Six affordable Champagnes

Champagne de Telmont Grand Reserve, Majestic Wine, £12.49
Golden yellow colour and steady stream of small bubbles. Yeasty, slightly dank, leafy nose. Quite sharp, but sweet on the palate with a soft though short-lived mousse. A bit thin and acidic overall with an abrupt finish.

Champagne Monteau Brut, Victoria Wine, £12.99
Pale golden/yellow. Good, widespread stream of pin-head bubbles. Baked apples and warm toast on the nose. Refreshing style on the palate with a hint of sweetness, some good lemony fruit and a bone-dry, appetizing finish. (Not a bad wine, and it’s reduced to £9.99 through the Christmas period, so pretty good value for money).

Deutz Brut (Marlborough, New Zealand), Oddbins & Victoria Wine, £10.99
Made by an excellent small Champagne house in the cool South Island of New Zealand. Pale straw/gold colour. Plenty of tiny bubbles. Little whiff of burnt rubber then deep, nettly aromas. Mouth filling, soft mousse, good fruit – lemon, pear and baked apples – and a nutty quality. Good length and plenty of grapefruit acidity. Nice stuff.

Sainsbury’s Blanc de Noirs Champagne Brut, £11.99
Medium golden/straw colour. Small bubbles. Slightly chemical smell at first, lean, nettly and under-ripe. On the palate the mousse is rich and rolling. Quite chewy, with broad, generously fruity flavours. Better on palate than nose. Longish finish and good balance.

Peckham’s Champagne Brut, £13.99
Scottish chain with shops in Glasgow and Edinburgh. This is made for them by the house of Gardet and features a fairly high proportion of mature wines. Medium golden colour. Tiny, pin-prick bubbles and lovely deep, yeasty, baking-bread aromas. Plenty of zesty lemon fruit too. On the palate beautifully fruity in a soft, peachy style. Full and quite weighty it has real concentration. Delicious stuff and £1 off when you buy two bottles during December.

Tesco “Premier Cru” Champagne Brut, £11.99
Despite the meaningless and irritating “Premier Cru” epithet, this is quite nice stuff. Straw/gold, it has good, evenly dispersed bubbles and fresh aromas of lemon, and slightly green, asparagus notes. A fairly sharp, bright, refreshing style that has pleasant fruit and decent length. Not bad.