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Holiday Wine Guide: The LCBO’s best champagne and sparkling wine

By David Lawrason| Photography by Daniel Neuhaus
Holiday Wine Guide: The LCBO's best champagne and sparkling wine

Henry of Pelham Cuvée Catharine Rosé Brut Niagara Peninsula, $32.95
1 Pinot noir provides the classic salmon colour while 20 per cent chardonnay plumps the texture of this sparkling rosé. Expect subtle wild strawberry, pastry and nutty notes. It’s mid-weight, firm, faintly sweet yet bracing. LCBO 217505

Trius Brut Niagara Peninsula, $29.95
2 Bottle-aged for up to two years in the largest sparkling wine cellar in Ontario, this traditional-method wine consistently wins gold medals in local competitions. A bit fuller and fruitier than many, it’s well balanced and amiable. LCBO 284539

Pol Roger Brut Reserve Champagne, France, $67.95
3 Beloved by the British royals, Pol Roger is made in a softer, richer style with 25 per cent reserve wine, then aged four years. A strong fruit presence with riveting acid and flavour depth—perfect for New Year’s Eve. LCBO 217158

Louis Roederer Brut Premier Champagne, France, $76.95
4 From one of the largest family-owned champagne estates comes a definitive, staunch yet perfectly stitched bubbly. Barrel-aged base wine was bottle-aged for three years, creating intense aromas of hazelnut, baked bread and dried apple, with a mature lemon-gold colour. LCBO 268771

Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Brut Rosé Champagne, France, $99.95
5 One of the world’s most festive champagnes pours salmon pink with a gentle yet exotic red fruit basket of strawberry, currants and berries. It’s made from 100 per cent pinot noir, aged for five years in bottle to impart extra complexity. Vintages Essentials 158550

Cave Spring Blanc de Blancs Brut Niagara Peninsula, $29.95
6 The limestone soils of Niagara’s Beamsville Bench are ideal for chardonnay-based blanc de blancs, and Cave Spring is mastering the genre. Lovely subtle apple, hazelnut and minerality here; nicely composed, firm yet generous. Vintages Essentials 213983

Grande Cuvée 1531 De Aimery Cremant De Limoux Languedoc, France, $19
7 Cremants are regional French sparklers made in the champagne method with local grapes. It’s a riper, rounder bubbly, very apple-like with almond and subtle chalkiness in a dry and fresh aperitif style. LCBO 428086

Tarlant Brut Reserve Champagne, France, $49.85
8 This sub-$50 bottle delivers the classic baked apple, toast, hazelnut and earthiness of mature bubbly. Lacks some of the élan and elegance of pricier bottles, but maintains impressive intensity and length. LCBO 325167

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Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Penedes, Spain, $15.95
9 Spain’s sparkling cavas are historically undervalued, and Segura Viudas is consistently one of the best buys. It’s mid-weight, firm and lively with interesting pear, olive and almost salty minerality. Priced for large gatherings, made for holiday tapas. LCBO 216960

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