth filling mousse. Only $24.99 and I promise everyone you poured this for would enjoy it.

By: Gary Lai | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/6/2010 | Send Email
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!
Top Value!

By: Patty Torrel | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/30/2010 | Send Email
Traditional notes of wheat toast, brioche, freshly cut apples and apple skins rise from the glass on lively, persistent bubbles. The palate is beautifully balanced with baked apple, a dusting of brown sugar, and citrus rind all rounded out with a touch of toastiness. A great value in Champagne.

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