Bubbles and New Grapes!

Buying this bottle of wine might help you get 3 grapes for your Century Club application! It added two more to my list on my (slow) quest to reach 200. So I’m at about 208 now. At this rate I’ll make it in 10 years! I picked up this bottle of Cava Barcino from Domaine LA. Jill is always good for bubbly and new grapes! I paid about $15, it had a traditional Champagne-type closure, and clocked in at 11.5% alcohol by volume. This Cava is a blend of Xarello (not new to me), Macabeu (new!), and Parellada (new!).

On the nose I got toast, lemon, and lemon custard. While it had a simple nose, it smelled clean and fresh, and well, I like lemon custard. In the mouth I found lemon, lime, and other citrus. I thought I got a hint of the toast from the nose, but really it was mostly citrus. Overall I found the wine to be crisp, but it had a nice creamy smoothness on the finish. I’d definitely get this one again at the price point.

Living in Bubbles

I am pretty much kicking some serious butt at my goal of drinking more bubbles this year. We’ve had more sparkling wine in the first half of 2010 than I think I’ve covered in all 4 years of writing this blog. Such a painful and hard goal too…  I’ve had lots of help from Jill over at DomaineLA with picking out and getting a diverse selection of bubbly to my door. I need to restock at least once more before our weather turns too warm for shipping! We’ve fallen into the tradition of opening a bottle of bubbles on a Saturday afternoon and hanging outside when it’s nice playing board games or curled up inside with a fire and a movie if it’s rainy or cold. For one of the nice days I chose the NV Francois Pinon Vouvray Brut. I purchased this from DomaineLA for $22, it had a traditional champagne closure, and clocked in at 12.5% alcohol by volume.

Off the first sniff this bubbly reminded me of beer. It showed yeast, toast, and apples, with a side of marshmallow and yellow apple. Also, it sort of just smelled a little hoppy like beer to me. In the mouth I found lots more apple, though it tended toward a greener apple than the nose, more toast, and melon notes. While the bubbly had an element of sweetness (perhaps better described as a fuller creamier mouthfeel) it remained plenty crisp and had nice acidity. I think I trounced Matt in Scrabble this day!

Back to Bubbly

As I’ve mentioned a dozen or so times this year, one of my goals for the year is to drink more bubbly. Lots more bubbly. Helping me along the way is Jill of DomaineLA who happens to have a never-ending supply of interesting bubbly to sell to me to help me along the way. Which reminds me, I need to answer her last email and pick my next 6-pack of bubbly. Especially with what amounts to summer upon us (82 and muggy/humid today! What happened to spring??) I will be in desperate need of bubbly! Tonight we chose the 2007 Domaine La Grange Tiphaine Nouveau Nez. It clocked in at 13.5% alcohol by volume, had a traditional Champagne closure, and cost me $26 at DomaineLA.

The wine is Chenin Blanc based. On the nose I found it to be toasty with lemon and waxy notes. In the mouth, more lemon, and dough, yeast, tart green apple and an overall bready flavor had me diving in for more. Overall, the Nez is crisp and dry, and I thought it was really well done. Both Matt and I loved it and would definitely get it again. Cheers!

Everyone Loves a Little Bubbly

As you probably well know by now, bubbles are my thing this year. I’m quite happy with the goal I set to drink more bubbly….it’s only March and I’ve had more sparkling wine already than I usually do in an entire year. It’s also been a good way for me to break out of my normal CA reds pattern. While sparkling wines are made in CA, most of the less expensive ones come from from France, Spain, and Italy. I’ve already put out work to Jill at DomaineLA that I need to buy another shipment of bubbles from her and I’ve made two trips to Unwined in the last month just to get more! Tonight we opened up the NV Charles Duret Crémant de Bourgogne. It clocked in at 12% alcohol by volume, had a typical Champagne closure, and cost me $16.99 at Unwined.

On the nose this was reminiscent of a hoppy beer to me. I got lots of bread, lime zest, tart green apples, lime, and more lime zest. In the mouth I found the wine show very tart citrus, steely notes, more green apples, and just a hint of the bread from the nose. It had lots of tiny little bubbles and we truly enjoyed this bottle. A steal for the price point.

Something New

I put out the call to my friend Jill at Domaine547LA to help me with my “drink more sparkling wine” goal this year. Ever accommodating to the fact that I utterly refuse to use her website to order wine, she came back with recommendations for about a dozens bottles of sparkling, and of course some still wines too! I picked 4 sparklings and rounded it out with the best Grenache Blanc ever and a Pinot Gris. This is a new one for me, I don’t think I’ve had a Cremant de Loire…Cremant of other places in France, sure, but not Loire. We picked out the Julien Fouet Cremant de Loire on a Tuesday night to drink simply because it was a Tuesday night and that called for bubbles. It clocked in at 12.5% alcohol by volume, had a typical Champagne closure, and cost me $19.99 from DomaineLA.

On the nose I found toast, bright red fruit, strawberries, lime, spice, and pepper. I loved the salmon color on this wine, though I fear my photography skills (or lack thereof) leave a lot to be desired and it appears a lot pinker in my photos than it did in real life. In the mouth I got spice, raspberry, strawberry, and an orange rind note.  Bone dry, crisp, tangy, and lots of little bubbles…this will make a frequent appearance at our back yard bbqs this summer.

A Goal I’m Good At

Setting “Drink more bubbly” as one of my 2010 wine goals may have been my best idea yet. We’ve been popping at least one bubbly a week since the new year started and I am thrilled about it. I’m trying to get us to try a wide range of bubbly styles too, and I have to thank Jill at DomaineLA (aka Domaine547) for stocking SO much bubbly for me to choose from. I just ordered 4 more bottles of assorted bubbly from her too, so more to come! Tonight we tried the NV Terres Dorées FRV 100 de Jean-Paul Brun.  It clocked in at 7.5% alcohol by volume, cost me $18.99 at DomaineLA, and had a traditional Champagne closure. The wine is a sparkling Gamay Noir, an interesting and different sparkler for me.

I loved the color on this one! It was much brighter than a normal sparkling Rosé. On the nose i found rose petals, cherries, and strawberries. In the mouth I got bright red fruit, strawberry, cherry, and cranberry.  I found it to be on the sweeter side with really tart strong cranberries. Matt was more a fan of this one than I was, but he likes his wines slightly sweeter than I do.

Another One Bites the Dust

I may have mentioned (or I may have not, given that sometimes I think I’ve told people things through the wine blog and then discover I have not….senility I tell you) that when we concluded our hunt to join the Century Club (man, I really need to submit that paperwork) I wanted to start to work on my second 100 grapes. Jill over at Domaine547 was eager to help me with my new goal, and when we were out in Los Angeles in September we stopped in to her new digs (I owe you a post on that one, her new store is fabulous). Of course, a wino can’t leave a wine store without wine (sacrelig it would be) so I picked up a few bottles, including this 2007 Roussette Du Bugey Montagnieu Altesse. It had a real cork, clocked in at 12.5% alcohol by volume, and cost me $22.

On the nose I found honeyed pear, stones, lemon, golden apple, pineapple, and tropical notes. In the mouth I got lemon, fresh pear, pineapple, golden apple, and stones. I wrote in my notes that the mineral quality in the wine reminded me of swimming in a stone quarry and getting just a spray of the water in your mouth with that chalky just slightly salty taste.  The fresh pear and lemon really dominated the palate though, giving this wine lots of life. Another great grape found on my quest to try new grapes!