Holiday Cheer – Celebrating with Champagne

Admit it, nothing says “bring on the party” like the sound of something bubbly being uncorked.  Most of you only buy Champagne for special occasions, and chances are that special occasion is coming very soon in the form of a holiday party.  Sure, you feel equipped to select Cabernets and Syrahs that will impress your colleagues and family members, but when it comes to those French Champagne labels it can be…well, down right painful.  As you stand in front of the Champagne section, questions start clouding your mind: ” Which one tastes the best? ” “How much do I need to spend?” “What are the differences?!”  Relax…Help is here.  Below are 3  Champagnes that are delicious, not outrageously expensive, and best of all – from small Champagne growers.  That means you can spread the cheer with bubbles and introduce those you know to something special versus the same ‘ol same ‘ol.  Here’s to you!

The Dumont family have been growing vineyards for over 200 hundred years. The winery is located in the southern Champagne region of the Aube.  Today, 3 Dumont brothers still operate and produce Champagne from their family’s 54 acres which are 90% Pinot Noir and 10% Chardonnay.  Description: Aromas of blossoms and ripe red apple, it has a light mousse, honey notes and crisp refreshing finish.

Bruno Gobillard took over his family’s 18th Century estate in 1994 at the age of 28.  He is relentless about producing only the best Champagne possible from their 17 acres (30 year old vines) by vinifying in small vats and leaving the wine on the lees for as long as possible to gain complexity.  To produce a “fresh and tasty” Champagne as Bruno describes, he blends equal parts Pinot Noir & Chardonnay with 10%  Pinot Meunier.  Description: Toasty nut flavors with hints of lemon citrus, producing a long elegant finish with subtle minerality.

 José Dhondt is a tiny organic grape farmer and producer who demonstrates that good things do come in small packages.  The 100% Chardonnay fruit comes from the Grand Cru village of Oger in the Côtes-de-Blancs region.
DESCRIPTION: Lean, stony, with aromas of  lemon peel and white flowers this bubbly has firm acidity that is delightfully dry to the finish.

Contributor – Gina Gregory


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