Montserrat Canals Torres Cava Reserva ($12.99)
A great introduction to Cava, this wine overdelivers for the price. 40% Macabeo 30% Xarello 30% Parellada. Made in the traditional method, this drinks a bit like Champagne, though with more citrus and mineral lift. My favorite Cava.
Santa Tresa Grillo Spumante Brut ($16.99)
From the producer:
"Pale straw coloured with hints of gold, Grillo Spumante has fine, gentle bubbles and a fresh fruity nose with hints of citrus and floral notes. On the palate the wine is very well balanced, gentle and soft with a refreshing burst of acidity and spectacular fruity notes."
This Spumante is made with organically grown Grillo, an Italian grape that is planted widely in Sicily. Wine made from Grillo strikes me as something between Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay: light, but with a soft body, lower in acidity than some Pinots, but dry, fresh, and fruity.
René-Marie Catel Blanc de Noirs Brut Champagne ($30.99)
From the distributor:
"Coming from families who have been growing grapes in Champagne since 1710, René and Marie-Noëlle DAUTEL started producing their own champagne in 1971. Sylvain Dautel, their son, is now in charge of the vineyard located in Loches-Sur-Ource, a small village in the heart of Côte des Bars. Sylvain is perpetuating the tradition of his ancestors, using environmental friendly practices to create the most delicate, yet intense Champagnes. Cuvée René-Marie Catel is a rare Brut, Blanc de Noirs (100% Pinot Noir), aged for two years in small oak barrels.
Radiant nose, revealing white-fleshed fruits (apple, pear, peach white), citrus (lemon) and floral nuances. Ample in the mouth, combining generosity and subtlety. Full, fresh and crisp."
When it comes to Champagne, I tend to like those that have a fresher flavor with less of the brioche note that many wines show. This one is light and refreshing, but with a good body and a complexity of flavors. It's a great value for money.