When I saw this at Kroger's priced at approximately $30, I had to try it. It was not a producer with whom I was familiar but as it does fall into that seemingly oxymoronic category of "budget Champagne". I brought it home to serve with the crabcakes and fried shrimp that I was making for dinner.
From the label, I knew that the non-vintage Paul Berthelot Premier Cru Brut Reserve Champagne was from the Premier Cru village of Dizy located in the Vallee de la Marne. This area has more issues with spring frost and fall humidity so it is heavily planted with Pinot Meunier which has a shorter growing season than Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. This grape tends to produce fruitier wines that are less long-lived than wines produced with a greater proportion of the other two grapes. The blend in this bottle is 45% Pinot Meunier, 30% Pinot Noir and 25% Chardonnay.
In the glass, it was a pale straw color with effusive bubbles. It had clean, fresh aromas of red apple, almonds and a bit of herbal green tea. On the palate, it was dry, medium body with flavors mirroring the nose with the addition of a bit of citrus in the mid-length finish. It was a very nice wine especially for the price. Recommended.
Some Other Champagne Posts:
1999 Pascal Doquet Grand Cru
Thinking about Vintage Champagne