105455Summer is squishing us here in Dallas, and we’ve been on either side of 100 degrees for a month or so. So what do I when the air conditioner runs all day and the sun hurts to even look at? Break open the bubbly, of course.

In this case, a cremant from Burgundy. I’ve always enjoyed sparking wines from that part of France, since it produces some of the best chardonnay in the world and quality chardonnay is a key to great – and expensive — Champagne. Burgundian cremant (the French term for sparkling wine made outside of Champagne) provides quality for a fraction of what Champagne costs.

The Labet ($15, purchased, available at Spec’s) comes from the same family that owns Chateau de La Tour, a top-notch producer that can trace its wine lineage back to the 15th century. This is not Champagne – it’s a little more austere (the review in the link above calls it rustic, which I like), but that doesn’t mean it’s not an outstanding chardonnay-based cremant. Look for some apple, wonderful bubbles and even a bit of caramel in the back. It’s more sophisticated and a step up from most cava, and is a great value at this price. Highly recommended.

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