Exquisite, handmade grower Champagne under $50/bot

Amid Champagne’s glitz and glamour, winemaker Pascal Bardoux stands out. His cuvées are quietly exceptional — his tasting room is his small untidy office, where we taste slowly and thoughtfully from an old beat-up leather sofa. “Le marketing” is nowhere to be seen.

And Bardoux’s wines, humble and delicious, are comparative bargains. Much mass-market Champagne that gets to the US fetches between $75 and $100 a bottle; Bardoux’s small-batch Brut Traditionnel doesn’t even crack $50 — twice the wine at half the price.

The Guide Hachette calls Bardoux’s non-vintage brut cuvée, “a champagne for all occasions.”

Bardoux’s Brut Traditionnel is an excellent entree to the collection. A blend of 60% Pinot Meunier, 30% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Noir, this wine has the complexity and depth to match the finest bottles from Burgundy or Bordeaux. The nose shows plum, chalk, lime zest, and buttered biscuits; the mouth is dry, elegant, and smooth, with notes of apple and toast.

We can’t recommend this wine highly enough. There’s plenty of opportunity to enjoy Champagne as we close out the decade this month. But it’d be a shame to limit yourself to just the celebratory moments. Try pairing with sushi, creamy cheese (Delice de Bourgogne or Brillat-Savarin for example), or gougères.


Bardoux Champagne Brut Traditionnel NV
bottle price: $49

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