Better than (Most) Champagne and Half the Price (RP92, $18.95)

May 26, 2015 90+ Bargains  No comments

gaudrelle_cremant_LRGIn the infamous words of golf commentator Gary Koch, this wine is “better than most” – most Champagne that is.

I found a little wine shop in Chicago that had this sparkler for $22.  Every time we had guests in town, I bought a couple of bottles – one to drink with the guests and one to drink without!  Every time, I was blown away by this Loire sparkling wine because it outperformed many of the recent $50 Champagne, at half the price.  Sadly, after a few months, the Chicago store sold out and I was forced to move on to less tasty sparklers. Until today…

L.A. Wine Co. has this awesome sparkler, which received 92 points from Robert Parker, for $18.95.  Buy it by the case, serve it to guests, and even those with the most sophisticated palates will assume it’s Champagne, unless they read the label closely.

Buy Here: Chateau Gaudrelle Cremant de Loire Brut $18.95

Wine Advocate 92 points

“The two sparkling wines should not be missed. They’re both terrific examples of how good sparkling Vouvray can be. Both are 100% Chenin Blanc cuvees. Even better is the slightly richer, more honey and lemon-scented and flavored non-vintage Cremant de Loire. A blend of equal parts Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay aged for a minimum of 18 to 24 months in their cellars before disgorgement, this is a real beauty and a superb wine. Unfortunately, just under 100 cases are imported to the United States.

It is amazing how good a value Vouvray has remained despite the fact that it is such a popular wine from Loire. The appellation was founded in 1936 and covers nine villages in the region. You can find sparkling wines at this estate – sec (dry) or demi-sec (basically off-dry, although for most consumers these would be considered dry) – as well as their sweet wines, which vary considerably in their degrees of sweetness and are referred to as moelleux. All four of the following cuvees performed brilliantly in my tasting.”

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