Overachieving, Sub-$20 Summer Bubbles: Domaine Chandon Etoile Brut

Posted by Robert Schagrin

Don't Miss:
Sub-$20 Summer Bubbles
Domaine Chandon Étoile Brut NV

We're always on the hunt for compelling $30-and-under sparkling wine. To be blunt, it's a veritable minefield.

Once in a great while, the search pays off and you hit gold.

At Crush, we're widely considered "Champagne Central," a company that prides itself on its sparkling wine program. Obviously, we live for great Champagne, but sometimes you want something that's a bit more playful and less expensive than Champagne that still delivers what one would expect from a quality sparkler. We're constantly tasting pétillants from the Loire, German sekt and crémants from Burgundy, Jura and Alsace. And let's not forget, Prosecco.

I discussed this recently as I dined with Dom Pérignon’s chef de cave, Richard Geoffroy, and with his trademark devilish manner he challenged me to try Étoile, which is grown and produced in California. Never taking anything that Richard says lightly, I asked for samples and tasted it with the Crush staff en masse. Needless to say, everybody was quite impressed. As it turns out, Richard had just returned from Étoile--it's a project he consults with.

Moët & Chandon takes Étoile very seriously, sparing no expense. They have increased the lees ageing and post-disgorgement ageing, an expensive and cash-flow-restricting practice that's almost unheard of at this level. It definitely pays off in the wine; the line between Étoile and its peers is drawn deep in the sand.

To be clear, this isn't a wine with the ageability and breed of its more expensive counterparts. It's more joyous than that. And very often that's exactly what I'm after, in the summer and beyond. This is emphatically my pick as a favorite summer sparkler: it's something that offers plenty of interest and is just flat-out lovely to drink.

For me, this sexy bottle is a no-brainer to have around, well-chilled for casual drinking, for an aperitif and yes, for meals.

This is a wine to always have on hand. Buy it in quantity, at the sharpest price in the country.

To order, reply to offers@crushwineco.com or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Robert Schagrin
Managing Partner
Crush Wine & Spirits

Domaine Chandon Étoile Brut NV

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