Cheap champagne mostly tastes, well, cheap. You are always far better off buying high-quality sparkling wine made in the same way.
Here is a nice sparkling non-vintage wine I’ve tasted for you, together with my brother Josian, coming all the way from sunny South-Africa. It’s from Graham Beck, South Africa’s leading producer of Cap Classique – the local name of bottle-fermented sparkling wine. Made solely from chardonnay, its toasty richness and peachy fruit is cut by lemon zest and spice. An astonishing bargain from M&S.
It is a blend of half Chardonnay and half Pinot Noir.
The result is a light yeasty aroma, good fruit on the nose and rich creamy complexity on the palate. Fine mousse gives freshness and finesse.
Perfect with seafood or light meats.
The Non-Vintage Brut has pretty apricot and mango scents that are lively and vivacious. The palate is lively on the entry with crisp acidity, citrus peel on the entry with a terse but very focused finish. This is one of the best showings for Pieter Ferreira’s sparkler. The Wine Advocate
The Graham Beck wines are classic in style and a good value, reliable alternative to Champagne. Here we have bready aromas allied to some New World fruitiness, and although the complexity of good Champagne is lacking, it’s a very well-made traditional method wine. Decanter