The SOMM Journal

April / May 2016

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 73 of 108

{ }  73 Cuvée Aurora Rosé, Alta Langa DOCG, Italy Cuvèe Aurora Rosè is part of the Banfi Alta Langa project, made in the Banfi Piemonte estate cel - lars in Strevi using Pinot Noir from the hilltop vineyards in the Alta Langa DOCG, south of Alba in Piedmont. Tasting Note: I got to try this over and over again on my recent trip on the Banfi Cru Artisan College tour and I never grew tired of it. Incredible, satiny texture, 100% Pinot Noir made in the classical method. There is a touch of vanilla here that follows the ripe raspberry, green apple and orange daisies, which I suspect is result of the final cuvée con - sisting of 90% clear wine and 10% of previous vintage aged in small French barrels and lees contact for at least 24 months. $34.99 BANFI VINTNERS Schramsberg 2007 J. Shram Brut Rosé, California In 1965, Jack and Jamie Davies revived the Schramsberg win- ery, originally established in 1862 by Jacob and Annie Schram. They did so during a time when there were only 22 wineries in Napa Valley and less than 500 acres of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in California combined. Last year, Schramsberg celebrated its 50th anniversary as America's first craft sparkling wine house. Tasting Note: 71% Chardonnay, 29% Pinot Noir, sourced from Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino and Marin. Ripe raspberries and strawberries give way to candied orange peel, almond puffed pastry, all balanced by a backdrop of minerality. Mind-blowing, enveloping broad texture that that still somehow remains nimble. $150 WILSON DANIELS Michelle Brut by Domaine Ste. Michelle, Columbia Valley, Washingto n The queen of Columbia Valley, Chateau Ste. Michelle is Washington State's old - est winery; Domaine Ste. Michelle is the sparkling wine house. Michelle Brut uses Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes and is made in the traditional method and aged sur lie for a prolonged time. Tasting Note: : Red apple, talcum powder and a few crumbs of pie crust. A sweet dos- age is used to balance the high acid fruits, making this a unique Brut. $12 STE. MICHELLE WINE ESTATES Miguel Torres 2012 Santa Digna Estelado Rosé, Maule Valley, Chile Rooted in Spain, the Torres fam- ily established Miguel Torres Chile in 1979 and has been a big contributor to the growth of the Chilean wine industry over the past 30 years. Tasting Note: Made from 100% País—a nearly forgot - ten grape that has been in Chile since the 16th century— in the tradi- tional method. This is a unique and special sparkling. Cantaloupe, watermelon, rhubarb, orange blossoms and blood orange. Then mid- palate an earthy mushroom takes over and finishes with a pithy blood orange. I paired this with a chimichurri chicken; the spicy garlicy green sauce was a perfect match to the cit - rusy cool and slightly sweet flavors. $28 STE. MICHELLE WINE ESTATES Gruet Brut, American Sparkling Wine, New Mexico Established in 1984, family owned Engle, New Mexico– based winery Gruet pro - duces sparkling made with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in the traditional method. Yes, they are a kin to the Gruet et Fils Champagne house in Bethon, France. Tasting Note: : This is the first wine from New Mexico I've ever had and to my surprise, it's a sparkling! Red apple, lemon pith and brioche. A frothy, nicely balanced well- made domestic sparkler. $16.99 PRECEPT WINE W W The Franciacorta DOCG is Italy's answer to France's Champagne. Made in the metodo classico, this DOCG, established in 1995 allows Chardonnay, Pinot Nero (Pinot Noir) and no more than 50% Pinot Bianco. Barone Pizzini "Animante" Brut, Franciacorta, Lombardy, Italy Founded in 1870 by the Pizzini family, Barone Pizzini is not only one of the founding wineries of Franciacorta, but also the first to promote biodiversity and organic farming methods. The "Animante" is sourced from the estate's 25 vine - yards peppered throughout the Franciacorta DOCG, from vines averaging 20 years of age some 200–300 meters above sea level. Tasting Note: Barone Pizzini "Animante" is made from 78% Chardonnay, 18% Pinot Nero and 4% Pinot Bianco from two dif - ferent vineyards in Franciacorta, and aged six months on lees. Honeycrisp apple, fresh nectarine finish with olive oil bread and just a hint of green olive. There is a notable min- erality here too. Very nicely balanced. $35 THE WINEBOW GROUP F R A N C I A C O R T A

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of The SOMM Journal - April / May 2016