Sunday, February 2, 2014

Wineaux of the Goddess - January 2014 Meeting - Bubbles!

Yikes, it's February and I'm just writing up our first Wineaux of the Goddess of 2014! Well, January was quite a month. That's all I'm saying at the moment.

To start off the year, we all brought sparkling wine from all over the world. We tasted in the order of JD pulling the bottles out of the chiller and opening them.

Wine #1 - NV Deligeroy Cremant de Loire, France. Sparkling Cabernet Franc! Who knew? Pale salmon in color with a small, persistent mousse. Yeast and strawberries on the nose, bright green apple on the palate with a slightly bitter, not unpleasant finish. 12.5% alcohol. $14 from K&L.

Wine #2 - 2009 Schramsberg Blanc de Noirs, Calistoga, California. 87% Pinot Noir/13% Chardonnay. Clear, pale gold with small bubbles. Not much on the nose, but yeasty apple, a little oak, and an interesting sour cherry finish. We all liked it with the Delice Bourgogne Brie. I must have been enjoying myself - I didn't write the price or vendor. 13% alcohol.

Wine #3 - NV Louis Bouillot Cremant de Bourgogne, Burgundy, France. Clear pale gold with lovely small bubbles. Something soapy and apple-y on the nose. Nice creamy texture on the palate with a short finish. 12% alcohol. $17.99 at Total Wine & More.

Wine #4 - NV Kirkland Brut Rose Champagne, France. You read that right. It's Champagne from Costco. Did you know that Costco is the largest buyer/retailer of Champagne in the world? This wine is made by Janisson in Verzaney. A blend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay, it's a pretty pale pink/salmon with yeasty, strawberry notes on the nose. On the palate, great texture, strawberry vanilla and good acid on the finish. We all thought this would pair nicely with eggs Florentine. Brunch, anyone? 12% alcohol. $23 at Costco.

Wine #5 - 2010 Michel Olivier Cremant de Limoux, Languedoc, France. This wine is made from a grape you may not know: Mauzac. It's a traditional variety in the Languedoc. Clear, pale slightly green color with a lively mousse, a yeasty, cheesy nose, followed by honey and vanilla on the palate. A bit unintegrated, but we all liked it a lot, especially with cheese and pate. 12% alcohol. $17. at Spin the Bottle Wine Studio.

Wine #6 - NV Conde de Caralt Brut Cava, Spain. Clear, pale, yeasty, tart, short finish. My notes are also short. From Total Wine & More.

Wine #7 - NV Kiralyleanyka Riesling, Hungary. Unfortunately, corked. Ironically, this was the most expensive of the night. We were all disappointed, especially Shawn, who went to some trouble to get this wine from Otto's in Burbank. Oh well.

Wine #8 - NV Andre et Michel Quenard Methode Traditionelle Brut, Savoie, France. This was the hit of the night, an impressive sparkling Roussanne, also known as Bergeron in the western Alpine region of Savoie. Pale yellow with a fine mousse. Granny Smith apples and honey on the nose, apples and caramel butter on the palate, finished with great minerality and just the right amount of acid. Lovely. 12% alcohol. $24 at K&L.

Wine #9 - NV Mumm Napa Brut Rose, California. A tasty blend of 85% Pinot Noir/15% Chardonnay, this wine was awarded 90 points from Wine Spectator. Pale pink with LOTS of fine bubbles and a nose redolent of rose petals, a cherry, berry, strawberry palate and a long finish. Lovely. 12.5% alcohol. $18 at Total Wine & More.

Wine #10 - 2006 Castello Banfi Vigne Regali 'Rosa Regale' Spumante, Brachetto d'Acqui DOCG, Italy. Brachetto is a black-skinned Italian grape variety responsible for sweet, frothy Brachetto d’Acqui from Piedmont. Since its elevation to DOCG status in 1996, Brachetto d’Acqui has almost always produced its wines either frizzante (fizzy) or spumante (sparkling), with a noticeable level of sweetness. This was a perfect end to the evening of bubbles at 7% alcohol.

Thanks to JD, Xochitl (the perfect hostess), Marya, Shawn B, Shawn H, Barbara, Debra, and the late Rico for an effervescent start to the year! Next month: Wines of Alsace! Cheers!

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