Hello Ladies and Gentlemen,

We have a whole weekend of festivies before New Year’s Eve this year!  It’s time to get your bubbles on!  I have 3 exceptional choices for you to POP this NYE.  Please be safe, but always remember…..Life is too short to open bad sparkling wine!  Thank you as always for being part of this blog and I hope my recommendations lived up to expectations this year.  See you in 2019!

Michel Mailliard ‘Cuvee Alexia’ Premier Cru Rose N/V

Champagne, France

Cash Price $49.99

Located in the famous sparkling town of Vertus in the Cote de Blancs, Michel Mailliard is a fourth generation Premier Cru producer.  ‘Cuvee Alexia’ is lovingly named after his daughter.  This Bubbly is a veritable fruit cocktail with clean, delicious sparkles from 90% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Noir that is quite dry on the palate.  Flavors of strawberry, raspberry and bing cherries explode in the palate.  The mid palate shows fleshy citrus fruits that are encompassed by a rich, creamy complexity that mellows into touches of dark chocolate and rose petals.  The finish sings with gracefully tight bubbles that dance melodically  with hints of chocolate mousse, cherry pie and all things delicious!  This Premier Cru Champagne is a must for the WOW! factor at table this Holiday Season.  James Score 94+ Points

Jean-Pierre Marniquet Brut Tradition N/V

Champagne, France

Cash Price $29.99

There is a term in biz referred to as ‘Farmers Fizz’.  These Champagnes are made from grower-producers.  Easily put, these sparkling gems come from the blood, sweat, and tears of a farmer growing his own grapes and bottling his most prized possession.  The letters ‘RC’ on the label of the bottle refer to this farmer, also known as a Recoltant Manipulant.  This wine is not traditional Champagne in the sense that it uses Pinot Meunier as its primary varietal whereas Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are usually the heavy hitters in Champagne blends.  Pinot Meunier gives the bubbles a refreshing youthfulness of vibrant fruit and texture. Red fruits are prevalent and consistent through the tight bubbles.  Complex notes of apple citrus, Bosque pear and lemon pop into the palate with delightfully tight, clean bubbles.  The palate offers notes of confection and dough with just a smidgeon of button mushroom.  Yum!  James Score: 92 Points

Blason de Bourgogne Brut N/V

Bourgogne, France

Cash Price $13.99

Some of the best value bubbles in the world are coming from the Bourgogne region.  The wines are made Methode Champenoise and can often rival that of its neighbors to the north but without the price tag.  This wine is 60% Pinot Noir/20% Chardonnay/10% Gamay/10% Aligote and aged on the lees for twelve months.  Blason bubbly is an extremely pretty wine.  Flavors of citrus and fleshy green apples pop into the palate with hints of freshly baked biscuits.  The mid palate offers pear and apricots that meld into zesty acids.  The finish is light and refreshing with touches of confection and candied sweet tarts.  James Score: 89 Points

Happy New Year!

James C. Barlow, CWE, CSS


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