The Regnard family has been farming grapes in the Anjou-Saumur district of the Loire Valley since 1791. At Domaine de la Petite Roche, they're bottling not just great still wines, but outstanding bubblies as well. Today's Saumur Brut, in fact, is the best sub-$15 sparkler we've tasted this year, and it can realistically hang with most bottles at the $20 price point.
Blending 80% Chenin Blanc with 20% Chardonnay, all grown in clay-limestone soils, the "La Petite Roche" is the kind of sparkling wine that people will drink, then buy again and again. Made using the traditional method of Champagne, this tasty sparkler leads with fresh bubbles and reveals clean, simple citrus fruit flavors. With air, additional layers and deliciousness are released. Mineral tones, hints of button mushroom, subtle herb notes, a chalk-themed astringency and electric acidity attest to the authentically of this Loire Valley Chenin. We imagine many people - as they happily drain their first bottle - will be going back online to purchase more.
As good as this sparkling wine is now, we expect it will be even better in a few months and that it will remain quite wonderful for the next 2 to 3 years. On our scale, it is a VERY strong 90+ points. Also a big fan, Wine Enthusiast writes...
"Predominantly Chenin Blanc, this is an attractively crisp and textured wine. Aged in the caves of Saumur, the wine bubbles with a nutty character as well as green apples and great acidity. Drink now."
- 90 Points, Wine Enthusiast (7/1/2020)
We've not found a better sparkling wine at this price in a very long time. Stock up with enough to enjoy now and through the holiday season. This is a fantastic alternative to Cava, Prosecco and even Champagne!