Last night Moxie hosted her 10th Annual Holiday Open House at the store. I mixed it up this year with several different sparklers to wow the gals as they shopped. The first bottle I opened was a sparkling Shiraz that had caught my eye and Moxie’s taste several years ago at a wine bar. Not to everyones taste, it sure is different and delicious. A fruitier sparkling Riesling was next in line followed by the perennial favorite Francois Montand and finishing off with a South African jewel. I will preface this by saying all the wines are in the 85-87 range and considering they all came in at about $14 on average they all ranked 5 stars in my book.
The Chook Sparkling Shiraz NV
A lush dark red mousse came flowing up the flute as I poured this sparkler. It was truly a sight to behold. The wine had a unique red currant and Ribena nose to it that was magnified on the initial attack. Very smooth and creamy mouthfeel with the fizz being just the right size. The wine took on some plum characters and ended with little acidity. I finished this one up at home later after a period of being open. The bubbles were persistent to the end and kept the wine fresh for over two hours. Atypical of sparkling wines yet a must-try in hopes of palate expansion. Give it a try and see if you like it! 87 points on this one.
APEX Sparkling Riesling
From Columbia Valley comes this little charmer. It came in at $17 so was the priciest of the bunch. When I first opened it the bubbles were massive and the nose was heavy on the brioche and apple. I was expecting a sweeter wine but enjoyed the crispness and acidity of this wine. The palate was a mix of pear and apple bubbling all over the place. The color was stars like as I compared it to the next wine. The only major flaw was that the effervescence only lasted about 20 minutes. The wine literally went flat and lost its appeal.
If you read the link above you will know that I love this wine. It overperformes every time for about $13. Pale yellow in the glass it pops out with apple and citrus on the nose. The creamy mousse is always a treat and the mouthfeel is smooth with yeast and brioche swirling with the apple and caramel. Zingy acidity kept it fresh and lively. This was the wine of the evening by far.
From South Africa comes this sparkling Chardonnay. It was much darker yellow than any of the other wines. It offered up citrus, apple, and a yeasty component throughout the nose and palate. Very well composed with good acidity and a nice mousse. The flavors held longer than the rest and this wine was definitely a close runner up to the Montand. I bought extras and will open one soon for a more in depth tasting. This could become part of my ‘schtick’.