Champagne is, unfortunately, expensive. It will never be an everyday wine for those of us in the 99 percent. But it is possible to find Champagnes that offer exceptional value for a reasonable price, considering what you get.
One of those is the José Michel et Fils Brut Tradition ($38), a stylishly elegant champers that is notable because it is primarily Pinot Meunier, with some Chardonnay blended in. The PM gives it a nice red-fruit character, while the Chard offers depth and length. It won’t knock you over, but it will win you over. José Michel wines are imported by Wine Traditions, of Falls Church, Va., an excellent importer of French wines from family-owned producers.
Here’s my 3-star review (“Extraordinary”) in this week’s Washington Post Food section:
Jose Michel et Fils Brut Tradition
3 Stars GREAT VALUE
Champagne, France, $38
In contrast to the Lenoble Cuvée Intense, this wine is all about delicacy, with charming fruit flavors that seem deceptive. It doesn’t confront you, it persuades you. And then you find yourself unexpectedly engrossed in a fascinating conversation that ends all too soon (when the bottle’s empty).
Imported by Wine Traditions: On the list in the District at Adour, Bistro Bis, and Palena. Available in Virginia at Arrowine and Whole Foods Market in Arlington; and Rick’s Wine & Gourmet in Alexandria.