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The “family secret” designation suggests that this may hail from a producer slightly smaller than those big brands that dominate the Champagne region. True enough, it turns out. Monmarthe is an independent grower-producer, which can afford to offer a good quality/price ratio because it doesn’t have to spend a fortune on mass advertising. The wine is a blend of 40-per-cent pinot noir, 40-per-cent pinot meunier and 20-per-cent chardonnay, with an ever-so-slight coppery tinge. Aged two years on the lees, it’s bone-dry and medium-bodied, with flavours of tangy lemon curd, honey and toasted nuts on brioche pastry. Meaty in the middle, it’s deftly balanced, finishing with chalky grip. Available in Ontario.

  • Region: Champagne
  • Varietal: Sparkling blend
  • Price: $47.95

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