Random and recent sparklers

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Random and recent sparklers

Postby Tyler Brebbermann » Fri May 26, 2006 5:22 pm

After being back in the states now for almost 6 months I've found a friend or two who enjoys trying a fine wine with me every now and then. One happens to be partial to sparklers and my experience with these wines has more than doubled since we've started hanging out. So here are some random notes from the last 2 months or so:

Champagne Thienot, A Reims France Brut 12% (self imported)

Deep straw almost golden yellow. Nose of perfume like flowers and tons of fruit. Vanilla. Butter dough cookies. Tastes follow nose, a citrus undertone on the palate. Lighter bodied. Tighter and lost flavor and intensity with time in the glass. More citrus as it developed into the night.

L. Mawby Blanc de Blanc Brut Leelanau Peninsula Sparkeling Wine Methode Champenoise 170 of 2978 Bottles 12 % Vol. (Michigan Wine)

Middle deep straw yellow color. White fruit and bread dough on the nose, also a little stony minerality. Seemingly devoid of fruit on the palate, bread and minerality follow the nose. Creamy palate feel. Nice wine.

Champage Duval-Leroy BRUT 12 % (from memory) $32

Thin and citrusy. Very low on body. Drops like a rock after the finish. Prefered the Mawby over this. Fruit was better as the Veuve.


Veuve Clicquot Brut, yellow lable (From memory)

Uninteresting and pretty devoid of taste. Small amounts of bread dough but I noticed no real amount of fruit. Decent finish and body, just nothing to support.


Freixenet Brut CAVA, Cordon Negro. Bottle fermentation

No real discernable fruit, but enough to make this wine enjoyable. Nice body and ok finish. A decent party quaffer (which is what we used it for).

Barefoot Bubbly Premium Extra Dry California Chardonnay 'Champagne'

Tight, far too much acidity and lacking any kind of fruit, body or character. Also used as a party aperitif, but I will definitely not be buying it again.

Gruet Brut (Albuquerque, NM)

We ordered a half bottle of this at a restaurant in Ann Arbor (Eve) and we really liked it. It had some great minerality and almost a spicy fruit characteristic that I really enjoyed. It was one of my favorites of all the sparklers that I've tasted since I've been back. Has anyone else heard of this wine or had it? KZ?
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Re: Random and recent sparklers

Postby Otto » Fri May 26, 2006 6:20 pm

Tyler Brebbermann wrote:Freixenet Brut CAVA, Cordon Negro. Bottle fermentation

No real discernable fruit, but enough to make this wine enjoyable. Nice body and ok finish. A decent party quaffer (which is what we used it for).


This is a 100 point wine, LOL!! Seriously, nice notes and good to see you still participating - I haven't noticed you around as much as I used to...

Agree about the disappointingness of Veuve. Seems to trade solely on its name. I once had to open quite a few of them for a party and the whole room filled up with this horrible yeasty stench! It was drinkable but unexciting before this party, but has since become vile and unpalatable for me.

Have you tried any decent Proseccos?
I don't drink wine because of religious reasons ... only for other reasons.
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Re: Random and recent sparklers

Postby Tyler Brebbermann » Fri May 26, 2006 6:35 pm

Otto,

I've been in another transitional stage for the last month or so and my activity has declined, but I am hoping to jump back in where I left off.

I havn't had any proseccos since I've been back, I've been hoping to try some good ones though. I will keep you posted!

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Re: Random and recent sparklers

Postby Rahsaan » Fri May 26, 2006 8:14 pm

I think lots of folks have heard of Gruet and usually call them one of the best producers of sparkling wine in New Mexico. I haven´t had many of their wines, but found it to be good qpr if not thrilling or exotic.
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Re: Random and recent sparklers

Postby Bob Henrick » Fri May 26, 2006 8:20 pm

Rahsaan, Gruet is not ONE OF the best sparklers in New Mexico, but the best IMO. In fact Gruet is one of the BEST sparklers in America. Mawby in Michigan is pretty damn good too!
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Re: Random and recent sparklers

Postby Steve Guattery » Sat May 27, 2006 1:16 am

Tyler Brebbermann wrote:
Gruet Brut (Albuquerque, NM)
We ordered a half bottle of this at a restaurant in Ann Arbor (Eve) and we really liked it. It had some great minerality and almost a spicy fruit characteristic that I really enjoyed. It was one of my favorites of all the sparklers that I've tasted since I've been back. Has anyone else heard of this wine or had it? KZ?

I got to know Gruet when I was in Albuquerque a year ago on sabbatical. A couple of weeks ago I opened a bottle of the 1999 Blanc de Blancs with some friends who'd shared a bottle of it with me when they'd visited New Mexico while I was there. It's a definite step up from the NV bottlings, with a more intense nose and deeper flavors. At $22 from the winery, it was excellent QPR.
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Re: Random and recent sparklers

Postby Jenise » Sat May 27, 2006 6:09 pm

Tyler,

Good to see you again. Re the Cliquot, it's lack of fruit is actually what some of us like about it. It's rather austere. I remember once doing a bubbly tasting where at first it was my last place wine. But as I tasted all the wines over a few hours, it opened up some in the way fine wines usually do, and I warmed up to the style. By the end of the night it was one of my favorites. Best as I can recall though, the Bollinger was even better. In a similar setting, you might appreciate it more.
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Re: Random and recent sparklers

Postby Rahsaan » Sun May 28, 2006 7:07 am

Re the Cliquot, it's lack of fruit is actually what some of us like about it. It's rather austere.


Really? I guess I´ve been operating under misconceptions, I always thought the house style was sweet. Have you had the Larmandier Bernier Terre de Vertus? That is my benchmark "austere" champagne, as well as a guaranteed good time, and a retailer the other day was telling me that if people came in with the "Veuve Palate" he wouldn´t try to sell them the TdV but rather steer them towards Billiot.

So you´re suggesting maybe my rock-loving self should give the big label a try after all?
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Re: Random and recent sparklers

Postby Rahsaan » Sun May 28, 2006 7:09 am

In fact Gruet is one of the BEST sparklers in America.


Tis a shame, because I found it drinkable and serviceable but far from exciting.

Maybe I need to try the vintage bottlings.
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Re: Random and recent sparklers

Postby Rahsaan » Sun May 28, 2006 7:13 am

Have you tried any decent Proseccos?


I had the 05 Bisson for a taste of the new vintage and it was ripe and drinkable.
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Re: Random and recent sparklers

Postby Tyler Brebbermann » Sun May 28, 2006 10:45 am

Thanks for the input on Veuve. Maybe I was too quick to judge it? The host was serving it with a Manchego cheese and fruit spread. That could possibly have been too much for the wine, making it even more boring. I will definitely be open to trying it again and trying to appreciate its austereness =). Any obvious food matches other than oysters?

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Re: Random and recent sparklers

Postby Jenise » Sun May 28, 2006 12:52 pm

A fruit spread would defintely have cancelled out all the flavor in the Veuve, Tyler. The manchego by itself would have been fine, though, and fresh oysters would be a good match, too.
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Re: Random and recent sparklers

Postby ClarkDGigHbr » Sun May 28, 2006 6:33 pm

I'd never heard of the Gruet Brut until someone brought a bottle of it to our home for a domestic sparkling wine tasting in January. In a blind tasting of 8 bottles with 12 voters, the Gruet finished solidly in 3rd place against some formidable competition. It only finished behind the Roederer L'Ermitage and the Ferrer Blanc de Noirs. It beat out the Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs and Dom. St. Michelle Limited Release Reserve.

At $15, the Gruet was the least expensive wine of the evening; it is a very good buy.

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