Illustration by Ingram Pinn depicting sparkling wine for Christmas
© Ingram Pinn

Take advantage of some great fizz deals at this time of year. Everything here is a champagne unless another appellation is cited after the vintage or “NV” for non-vintage. Wines are listed in ascending order of lowest known price in the UK. They are all likely to be 12-12.5 per cent alcohol unless otherwise noted.

Gobin, Perles de l’Angelier NV France

This is recognisably made from Muscadet with nutty, fresh, ripe distinctive fruit. Something a bit different. 11.5%

£10.99, Amps of Oundle and other independents

J Laurens, Le Moulin Brut NV Blanquette de Limoux

There’s an attractive bit of development on the nose. Very fresh and really quite special for the money. Delicate on the palate. Look out for other bargains from this Languedoc producer.

£12.10, Ditton (sold by the six-bottle case)

Dom de Montbourgeau NV Crémant du Jura

This has a pretty, retro label. Good tang – recognisably Jura – Chardonnay with bite. Clean and revitalising. Less aggressive than a cheap champagne.

£12.50, The Wine Society

Teo Costa, Madre Natura Rosé NV Vino Frizzante

The combination of 100 per cent Nebbiolo and 0 per cent sulphites produces a very gentle, unusual, rose-scented Piemontese fizz that would make a most distinctive aperitif. 10.5%

£16.50, Vini Italiani of London

Forget-Brimont, Brut Premier Cru NV

Forget-Brimont, Brut Premier Cru NV

From the village of Ludes. Open and relatively simple but proper stuff. A tiny bit sweet but reasonably delicate and a lot more refined and fun than the average own-label champagne selling at this price. Nicely balanced even if on the appetising end of the spectrum. Tiny bead. Neat finish.

£21.57, Justerini & Brooks

Barnaut, Blanc de Noirs Grand Cru NV Champagne

Big and brawny. Not that complex but not expensive, especially at the special offer price that lasts until Christmas.

£23.95 (price per bottle for case of six; £27.95 individually), Lea & Sandeman

Pascal Doquet, Horizon Blanc de Blancs Brut NV

This organically certified growers’ champagne has a lightly nutty nose and is chock full of flavour. A steal considering J&B’s margins. I don’t think I would guess it were all Chardonnay; seems slightly richer than many Blanc de Blancs.

£24.07, Justerini & Brooks

Ridgeview, Bloomsbury Merret 2010 England

Ridgeview, Bloomsbury Merret 2010 England

Signature wine from the estimable Ridgeview. Very frothy. Edgy in terms of acidity. Very clean but pretty tart.

£24.99, Waitrose

Chartogne-Taillet, Ste-Anne Brut NV

Very racy, direct, clean and breezy. Really neat and concentrated. The flagship blend from this champagne grower in Merfy is a great bargain.

£25, The Wine Society, Fine Wine Direct

Huet Petillant Brut 2007 Vouvray

Based on Chenin Blanc and one of the most welcome variations on the fizz theme: richer and more complex than many champagnes. Pale straw with a steady bead. Young, fresh, floral apple juice. Delicate and rapier-like acidity. Very vibrant.

£25, Berry Bros

Pierre Gimonnet, Cuis Blanc de Blancs Brut Premier Cru NV

Pierre Gimonnet, Cuis Blanc de Blancs Brut Premier Cru NV

Delicate texture but some autolysis on the nose. Real savour and refreshment. Beginning, middle and end to this proper wine – much more interesting than many champagnes at the same price.

£25, The Wine Society

Gusbourne Brut Reserve 2008 England

One of the most toothsome English fizzes with some real depth to it.

£26.45, Berry Bros

Pol Roger NV

A banker of a family-owned champagne. Price will go up once this retailer has sold all the bottles in this batch, which suggests it may have some bottle age.

£29.95, Lea & Sandeman, while stocks last

Agrapart et Fils, Les 7 Crus Blanc de Blancs Brut NV

From the seven villages where Agrapart owns vines, initially aged in old oak barrels. Complex, well-settled nose. Grapefruit peel on the finish after much throat-warming.

£31, The Wine Society

Ruinart, R de Ruinart Brut NV

Bready nose with real interest. Something to get your teeth into. Very clean and neat and tastes as if it had quite a bit of age on lees.

£37.50, Lea & Sandeman, Jeroboams

Delamotte, Blanc de Blancs NV

Grand Cru Chardonnay from le Mesnil, Oger, Avize with a full 48 months on yeast. Signature bottling of this house, a sister to Salon, based on 2006. Quite a bit of age on the nose. Racy and quite delicate on the palate. Well made – just the right quality of fizz.

