We have just a little over one month away before we are with family and friends, enjoying dinners, gifts, and of course celebratory wine. And when we think of wines for celebrations, we think “bubbles”. For some of you it may be Champagne, but there are many other sparkling wines, such as Cava, Prosecco, and Cremant. I recently had a chance to try the latest bottles of bubbles here in Vancouver at the IVSA, and I’m passing along my favourites. Enjoy!
Louis de Sacy Brut Original, France, NV ($49.99). This was my favourite bubble of the entire tasting. This one is a blend of 67% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay, and 3% Pinot Meunier. The vines are located in Verzy on the hills of the “Montagne de Reims”. The winery was started by Louis de Sacy, a lawyer, born in Paris in 1654. This winery has a great heritage and it is nice to see it in BC. The wine had nice aromas of toast, honey and lemon. Dry on the palate, medium bubble, with lees, toast and citrus that finishes with apple on the finish. There is also a hint of spice. Very nice.
- Pol Roger Cuvee de Reserve Brut, France, NV ($65.99). Here is one of your splurge wines for the holidays, but it is a very high quality splurge. A blend of 33% Pinot Noir, 34% Chardonnay and 33% Pinot Meunier. From the Pol Roger website “The definitive house-style, composed from 30 still base wines drawn from at least two vintages, and the three varieties of Champagne, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier blended in equal portions. The Pinot Noir comes from the villages of the Montagne de Reims and contributes body and character; the Chardonnay comes from Epernay itself and the Cête des Blancs and provides lightness and elegance; the Pinot Meunier comes from the Vallée de la Marne and provides youthfulness and vigour. The perfect apéritif champagne which we never release until it is at least three years old.” The wine had a light pear skin colour. Light toast, with a sweet fruit, and honey nose. Smaller bubble, dry with citrus and toast flavours leading to red delicious apples on the finish.
- Billecart-Salmon Brut Reserve, France, NV ($74.99, SPEC). Another top quality French champagne. This one has an interesting nose, light intensity of honey, citrus and baby powder. Medium body, but quite full of flavour; citrus and apples, and has a mineral streak through it.
La Jura Prosecco Extra Dry Organic, Italy, NV ($19.99). This sparkler had a light stone fruit nose. Off dry with very fine bubbles, making it feel very smooth going down. Tasty stone fruit flavours.
- Villa Sandi Prosecco Superiore Extra Dry DOCG, Italy, ($22.95, SPEC). Pale pear skin in the glass. Light, sweet citrus nose. Off dry on the palate with tiny bubble, and flavours of apples and red cherries. Tasty.
- Canella Prosecco Superiore DOCG, Italy, NV ($21.99, SPEC). Medium straw colour. Very light honey and citrus aromas. Off dry with light creamy bubbles. Citrus with a cherry edge on the palate. I’ve been told you can get this wine at Everything Wine.
- Terre SRL Prosecco Extra Dry, Italy, NV ($15.99, SPEC). Light citrus and honey aroma. Dry with cinnamon and apple flavours. Very fine bubble and very tasty.
- Anna Spinato Organic Prosecco DOC, Italy, NV ($14.99, SPEC). Light aroma of roses. Light body, dry with medium bubbles. Citrus and cherry flavours. An OK wine.
Cava, Cremant and Other Sparkling
Hungaria Grande Cuvee Brut, Hungary, NV ($14.95). I was introduced to this value priced bubble last year. It is a fun wine for the price. I haven’t been able to find the grape varieties that go into this wine, but as it is very tasty, sometimes you don’t need to know. This bubble has a light lychee, flowery nose. Dry, small bubble, high acidity, with lychee, red cherries, and a hint of herbal flavours.
- Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs, California, NV($39.99). Pale lemon with light citrus and oak on the nose. Medium body, dry, with honey and citrus flavour leading to apple on the finish. Small, fine bubbles. A high quality wine.
- Caves de Lugny, Cremant de Bourgnone Rose, France, NV($21.99, SPEC). Cremant de Bourgogne is the appellation for the white and rose sparkling wines of Burgundy, made predominantly from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes in the methode traditionelle. This wine has a bright, light, new copper penny colour. Toast and strawberries on the nose. Dry with medium bubble, strawberries and juicy freuits. Very tasty and very easy to drink.
- Domaine Andre et Mireille Stephane Tissot Cremant du Jura Rose, France, NV ($36.99). This wine is made with equal parts of Poulsard, Trousseau, and Pinot Noir. The winery is certified organic and biodynamic. This wine had a pretty pale peach with rose petal colour. Light red currant nose. Dry, with high acidity. Red apples and red currants flavour with red delicous apple on the finish. Quite refreshing.