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Dec 29, 2015 – Looking for some good Sparkling wine choices this week? Our Culture Editor, Clive Pursehouse has done some of the work for you. The bubbles in these bottles add something special beyond effervescence. In anticipation of New Years Eve, check out these three great choices for your celebrations. And, here’s to riding more in 2016!
You don’t have to drive a Ferrari to drink one. The first name in Italian sparkling wine and the reputation of a region got their start when Giulio Ferrari thought that the hills of Trentino beared a great deal of similarity to Champagne. In 1902 he planted Chardonnay and the rest is history.
The wines of Ferrari are produced in the same manner as wines in Champagne, with secondary fermentation happening in the bottle. The winery produces affordable non-vintage bottles and single vintage wines that represent the pinnacle of the sparkling tradition in Trento. All the wines are blanc de blancs , one hundred percent Chardonnay that’s crisp, fresh and delicate.
Price: $23 for the Brut through $100+ for the Guilio Ferrari aged vintage wines
The Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve is a blend of Champagne from sixty different vineyards (the French call them crus) throughout Reims and its surroundings to create a blend that’s “just-right.” A non-vintage Champagne, this is a wine that blends across vineyards as well as vintages and it contains up to forty percent of the Heidsieck reserve wines; many of them more than ten vintages old. The wine then ages in bottle for a few years stored in a labyrinth of chalk caves in Reims that date to the 11th century. (Thanks Romans.) The wine; comprised of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier is rich and robust, and classically Champagne. Signature aromatics and flavors of toast, hazelnut and lemon meringue highlight a wine that offers depth and complexity.
Monte – Kramer Vineyards
From Europe’s legendary sparkling wine regions we head next to Gaston, Oregon (naturally) and the rolling hillsides outside of Portland. Kramer Vineyards is a relative unknown even in the up and coming Willamette Valley of Oregon but second generation winemaker Kimberly Kramer seems to have found a bit of a sweet spot in her talent with sparkling wines. While there may be more well known sparkling wine producers in the Willamette Valley, Ms. Kramer is spot on with her Brut Methode Traditionelle and in particular the wines that she does Zero Dosage (dosage refers to the amount of sweet wine or spirit added to provide sugar to the finished wine). The wine is a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Its emphasis is on fresh citrus, and zippy acidity.
Price: $28 for the Brut $32 for the Zero Dosage