Bubbly and Bright: 15 of the Best Champagnes for Less Than $100

Champagne bottles of sparkling green background
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Champagne is popular for holiday celebrations, of course, but it’s also a great wine to lay down and cellar for future fêtes. To help you pick out the best bottle to suit your needs this season, we searched our Buying Guide for 15 of our top-rated Champagnes. We’ve got everything from a perpetual reserve Champagne, to ageworthy bottles, to a blanc de blancs made from Premier Cru fruit that you’ll want to pop before 2020.

The best part about this list? All the Champagnes are under $100, and seven are less than $55.

A Beginner's Guide to Champagne

De Sousa & Fils NV Caudalies Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut (Champagne); $65, 97 points. Based on a solera system of reserve wines, this oak-aged Champagne shows considerable maturity while keeping a sense of white and citrus fruits. The balance is just right. It’s a wine that is dry while also full of intense, ripe fruit. Drink now. Charles Neal Selections. –Roger Voss

Laurent-Perrier 2008 Millésimé Brut (Champagne); $80, 96 points. While still young, this Champagne has all the makings of greatness. Produced from grand cru vineyards, it already balances ripe white fruits with a firm structure that will age well. It’s relatively dry and has plenty of acidity, which will also aid in the longevity. Drink from 2022. Laurent-Perrier US. –R.V.

Billecart-Salmon 2008 Vintage Extra Brut (Champagne); $95, 95 points. Building on the structured Pinot Noir, often a hallmark of this producer’s Champagnes, this wine is densely textured and full of white fruits from the Chardonnay. Still young, it remains on the fruit spectrum so wait until 2021 for the full glory of the maturity to come through. Billecart Salmon USA. Cellar Selection. –R.V.

Louis Roederer 2012 Vintage Brut (Champagne); $80, 95 points. This beautiful wine, with its poise, elegance and balance, has both a steely mineral core and an outer ripe-fruit character. It has citrus, tight acidity and rich apple and green-plum flavors. Drink now. Maisons Marques & Domaines USA. –R.V.

A.R. Lenoble NV Chouilly Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut Mag 15 (Champagne); $95, 94 points. The Lenoble home village of Chouilly on the Côte de Blancs has given a well-textured, mineral-driven wine. Its acidity and balance between dryness and ripeness are filled out by the reserve wines that bring hints of toast and spice. Drink now. Massanois Imports. Editors’ Choice. –R.V.

Bruno Paillard NV Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Extra Brut (Champagne); $90, 93 points. Grand Cru vineyards in Le Mesnil sur Oger and Oger contribute the majority of the Chardonnay fruit in this real representative of the Côte des Blancs. The wine is crisp, and textured, a panoply of white fruits and steeliness. This bottling is ready to drink although it will be even better in 2020 after more bottle age. Verity Wine Partners. –R.V.

Collet NV Blanc de Blancs Premier Cru Brut (Champagne); $43, 93 points. Chardonnay from three of the Côte des Blancs villages gives a strongly mineral character that has benefited from five years aging to produce a tight, taut wine that is just reaching maturity. Drink now. Old Bridge Cellars. –R.V.

Drappier NV Blanc de Blanc Brut (Champagne); $62, 93 points. From chalk soil in the southern Côte des Bar region, this wine is intense and well balanced. The blend of Chardonnay with a touch of Blanc Vrai (Pinot Blanc) offers ripeness as well as a soft touch at the end. Drink the wine now. Dreyfus, Ashby & Co. Editors’ Choice. –R.V.

Georges Vesselle 2012 Grand Cru Brut Nature (Champagne); $51, 93 points. Without any dosage, this wine is definitely dry. The six years aging has helped mitigate the intense acidity, giving the wine fruitiness, a crisp and tangy texture and probably further aging. Drink this wine ideally from 2022. Deutsch Family Wine and Spirits. Editors’ Choice. –R.V.

Moët & Chandon 2012 Grand Vintage Rosé Brut (Champagne); $85, 93 points. While this Champagne is still young, it has the makings of a wine that will age. Rich fruit is balanced by acidity and the relatively low dosage to give freshness and texture. It will be best from 2022. Moët Hennessy USA. –R.V.

Ayala NV Brut Majeur (Champagne); $49, 91 points. Part of the Bollinger group, this nonvintage cuvée is sophisticated, with ripe fruit, acidity and tangy orange-zest flavors all in balance. A final fresh twist gives a great lift. Vintus LLC. –R.V.

Canard-Duchêne 2012 Brut Millésimé (Champagne); $31, 91 points. A blend of the two Pinots with Chardonnay, this Champagne is soft. Attractive fruitiness gets a boost from the crisp citrus edge. It is not yet showing any sign of aging and will probably be at its best from 2022. Thiénot USA. –R.V.

Deutz NV Brut Classic (Champagne); $45, 90 points. The elegance of this nonvintage cuvée sums up the style of the house, balancing acidity with a dosage that is just right. The white fruits and tangy edge are refreshing and intense. Drink the bottling now. Vision Wine Brands. –R.V.

Piper-Heidsieck NV Cuvée Brut (Champagne); $45, 90 points. Piper’s nonvintage Champagne is balanced, fruity, fresh and elegant. It is both ripe and crisp with apple fruits, a mineral edge and final fruitiness. Drink now. Terlato Wines International. –R.V.

Pol Roger NV Réserve Brut (Champagne); $50, 90 points. The nonvintage blend from this producer is just right. This wine brings the house style of richness from Pinot Noir together with crisp acidity and a balanced dosage. Drink now. Frederick Wildman & Sons, Ltd. –R.V.

Published on December 9, 2019
Topics: Sparkling Wine