I take my WSET Level 3 exam tomorrow night so I thought I would get a sparkler in before the deadline. This one is pale lemon in color and has medium bubbles/mousse. The nose is of medium intensity with aromas of green apple, lemon, bread, biscuit and herbs. The palate is dry (A Brut can have 0-12 g/l of residual sugar). Medium (+) acidity, medium alcohol, medium body, delicate mousse and medium intensity flavors of biscuit, lemon, green apple and those herbs, it’s actually quite simple. The finish is medium in length and certainly tangy from the acid. If you like dry (ie. not a touch of sweetness) sparkling wine made in the Method Trtaditionelle which imparts the bread/yeast/brioche/dough flavors then this charming $20 wine is right up your alley. 88 points from me make it a 3 star effort. I’m thinking oysters. Drink now. Salut….
My wine course is finishing up with sparkling wines and fortified wines. This particular bottle was brought over by our friends Arty and Keef. It’s been sitting in the fridge, waiting for the right occasion. Dinner with my cousin and Aunt after a nearly two year COVID hiatus is a good time to pop this bottle.
It’s a medium lemon shade in the glass with nice mousse. The nose has a good intensity of pink grapefruit, lemon, bananas, bread dough and almonds. The palate is dry with juicy acidity, is medium bodied with pronounced flavors of green pear, grapefruit, lemon, brioche and almonds. The finish is decent in length and the wine is very good. I am giving this Chardonnay based sparkler 91 points and for $32 it’s a great deal that gets 5 stars from me. Thanks guys at the 204! Drink till 2030. Salut….
Peach colored with small bubbles. The nose gives me fresh baked bread, yellow apples and faint pineapple. On the palate the mousse is fine, smooth and refreshing. Flavors of Brioche, Bartlett pear and more yellow apple are present with a touch of lithe acidity. The mouthfeel is very soft thanks to the finesse of the bubbles and the modicum of zest. Yummy stuff that gets 90 points from me. At $37 it’s a very good sparkler worthy of 4 stars. Drink till 2024 with Oysters, Ceviche or even grilled Trout. This is a Pinot and Chardonnay blend. Salut….
Pale yellow with a combo of medium and large bubbles. On the nose l get biscuits, some green apple and grapefruit. The palate is medium dry with good fizz. Yellow apples, a touch of citrus and more of that biscuit flavor all meld nicely with the bubbles on the palate. The wine lacks any serious acidity but it drinks nicely at our Thanksgiving brunch. 87 points and 4 stars for this $13 quaffer. Makes a great Mimosa btw. Salut….
If you have read my last two posts you will know I jetted off to Bali for the weekend. This is the wine I sipped on my first morning there, sitting poolside reading my wine book. It was the perfect setting, and a great refreshing wine to start my Balinese adventure off with. Here are my notes, I guessed the retail price for fun and hit it right on.
Very aromatic nose with apricots and floral notes
A cross between Riesling and Albariño
Very smooth mouthfeel with a creamy mousse
Not very acidic but well balanced
That makes this wine a 3 star effort in my books and worthy of any summer picnic, pool party or early evening aperitif. 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’.
I was invited to a friend’s house in the Bay area last night and swiftly put my diet on hold. Our aperitif was the stunning non vintage brut style Champagne from Piper Heidsieck. It opened up in the flute with apple and brioche notes that translated onto the palate seamlessly. A fine mousse and refreshing acidity mingled in with some lemon and biscuit. The mousse was perfect for me, I don’t like large bubbles and the sweetness (or lack thereof) was ideal. Smooth and balanced with a decent finish. We drank this wine with appetizers of cheese, olives and dips. It paired well with all the flavors and was an excellent choice. Very adaptable, this is a brand I will cellar for intimate parties or special occasions. I found it online for $40 and would give it 90 points and 4 stars. Good Champagne is never cheap, this one happens to be a great value. Salut….
Every year in November we host a Holiday Open House at Moxie’s store. I am in charge of the refreshments and this year was no exception to the rule. Easy going and smooth sparkling wine, chilled and served in flutes with reckless abandon. The ladies love it…. I buy the same wine most years as I have found it to be reasonable, enjoyable and plentiful. I had to fly out of town that night, so only got to sample the wine, not really taste it. Check out my notes and get yourself some for the holidays as this is a 5 star sparkler in my opinion worthy of 86 points, not bad for a $12 bottle.
Nose- fresh pear and yeasty apple (in a good way). Medium mousse with pale golden colors. Creamy bubbles of dried green apple and slight caramel. Long finish that is sure to please. A truly amazing value that keeps on giving. I have bought over 100 bottles of this stuff in the past years, never been disappointed.