Each year in December we have our annual Champagne event featuring the sparkling wines of France and of California. Well made sparkling wines are very versatile in that they can be enjoyed on their own, with hors d’oeuvres, or with any course of a meal. Of course the levels of intensity vary as with still wines but the process that sparklers go through impart many elements not found in still wines. For instance once the wine has fermented in the tank it is bottled and put through a secondary fermentation in each individual bottle for a minimum of fifteen months up to several years. In the latter, yeasty and doughy elements add to the complexity of the ultimate product. Add the naturally forming bubbles and you have a celebration in a bottle.
Le Grand Courtage, Blanc de Blancs Brut, France
List price 20.00; our price 17.99
The bouquet presents hints of green apple, honeysuckle, and toasted brioche. On the palate, a delicate balance of dryness and acidity lingers with a bit of Meyer lemon, honeydew and soft floral notes. This Brut is very cuisine and cocktail-friendly. Try it with savory hors d'oeuvres, creamy pasta dishes, fried chicken, spicy Asian dishes, seafood, fruit-based desserts or semi-soft cheese. It mixes well with elderflower or fruit liqueurs, or with fresh juice and quality spirits for a light, refreshing sparkling cocktail.
2014 Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs, Napa
List price 35.00; our price 31.99
This wine received a 92-point rating from Wine Enthusiast Magazine: “Dry and well balanced but also full flavored, this will be a great go-to bubbly to have ready in the fridge for any minor or major occasion. There are ripe fruits along with crisp citrus notes, lively acidity, a rich mousse of bubbles and lingering finish”
2013 Schramsberg Blanc de Noirs, Napa
List price 35.00; our price 31.99
90-point rating from Wine Spectator Magazine: “Balances richness with delicacy, offering aromas of cinnamon pear and fresh ginger that lead to focused flavors of Meyer lemon, cherry and creamy vanilla spice.”
2014 Schramsberg Brut Rosé, Napa
List price 38.00; our price 34.99
The Brut Rosé is flavorful, complex and dry, making it both versatile with food and delicious by itself as an apéritif. Each fall base wines are selected showing the right concentration, balance and length to create this unique sparkling wine. The character of this wine is most strongly influenced by bright, flavorful Pinot Noir. Chardonnay is added to give spice, structure and length on the palate.
Champagne Collet Rosé, Aÿ, France
List price 60.00; our price 49.99
This charming pink blushed champagne is both delicate and harmonious. In the nose there are dark red fruits and floral rose notes. It is rich with concentrated fruit while floral and honeyed aromas complement the perfect balance between vinosity and freshness. Perfect for all occasions, it can be enjoyed as an apéritif but also lends itself perfectly to red fruit desserts. The blend is 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay.
Champagne Taittinger Brut La Francaise
List price 45.00; our price 39.99
Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate approved of this wine with a 91-point rating: “The NV Brut La Française is based on 40% Chardonnay, 35% Pinot Noir and 25% Pinot Meunier, all fermented in stainless steel and blended with 30% of reserve wines. It is a pure, fresh and well-structured Brut that is elegant, complex and round. The persistent finish is clear, fresh and well structured, with refreshing lemon flavors and a nice grip. My sample was said to be bottled in 2014 and disgorged in March 2017 with nine grams of dosage. There is good length and tension here as well as sweet cherry aromas in the aftertaste.”
Champagne Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve, France
List price 55.00; our price 49.99
The grapes used to produce this exquisite wine are 34% Pinot Noir, 33% Chardonnay and 33% Pinot Meunier.
This fully developed wine has a radiant bouquet that is captivating yet subtle. Although notes of fully ripe fruit, such as nectarines and cherry plums, are apparent initially, the finish reveals hints of nougat, honey and cereal grains. It is remarkably smooth and generous on the palate. Three years of maturation have given it body and substance. As the wine opens up, it is full and intense with notes of warm bread blending harmoniously with notes of ginger and coriander.
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