Friday, August 21, 2020

Balletto 2013 Brut Rosé, Russian River Valley

Balletto 2013 Brut Rosé -Can anything top sparkling wine for an important celebration? The short answer is no.

Time To Pop The Cork

Sparkling wine producers spend a good deal of time and marketing money to let people know that sparkling wine is not just for special occasions. You can pop it open with leftovers after work or on a Thursday evening watching a ballgame.

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That’s all true. We also enjoy having bubbly as an arrival wine when guests visit. While sparkling wine isn’t just for special occasions, there is nothing better for special occasions. Earlier this week was a great example.

Rain, Rain and Then…

On Monday we had an important doctor’s appointment. Going to the doctor’s office is similar to going to a transmission repair place. You don’t know if just a fluid change is required, or if the whole transmission is faulty and major body work is required. Come to think about it, I don’t recall ever going to an auto repair place and hearing that my dreadful transmission problem could be fixed for about $50.

Dave and rainbow -

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My personal “transmission problem” had played out for almost two months. Against a backdrop of the COVID plague and rioting in the streets, it wasn’t a jolly time. So when the doctor delivered good news, we were ecstatic.

In my mind’s eye I had pictured blue skies and birds singing. Unfortunately, we had a substantial cloudburst when we arrived home. I was determined to celebrate and so stepped onto the patio to check the precipitation.

What should appear but a beautiful rainbow, a lovely sign from above. The celebration was on.

Russian River Valley Sparkles

From the wine fridge I grabbed the outstanding 2013 Balletto Brut Rosé. This is a beautiful coral-colored wine produced in the traditional method.

We love Sonoma’s Russian River Valley, which is famed for its Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Zinfandel. The Brut Rosé is 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay.

Since we were outside, I uncorked the bottle – launching the cork a good 15 feet in the air. It flew over the fence and down the hillside, there to happily decompose.

Balletto is one of our favorite domestic Pinot Noir and bubbly producers. This Brut Rosé is one reason why. The grapes were whole-cluster pressed – a technique we love that adds depth and complexity. Malolactic fermentation was used on the Chardonnay grapes to add a creamy texture. The wine rests on lees for three years.

Nothing busts up a celebration like sparkling wine that goes flat just minutes after it’s poured. That’s certainly not the case with Balletto. The bubbles are persistent and tickle the nose quite well.

Upfront the wine has red fruit notes of cherry and strawberry. As the bubbles wash the palate, a light minerality and yeasty note are evident.

Not only were our palates pleasantly cleansed, but the wine flowed over our anxious minds flipping the switch from anticipation to celebration. This is a distinctive wine well worth the $42 price tag. The current vintage is 2014 and I can’t wait to try it!

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