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When I first tasted the sparkling wines made by Gruet I was amazed that anything that good could come from New Mexico. Perhaps you are more adept at hiding your Chauvinism, but I remain something of a snob, except in the case of Oregon and Washington wines. The good people at Gruet are doing an excellent job of providing affordable sparklers of good quality, and in an arid climate. At 4300 ft. the vineyards are some of the highest in the United States. Regardless of how hot the days might be the temperature at night can drop as much as thirty degrees, cooling the fruit and slowing down the maturation process. Sandy and loamy soil, and a lack of humidity that might contribute to rot, allow for consistency of fruit from year to year, and allow for the production of award winning wines without the use of pesticides. Now for the shocker: in 2005 Gruet produced 80,000 cases of wine and distributed them to 47 states! We are not alone.
Gruet non-vintage Brut
Half bottle $8.50
All of Gruet’s sparklers are made in the bottle using the laborious Champagne method (methode champenoise) The Brut offers a crisp, and full-bodied sparkling wine, which has developed rich complexity and fine mousse. The toasty finish from twenty-four months on tirage complements the lovely apple and citrus flavor. The wine is brilliant with ultra fine bubbles, and in the bouquet you will experience wonderful green apple and grapefruit flavors. “Best buy” rating from Wine Spectator and “highly recommended” rating from the Beverage Tasting Institute.
Gruet non-vintage Blanc de Noirs
Half bottle $8.50
The rich and toasty character of the Blanc de Noirs is balanced and superb. Aged for at least two-years, the palate is developed and shows rich complex flavors. Visually the wine is a fine salmon color, and sports an aggressive mousse. It is a lovely fruity wine focused on the juicy flavor of raspberry with plenty of immediate charm and toasty aromas. The creamy texture shows finesse.Awarded 3 silver medals so far this year.
Gruet 2002 Blanc de Blancs
The Blanc de Blancs offers abundant aromas and flavors recalling sweet apples, pears and citrus. The four years of aging has contributed a pronounced classic toastiness with accents of roasted almonds and minerals. The palate is creamy and long, and the style is elegant, dry and crisp, with a nice complexity. Only 1,000 cases were produced, selected from the best chardonnay of the harvest. It tastes like French champagne from the Cote des Blancs; very elegant with a long finish and nice acidity. Gold medal at the San Diego Int’l Wine Competition and gold medal with “best of show” at the New World Int’l Wine Competition.
Gruet non-vintage Rosé
This nearly garnet Rosé, like all of Gruet’s non-vintage sparkling wines, is aged 24 months en tirage.It has a lovely, bright floral bouquet with hints of strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. On the palate, it is rich and fruity in a dry, brut style. The flavor of berries continues on the palate, revealing more strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. This sparkler is lots of fun and very festive, perfect for a turkey dinner. Awarded bronze and silver medals in 2007.
Gruet non-vintage Demi-Sec
The subtle fruity aromas and the freshness of the Demi-Sec drive the character of this light bodied, semi-dry sparkling wine. The toasty bouquet is light and elegant with good acidity and exotic fruit. The palate carries through with a creamy sensation and vivid flavor of green apples, ripe pears, pineapple and a hint of mineral. A dessert wine for those with a sweet taste! Awarded a silver medal and a bronze medal in 2007.