The Washington Post

Recommended champagnes


★★★Exceptional  ★★Excellent ★Very Good

Prices are approximate. Check to verify availability, or ask a favorite wine store to order through a distributor.

Dave McIntyre is the wine columnist for The Washington Post. He also blogs at View Archive

Most of these are grower champagnes. Because availability of these is often limited, use them as a reference to ask your retailers for similarly priced wines.

Lenoble Cuvee Intense Brut


Champagne, France, $50

“Intense” is an apt name for this wine. It packs power, yet adds finesse in a tightly wound, mouth-filling wine that grabs your attention. Would that there were more of it.

Robins Cellars: Available in Virginia at Arrowine in Arlington, Chain Bridge Cellars in McLean, Vienna Vintner.

Jose Michel et Fils Brut Tradition


Champagne, France, $38

In contrast to the Lenoble, this wine is all about delicacy, with charming fruit flavors that seem deceptive.

Wine Traditions: On the list in the District at Adour, Bistro Bis, Palena. Available in Virginia at Arrowine and Whole Foods Market in Arlington, Rick’s Wine & Gourmet in Alexandria.

Michel Turgy Blanc de Blancs Brut


Champagne, France, $45

It’s made entirely from white grapes, which means the ultimate expression of chardonnay; orchard fruit flavors, stony minerality and lingering fizz.

Dionysus: Available in the District at MacArthur Beverages, Wagshal’s Deli, Whole Foods Market Tenleytown; on the list at Restaurant Nora. Available in Maryland at Balducci’s and Bradley Food & Beverage in Bethesda, in Gaithersburg. Available in Virginia at Arrowine in Arlington, Balducci’s in Alexandria and McLean, J. Emerson Fine Wines & Cheese in Richmond, Unwined in Alexandria and Belleview, Vienna Vintner.

Roland Champion Brut Rosé


Champagne, France, $58

Champion is a small grower in Chouilly, in the Cotes des Blancs, an area known for fantastic chardonnay. This rosé — of which he makes only about 330 cases — includes 10 percent red wines (pinot noir, pinot meunier) to give it a pale, salmonlike color and a beguiling palate of cranberries, strawberries and currants. Wow. And yum.

Kysela: Available in the District at Ace Beverage, Bell Wine & Spirits, Magruder’s, Pearson’s, Wide World of Wines; on the list at Harry’s Reserve. Available in Maryland at the Wine Source in Baltimore. Available in Virginia at Mom’s Apple Pie in Occoquan, Rick’s Wine & Gourmet in Alexandria, Salute Wine Market in Winchester, Wine Lovers in Richmond. 

Thierry Triolet Brut


Champagne, France, $34

A textbook champagne, rich and elegant, with great balance and depth for the price.

Wine Traditions: Available in the District at De Vinos, P&C Market; on the list at Bistro la Bonne, Cashion’s Eat Place, Occidental Grill. Available in Virginia at Arrowine in Arlington, Rick’s Wine & Gourmet in Alexandria, River City Cellars in Richmond.

Louis de Varancy Brut

1 / 2

Champagne, France, $27

This offers the character of the real thing at a decent price, with lots of red-fruit flavors, steely acidity and structure to give authenticity.

J.W. Sieg: Available in the District at Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits; on the list at Hamilton’s, Sei, Oya. Available in Virginia at Leesburg Vintner, Unwined in Belleview, Vienna Vintner; on the list at Foti’s in Culpeper, La Bergerie in Alexandria.



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