With the holidays and other commitments, it's been a while since I've been to a proper wine tasting. What better way to get back in gear than with a sparkling wine tasting?
Note: All of these wines are Non Vintage unless otherwise specified. Also, I've had about half of these wines before, but it's always interesting to give something a second try.
Wine 1: Louis Perdrier Brut Blanc de Blanc. Beaune, Burgundy. There's a little toasted bread on top, and the flavor is slightly tart with a short finish. A little bit of an odd aftertaste, but it's still a great bargain if you're making cocktails or just want a bottle of bubbly to open. $9.
Wine 2: Segura Viudas Aria. Catalonia, Spain. A lovely sparkling rosé made of Pinot Noir. Definitely a fun wine to drink. Strawberry flavors and aromas are present though subtle, with a fruity nose and crisp mouth feel. $12.
Wine 3: Nino Franco "Rustico" Prosecco. Valdobbiadene, Italy. The sheet provided at the tasting notes that this is the wine used to make the first Bellini at Harry's Bar in Venice. (A Bellini is just sparkling wine mixed with either a fresh peach puree or peach juice.) There are some apple aromas, clean with a crisp flavor and fairly neutral but not bad. Dry and refreshing. $18.
Intermission: On Wine #4 and Wine #12, I got an aroma of roast duck right off the bat. It's the first time I've encountered this in a wine, and though the first one could have been a fluke, the second time confirmed it. Maybe it's just because of the amount of duck I've had in the past month, but it was spot-on. I'm guessing that it's a combination of the toast aromas you often get in sparklers, combined with a little gaminess and maybe just a hint of sulfur. I don't want it to sound like a flaw--it was wonderful, just surprising.
Gloria Ferrer Sonoma Brut. Sonoma, California. Aside from the roast duck aroma, it's got solid fruitiness, a little tart, dry and with a clean finish. $18.
Wine 5: 2003 Bailly-Lapierre Crémant de Bourgogne Rosé. Burgundy, France. Creamy cherry aroma, some bright berry flavors. Soft finish, a nice fun wine. And I'm always up for a roseé. $20.
Wine 6: Schramsberg Blanc de Noirs. Napa, California. Fresh bread dough aromas, some vegetal and slightly herbal flavors, with a crisp finish. A well balanced and mature sparkling wine. $35.
Wine 7: Nicholas Feuillatte Brut Champagne. Champagne, France. Very mild and smooth, dignified. Dry and properly balanced. $40.
Wine 8: Louis Roederer Brut Premier Champagne. Champagne, France. From the producer of the famous Cristal. Strong toasted bread aroma, light citrus elements, wonderful aftertaste and crisp bubbles. Pretty amazing for the price. $45.
Wine 9: 1995 Perrier-Jouet Fleuer de Champagne Brut. Champagne, France. Dark and musky aroma, almost like a Muscat-based wine. Lemon custard flavors, with a little spice cake on the finish. Probably the star of the tasting. $140.
Wine 10: Mumm Cuvée M. Napa, California. Light aroma, creamy mouth feel, with a slightly sweet finish. $20.
Wine 11: Schramsberg Crémant. Napa, California. Lovely, light sweetness, creamy flavor and utterly delicious. $35.
Wine 12: Chandon California Rosé. Napa, California. Again, I got roast duck on the nose. The flavor was full fruit, but pleasantly dry and not sweet. Also, the wine isn't anywhere near as bright pink as it looks on the website. $20.