Bubbles Under $20: JCB Cremant de Bourgogne

Editor's note: We like sparkling wine, and we're always searching for delicious bottles of bubbly, from affordable options to small-producer Champagnes that truly reflect the character of the place where they're grown. In this new series, Bubbles, we'll pop a few corks to let you know which fizzy wines are worth a splurge and which you can skip. Got bubbly recommendations? Please let us know your favorites in the comments!


[Photo: Robyn Lee]

This new line of sparkling wine from Jean-Charles Boisset is sold by number: No. 69 is a brut rosé, made from pinot noir grapes from Burgundy, while No. 21 is a brut blend of chardonnay and pinot noir.

The rosé smells a bit like a fresh strawberry milkshake, and this super-carbonated fizz pours light pearly pink. It's a dry but fruity take on rosé, with hints of guava and lots of strawberry jam on toast. There's a bit of juniper and lime there too, and though it's not terribly complex, we'd be happy to pour it at a party. It would go nicely with jambalaya or paella.

We were much more impressed with the No. 21, the brut. This wine has a rich vanilla and poached pear scent, and nicely balances flavors of eggy brioche, almond pastry cream, fragrant apricot, and tart lime. There's a dusting of confectioner's sugar too, and a burst of (somewhat aggressive) bubbles to keep things festive. If you're going upscale, pair with nut-crusted fish or scallops on polenta, but this wine would also be an incredible match for grilled cheese, Belgian fries, or takeout egg rolls.

Around $19, sample provided for review.