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Karen's Notes

  • Karen Kaczmar

Happy New Year 2023 – Champagnes & Sparkling Wines

We bring you a dazzling selection of Champagne and sparkling wine to help you celebrate the New Year or any festive occasion. The best thing is that no matter your budget, a delicious sparkler is within reach. From Champagne to Alsace to Germany to Spain to the US, there are wonderful choices for everyone.

"Grower" Champagnes are sparkling wines crafted by grape growers and their families. It embodies those who grow grapes in their own vineyards and produce cuvées that reflect their distinct vineyards and style.

Vilmart et Cie (Grower)

This champagne offers up a complex and wide open bouquet of pear, apple,lovely minerality, brioche and a topnote of hazelnut. On the palate the wine is crisp, full-bodied and frothy, with a good core, lovely mineral drive, fine focus and grip and a long, youthfully complex finish. [93 Pts. Wine Spectator] $74.99

Pertois-Moreset L'Assemblage

A beautiful Grower Champagne from Mesnil-sur-Oger with fresh delicate fruit, a light toasty quality and some complex minerality. Medium sized bubbles. From a family owned winery that offers great value.


Piper Heidsieck Cuvee Brut

One of the best values for non-vintage Champagne on the liquor store shelves. Crisp and toasty, robust and muscular. This is a terrific party bubbly for discerning guests.


Taittinger Brut La Francaise

A blend of the three main Champagne grapes from vineyards in 35 villages, this is light and fruity, with some bottle age giving it a hint of toast. White fruits and acidity add crispness to this well-balanced wine.


Henri Dosnon Champagne Brut Selection

Green apple fruit with lemon intensity, and crisp acidity on a complex palate. It’s an elegant and light style of fizz that will make an excellent aperitif.


Brundlmayer Brut Reserve

Brilliant light yellow, pleasant toasty and yeasty and mineral aromas, a touch of honey, creamy and yet crisp on the palate yet with persisting fruity and mineral elements Fresh but well integrated acidity and a long soft finish. [91 Pts. Wine Advocate] $48.99

Bollinger - Champagne

A beautiful aromatic complexity on the nose. with ripe fruit and spice and hints of roasted apples, apple compote and peaches. On the palate a subtle combination of structure, length and vivacity ; bubbles like velvet; notes of pear, brioche and walnut. $67.99

Bugey Montagnieu

From the Jura. A fresh and lively aroma of lemon zest, peach, fresh white grapefruit, some toast and ripe apple. A dry edgy effervescence at first, but then on the mid palate there's a fresh pineapple flavor that pops up before subsiding back into more of a rich, gentle, palate enveloping toasty creaminess.


Izar-Leku Hondarrabi Zuri 2017

A great value in this amazing sparkling Txakoli from the Basque country in Spain. Pure, minerally, bone dry with nutty overtone with a roundness at mid-palate and striking salinity on the long finish. [93 Pts. Robert Parker]


Domaine Migot Brut Methode Traditionnelle

Organic Gamay from the heart of Lorraine. Notes of red currants, raspberries, apple skin, and toast dominate this savory sparkler – very textured with a very fine mousse.


Raventos i Blanc 2020 Conca del Riu Anoia Brut Blanc de Blancs

This is very expressive, their youngest wine from a vintage if concentration and power, a blend of 45% Xarel.lo, 40% Macebeo, 12% Parellada and 3% Malvesia de Sitges, a grape they are using to give the wine more freshness, as the variety keeps the acidity. This is tasty, saline and profound beyond the price point. This is the old l'Hereu, a value Cava that is now their flagship wine that showcases the complexity, freshness and depth, very much alive. [92 Pts. Robert Parker]


Desire Petit Cremant de Jura - Cote de Jura From the Jura region in the foothills of the Alps, 100% Chardonnay. A unique and refreshing Jura sparkling wine. The bouquet enchants with nuts and spices. Light but zesty on the palate with lovely acidity and flavors of spiced apple, toast, nutmeg, and oyster shells. $22.99

Folie de L'Espinose

A wonderful Brut from Muscadet producer Domaine de L'Epinay. It'a super fresh, lively and mineral-driven blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. It's dry and elegant with notes of apple and citrus and drinks the label off of many a more expensive sparkler.


Baumard Turquoise

Lightly floral on the nose with peach and apricot aromas. Crisp and dry on the palate with the mouth instantly filled with tiny bubbles that create a rich and creamy lemon mousse. Acidity and a tangy aftertaste contribute to its lively freshness.


Brand Pet Nat 2020

Pet-nat refers to the method of fermentation. Unlike the traditional method of a second fermentation in the bottle, there is only one fermentation in the bottle which makes for a lighter, fresher wine. This sparkler is half Silvaner and half Weißburgunder (Pinot Blanc) and it clocks in at a mere 10% alcohol. It’s ultra-light and tastes like sea spray with bubbles, showing a fresh mineral core and unquestionable cut. Biodynamically farmed grapes. $26.99

Schramsberg Blanc de Blanc - The Finger Lakes Dry and crisp with lots of complexity. On the nose key lime pie with the mix of citrus, pastry and baking spices.With its vibrant, fruitful and crisp nature, this sparkling wine is fresh, structured and refined. $35.99

Gran Sarao Cava - Spain Yeasty touches in a fruity background of ripe apple, banana and pineapple. Good mouth feeling, with a light touch of sweetness, harmonious, fresh, elegant, tempting and with character. $10.99

Famiglia Carafoli Nicchia Lambrusco - Italy A sparkling, mildly sweet red with a full, red ruby color and fruity fragrance. From the Emilia-Romagna, a region famed for its lovely Lambruscos which are making a great comeback from the formerly insipid and one dimensional examples of yesteryear. The Nicchia pairs great with desserts and also with charcuterie plates, its mild sweetness being a foil for the salty fattiness of the meat. $14.99

Veuve de Vernay Brut- France An incredible value. A brut that is fresh and delicate, revealing apricot, peach flavors. An elegant wine, well- balanced and pleasant that truly stands out against all other bargain sparklers. $15.99

Gruet Brut - USA This Brut is from a family winery in Arizona where the soil is similar to that of Champagne. It shows lemon and sweet Wonder Bread aromas on the nose. The palate starts frothy but quickly mellows, and carries ripe lemon and white peach flavors to the yeasty, citrus finish. $15.99

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