Saturday, July 17, 2021

Bordeaux and Germany Surprise With Bottles Of Bubbly

The best tool in your entertaining toolkit is sparkling wine. Here are four that delight without busting the budget.

Sparkling Wine Beyond Boundaries

I’ll let you in on a wine secret. If you want fantastic French sparkling wine without the large price tag, try Crémant. Sparkling wine is made all over France, but only bubbly made in the Champagne region can be called by that name. Crémant is made with the same traditional method, just without the price.

Keep up with the latest. Follow us on Instagram!

This next fact might be even more surprising. Germany makes good sparkling wine.

During a recent online tasting event, sponsored by Bordeaux Wines and Wines of Germany, we had a chance to explore sparklers from these two regions.

Celene NC Cuvée Amethyste, AOC Crémant de Bordeaux

We’re most familiar with Crémant from Burgundy, but this bottle shows that Bordeaux knows its stuff with sparkling wine. Although sparkling wine has been made in Bordeaux for more than 200 years, the AOC Crémant Bordeaux wasn’t established until 1990.

Never Miss A Beat – Follow Vino-Sphere On Facebook

The Cuvée Amethyste, like all Crémant Bordeaux, is made in the traditional method. It is a Blanc de Noir, made with 60% Merlot, and 40% Cabernet Franc from three Right Bank vineyards. It has clean minerality, a hit of red fruit, with refreshing notes of honeysuckle and a pervasive stream of bubbles. It offers surprising finesse for a mere $12.

Markus Molitor NV Riesling Sekt, AOC Mosel

We were a little late jumping on the Sekt bandwagon, having tasted our first bottle just a few months ago. Now we are firmly on board. This Sekt is 100% Riesling that opens with peach and nectarine flavors. Markus Molitor is a pioneer of bubbly in Mosel, having produced sparkling wines since 1982. The grapes for this wine come from vineyards on steep slopes overlooking the Mosel River. The slate soil imparts minerality and focus to the finished wine.

This Sekt is 12.5% ABV, so it is light and playful in the glass. The wine is tank fermented (as opposed to the traditional method which has the second fermentation in the bottle). The bubbles are tiny and the high acidity makes this a nice pick for meats like prosciutto or dishes with cream sauces. SRP is $19.

Calvert 2018 Brut Rosé, AOC Crémant de Bordeaux

The production of rosé sparklers in Crémant de Bordeaux has exploded in the last 20 years, growing by 413%. The rosé there is produced using the famed red grapes of Bordeaux.

The Calvert Brut Rosé is a good reason why this segment is skyrocketing. It is made with 100% Cabernet Franc grapes that are hand-harvested and pressed.

It is pale in color with a deliciously perfumed nose. On the palate, it has notes of raspberry and dried earth with very fine bubbles. For a unique pairing, try it with milk chocolate. We think sparkling rosé is an ideal wine for entertaining. The bubbles set the festive atmosphere and rosé is an ideal food wine. This is an astounding bargain at $18 for traditional method bubbles.

Raumland 2013 Cuvée Marie Luise, AOC Rheinhessen

Surprise! This wine is a beautiful sparkling Blanc de Noir using Pinot Noir from Germany’s Rheinhessen region. Pinot Noir is Germany’s most popular red grape and is known there as Spätburgunder. Raumland is Germany’s benchmark sparkling wine producer and this is a classy, elegant wine.

The wine is made in the traditional method, using only the best juice from the whole cluster process. This wine spends 27 months on the lees.

Grown in chalky soil, it has minerality mingling with red apple and citrus notes. Bakery flavors are apparent in the approach. The texture is soft and creamy held together with a solid acidity. This is the highest-priced bottle of the quartet at $46 but represents an amazing value compared with a Champagne of similar quality.

No comments: