R5 Bargain Champagnes for the Holiday Season, Selected by Sommelier Derek Todd of Wine Geeks Armonk

Who says you’ve got to be a one-percenter to afford good Champagne? Sommelier Derek Todd of Wine Geeks Armonk (559 Main St 914-273-9463; winegeeksarmonk.com) has selected seven Champagnes (yes, all real Champagnes from the Champagne region of France) to help make your holiday uncorkings less costly.

$50 Marc Hebrart Brut Cuvée de Réserve Premier Cru
Grapes: Pinot Noir/Chardonnay
Region: Mareuil-sur-Ay, Champagne, France
Derek Todd Says: This Champagne has something for everyone; it’s complex and mineral-driven, but also generous and appealing.

$47 Gaston Chiquet Brut Tradition
Grapes: Pinot Meunier/Chardonnay/Pinot Noir
Region: Vallée de la Marne, Champagne, France
Derek Todd Says: In the past, Gaston Chiquet’s structured wines have always required cellaring to reach their optimum drinkability, but, in recent years, they have started holding the wines longer in their cellars and the results are delicious!

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$44 Pierre Moncuit Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut
Grapes: Chardonnay
Region: Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, Champagne, France
Derek Todd Says: Two of my favorite high-end Champagnes, Krug and Salon, are neighbors of Pierre Moncuit in Mesnil. At a fraction of the price, you can get a sense of the terroir that makes these wines so special.

$44 Gatinois Grand Cru
Rosé Brut
Grapes: Pinot Noir/Chardonnay
Region: Ay, Champagne, France
Derek Todd Says: Gatinois adds a bit of still red wine from a small block of sixty-year-old Pinot Noir vines to this cuvée, giving it extra complexity and richness.

$41 L. Aubry
Fils Brut
Grapes: Pinot Meunier/Chardonnay/Pinot Noir
Region: Montagne de Reims, Champagne, France
Derek Todd Says: This wine can be somewhat cerebral and complex—a bottle for real Champagne geeks.

$40 Moutard Brut Rosé de Cuvaison
Grapes: Pinot Noir/Chardonnay
Region: Côtes des Bar, Champagne, France
Derek Todd Says: The Wine Advocate described this wine as ‘Lip-smacking.’ Need I say more?

$34 Duc de Romet Brut Prestige
Grapes: Pinot Meunier/Pinot Noir
Region: Ay, Champagne, France
Derek Todd Says: Jean-Baptiste Geoffroy of René Geoffroy crafts this delicious, affordable blanc de noir with grapes sourced from his neighbors in the Vallée de la Marne.

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