£37.95, Corney & Barrow

Larmandier-Bernier Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut Premier Cru NV

Still one of the finest non-vintage champagnes from a fine, biodynamic grower. Very broad and rich compared with many other handcrafted growers’ champagnes. Quite incredible to think that this is an extra brut in view of the richness on the palate. Clean, refreshing, fabulous! Very persistent.

£39.95, Berry Bros and others

Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve NV

The spearhead of a campaign by the new owner of this house to reposition it firmly upmarket. This cuvée, based on 2007, is very good, with 40 per cent reserve wines up to 10 years old.

About £40 Haynes Hanson & Clark, Noel Young, Bordeaux Index, Harrods, Define, Shills of Cockermouth, Hay Wines, Bennetts of Chipping Campden, The Vineking, Lockett Bros, Valvona & Crolla, The Old Bridge Wine Shop, Selfridges and Fortnum & Mason and other independents

Deutz NV Rose

Deutz NV Rosé

One of the most impressive non-vintage pink champagnes I have tasted recently. Good dry finish. Solid matter on the palate.

£43.95, Vagabond Wines and others

Louis Roederer 2006

Very firm, savoury and dense, with lively acidity and a fine bead. Not massively intense or bone dry but very competent.

£44, Berry Bros; £45, The Wine Society

Bollinger, La Grande Année 2004

Bollinger, La Grande Année 2004

Hint of oak on the nose. Very winning and interesting. Extremely savoury but with flirtatious lift on the finish. Very persistent.

£65, Noel Young; £80, Berry Bros and others

Nyetimber, Tillington Single Vineyard 2009 England

Winemaker Cherie Spriggs offers record pricing with this all-Pinot bottling from an unusually ripe vintage. Quite deep bronze/pale gold. Heady nose. Lightly apple-y and more interesting than most English fizz. Not the driest but it has some autolysis and interest on the nose. Delicate bead.

£75, Philglas & Swiggot

More stockists at Next week: Jancis’s top whites


Full Terms and Conditions

The FT Weekend Magazine prize draw (“FT Prize Draw”)

1. By entering into the FT Prize Draw, Participants agree to these terms and conditions and acknowledge that failure to comply with them may result in disqualification. The FT Prize Draw shall be void where prohibited by local law. All national and local laws and regulations shall apply.

2. The FT Prize Draw is open to participants in the UK only. Participants must be over 18 years of age. Employees and immediate family members of employees of The Financial Times Limited (“FT”) and its associated companies, professional advisers, advertising and promotional agencies are not eligible to take part in the FT Prize Draw.

3. To enter the FT Prize Draw, simply collect the four passwords printed in FT Weekend Magazine in Jancis Robinson’s column: one each will appear on 30 December 2013, 7 December 2013, 14 December 2013 and 21 December 2013. Entry period is from 23 December 2013 until 31 December 2013. Answers should be sent to with “Champagne prize draw 2013” in the subject line. Only one entry per person is permitted. Multiple or incomplete entries will be deemed to be invalid.

4. The winning prize (“Prize”) consists of 6 bottles of Laurent Perrier Grand Siecle champagne for the winner. There will be one winner.

5. The winner of the Prize will be the first eligible entry drawn at random who has correctly collected all 4 passwords. The winner will be drawn by FT on Friday 3 January 2014.

6. FT shall notify the selected winner by Friday 31 January 2014 and provide details of how to claim the Prize. If the Prize is declined or unclaimed by the winner, or if the winner cannot be contacted from the details supplied within 3 business days of notification, a replacement winner may be drawn at the FT’s discretion and will be notified by the FT. The original entry that was drawn will then be forfeited.

7. The result of the draw is final and no correspondence will be entered into. The Prize is non-transferable, non-refundable and has no cash value if not used.

8. The winner may be required to complete and return an eligibility form stating their age and residency details.

9. By entering the FT Prize Draw, the winner agrees to take part in any publicity relating to the FT Prize Draw by FT if the winner is invited to do so without further compensation.

10. FT reserves the right to cancel or amend these Terms and Conditions or change the Prize (to one of equivalent value) as required by the circumstances. There is no cash alternative.

11. FT cannot accept responsibility for or liability arising from Participants taking part in the FT Prize Draw or for taking up the Prize. FT gives no warranty or guarantee in relation to the Prize and accepts no responsibility or liability for the Prize being amended by FT. To the fullest extent permissible by law, FT excludes liability for all loss, damage or claim arising as a result of the Participant’s entry into the FT Prize Draw or use of the Prize.

12. These terms and conditions shall be governed by and construed in accordance with English law. Disputes arising in connection with this FT Competition shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.

13. The Promoter is The Financial Times Ltd, Number One Southwark Bridge, London, SE1 9HL.

Get alerts on Life & Arts when a new story is published

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2022. All rights reserved.
Reuse this content (opens in new window) CommentsJump to comments section

Follow the topics in this article