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More recommended Champagnes and sparkling wines

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Whatever you know or don’t know about buying Champagne, the good news is that it’s pretty hard to buy a bad one. Quality in the region is very high overall—so high that we felt we’d be remiss not to include notes on more of the wines that we tasted.

Bollinger NV Rosé ($100) Alluring, meaty nose that has a floral, rosy quality that persists through to the palate. Has good length on the finish and a lively feel.

Delamotte NV Brut ($56) Nice aromas: citrus, nectarine, butter, nut. Feels round and soft in the mouth, maybe a little heavy, with pear flavors.

Delamotte NV Brut Rosé ($90) Pink/orange color, with orange peel and biscuit aromas. Feels soft and round on the palate with pleasing chalk and cheese rind flavors.

Domaine Carneros NV Cuvée de la Pompadour Rosé ($38) From Taittinger’s California property. Very pretty blush/pink color, with toast and vanilla aromas. Feels soft and giving in the mouth. Raspberry flavors are backed by a steely core. Nice length on the finish.

Domaine Carneros 2006 Le Rêve Blanc de Blancs ($110) Fresh and clean bone/citrus aromas. In the mouth it’s round and elegant, with a bit of sweetness at palate entry that melts quickly into talc, pear and peach skin flavors. Serve as an apéritif on a special evening; very enjoyable.

Domaine Carneros 2009 Vintage ($30) The nose on this California sparkler is quite interesting—floral, plus a heavier earthy/attic/old book note. In the mouth it’s soft around the edges with a good, acidic backbone and a mushroomy/meaty grab on the back end.

Nicolas Feuillatte NV Brut Reserve ($36) Pale yellow with fine, steady bead. Biscuit/butter aromas; frothy, mouthcoating feel, with orange peel, toast and apple flavors. Good party Champagne.

Perrier-Jouët NV Grand Brut ($45) The nose yields just a little citrus and peach fuzz. Flavors are similarly straightforward: some citrus, stone fruit and white pepper. A good midnight quaff.

Perrier-Jouët 2006 Belle Epoque Brut ($140) Clear and focused, and leaves a delicate impression: sleek mineral accents and a soft, moussey feel. Understated and refined. What you want if you want a Champagne that whispers, not roars.

Pol Roger 2004 Blanc de Blancs ($140) Pretty, pale-gold color; has a soft mouthfeel and floral, honey and biscuit aromas. A dust-talc note ties it all together.

Gosset NV Grand Rosé Brut ($90) Gorgeous light almond/blush color. Nose offers gingery, lactic notes. A little slow to start out of the gate, but comes around with a few minutes in the glass. Plum and cheese rind flavors; juicy on the finish.

Laurent-Perrier 2004 Brut Millesimé ($65) Soft, spicy meat marinade and ginger aromas usher in flavors that start off a little lactic, but come around to reveal fresh citrus peel flavors.

Moet & Chandon 2004 Grand Vintage Rosé ($85) Medium red-pink hue. White pepper, meaty, wheat/dough aromas and taut plum and meat flavors. Moussey feel; feels small boned in spite of its meaty qualities.

Moet & Chandon 2006 Grand Vintage Brut ($65) Pale golden color. Nose offers a kaleidoscope of nut, floral, fresh grass aromas. On the palate, it’s more subtle—a smooth, stony feel and a bit of fresh herb on the finish.

G.H. Mumm NV Mumm de Cramant Blanc de Blancs ($75) Golden apple and fresh citrus peel aromas; has citrus and almond flavors. Substantial in the mouth, with a textured, gravelly feel.

Roederer Estate 2006 L’Ermitage ($48) The tête de cuvée from Roederer’s Anderson Valley, California estate is a subtle, carefully crafted wine. Offers wide wheat/pastry, mushroom and lime aromas. Flavors on the palate are ginger, crisp green apple, lime peel. It is linear but powerful, and has good length on the finish.

Roederer Estate NV Brut ($24) Creamy vanilla notes on the nose. This California sparkler is an enjoyable, easygoing wine that’s just right for large parties or a midnight pour. Lively acidity; green apple flavors. Long, juicy finish.

Daryna Tobey lives in New York and has been writing about wine since 2001.

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