I first opened a Miss Molly in January of 2014. This second bottle has been cellared in hopes of seeing evolution. I only drank it in a flute, rather than tasting it as I did the first time.
A sparkling Shiraz that Moxie and I opened on a Friday night while cooking up some Scallops. I tried a further experiment by pouring myself a flute and a wide brimmed glass. The results were quiet enlightening. I will start with the flute.
A concentrated nose of red currants, black berry and cola. The mousse was dark purple when I poured the glass. On the palate there was black cherry, black berries and some cola with a mid palate addition of some bubbly blueberry pie. The wine shows some tannins, very strange in a sparkler but hides the whopping 15% alcohol very well. The finish is long with a drying mouthfeel and trace of oak- very interesting.
The wide mouthed glass was a different beast altogether. The nose was very subdued, given the shape of the rim. The effervescence is wasted on this glass as I got almost nothing even after swirling the heck out of it. On the palate, a whole different story. The glass shape allows the wine to really open up and bring black fruits, blue berries and a raft of differing plums to the palate with a good dose of cola and some vanilla. The mousse was not as tasty in this glass but the overall flavors were much more pronounced.
Between the two I would sniff from the flute and drink from the wide rimmed glass. I am going to balance the results and go with 90 points. This is an interesting take on sparkling wine. If you have never had a sparkling red, this is the one you should try. For $25 this will be a treat for your palate. 4 Stars for a really tasty yet different effort. PS. I ended the tasting with a bit of cheese, the perfect combo if I might add. I had some Cypress Grove Chèvre ‘Humbolt Fog’ goat cheese. Perhaps one of the most intricate, complex and creamiest cheeses I have ever tasted. The Shiraz was the perfect accompaniment to the acidic blue nature of this gamey, earthy yet really creamy concoction. An amazing cheese, really. Salut….
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’.