The La Burgondie Brut Reserve is a Trader Joe’s $9.99 import exclusive, a non-vintage blend of 50% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay, 20% Gamay (this is the grape used in Beaujolais), and 5% Aligote (the #2 White grape grown in Burgundy, Chardonnay is #1 and used primarily in the production of Cremant, which is French for Sparkling wine). This Bubbly is made by Bailly-Lapierre in the AOC Crémantde Bourgogne, they have an underground quarry on their estate where they can cellar their wines at a constant temperature and humidity. Many people think of French Bubbly as Champagne, but Champagne is a place, a place that makes very fine and very famous Cremant. Champagne is due east of Paris and Burgundy is south of Champagne and they both are known for growing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Crémant de Bourgogne does not have as long a history in the making Bubbly as Champagne, Champagne dates from the 1660’s and Burgundy the 1830’s. The 2nd fermentation (where the bubbles are added) for this Bubbly lasted 12 months, this a Brut Sparkling wine and with Bubbly, Brut means dry or not sweet and dry means sweet (its backward from still wine). The alcohol content is 12% (bubbles bring the alcohol to your bloodstream quicker than still wine).
The color is a pale golden-yellow with a flurry of tiny energetic bubbles. The nose is crisp and clean, citrus, lemon, and grapefruit mixed with apple and pear, with a hint of crusty bread. This is a fruit and citrus forward Bubbly with very well-balanced acidity. It tastes of lemon crème, pear, a little lime, and Golden Delicious apple. The mid-palate brings nectarine and pink grapefruit with a late hit of cream. The acidity adds a zesty edge but does not interfere with your sipping enjoyment. The finish is full and never goes away.
The La Burgondie Brut Reserve is a very solid, tasty, easy to drink $10 French Bubbly. It may not have the name to impress your friends, but it does impress with value and flavor. Throwing a party and need some French Bubbly? You can buy 3 or 4 bottles of the La Burgondie Brut Reserve for the price of one bottle of entry level Champagne. Now I will drink entry level Champagne anytime I can get it, it’s good stuff, but I will go with 3 or 4 bottles of Crémant de Bourgogne to 1 bottle of Champagne every time.