Here at Washington Wine Report we like to drink sparkling wines year round and encourage you to do the same. As I am fond of saying, you wouldn’t just drink Cabernet Sauvignon on one day a year, would you? Why should sparkling wines be any different? These wines aren’t just wines for special occasions, they are wines for every occasion. Moreover, there are sparkling wines out there priced to fit most every budget. So if you are not already, make your resolution in 2014 to drink more sparkling wine. It should be one resolution that’s easy to keep!
For those looking to stick to the Pacific Northwest, consider the wines reviewed below from Syncline, Treveri Cellars, and Michelle. The Syncline Brut Rosé in particular is a standout. A blend of Pinot Noir (58%) and Chardonnay from Celilo Vineyard, it’s a fascinating sparkler with a warmer climate fruit profile than often seen from Celilo Vineyard with notes of passion fruit and strawberry. As sweet as the aromas are, the palate is dry with a supremely long finish.
Whatever you drink this New Year’s eve, have a great end to 2013 and start to 2014. Happy New Year!
Henriot Brut Rosé Champagne NV $70
(Excellent/Exceptional) A beguiling wine with aromas of brioche, fresh baked bread, strawberry and toast. It’s lighter in style, elegant with mouthwatering acidity and a beautiful sense of balance.
Laurent Perrier Brut Champagne 2007 $70
(Excellent/Exceptional) A moderately aromatic wine with graphite, gun smoke, spice, and citrus. The palate brings a complex medley of flavors with a long finish.
Laurent Perrier Brut Rosé Champagne $100
(Excellent/Exceptional) A light copper color, it brings abundant spice, strawberry, and mineral notes. The palate has intensely focused fruit flavors. Lingers on the finish.
Louis Roederer Brut Rosé Champagne 2007 $78
(Excellent/Exceptional) A moderately aromatic wine with strawberry, berry, and autolytic notes. The palate is deliciously rich with tart, focused fruit flavors.
Syncline Scintillation Brut Rosé Celilo Vineyard Columbia Gorge NV $30
Light copper colored, it leaps up from the glass with passion fruit, guava and strawberry. The palate drinks bone dry with abundant brioche flavors and a hyperextended finish. A hugely impressive wine that shows beautiful sense of balance. 12% alcohol. (Wine Enthusiast review to be published in an upcoming issue).
Heidsieck & Co Monopole Blue Top Brut Champagne NV $35
(Excellent) Brings some nice aromatic complexity with pear, a light nuttiness, and abundant spice. The palate is light, creamy and tart with a lingering, spice filled finish.
Pierre Gimonnet & Fils 1er Cru Brut Blanc de Blancs Cuvee Cuis Champagne NV $52
(Excellent) An aromatically appealing wine with brioche, spice, and lemon. The palate is lighter in style, nuanced, and flavorful.
Roederer Estate Brut Rosé Anderson Valley NV $28
(Excellent) Beautifully aromatic with toasty spices, freshly baked bread, and citrus. The palate is lighter in style but well focused with a lingering finish.
Scharffenberger Brut Excellence Mendocino County $20
(Excellent) Aptly named, this excellent, well priced sparkler brings abundant notes of brioche, apple, and creamy spices. It’s tart with abundant spice flavors.
Roederer Estate Brut Anderson Valley NV $23
(Good/Excellent) A very pretty aroma profile speckled with oak spices and lemon curd. The palate is lighter in style, fruit filled with abundant barrel spices.
Treveri Cellars Extra Brut Blanc de Blanc Sparkling Wine Columbia Valley NV $14
(Good/Excellent) A moderately aromatic wine with grapeskins, pear, lemon rind and spice. The palate drinks dry with a fine grained, lively mousse and a clean, grapefruit filled finish. A very enjoyable, lively offering at a superb price. 100% Chardonnay. 12.0% alcohol. 2g/L Residual Sugar. Sample provided by winery. Reviewed December 26, 2013
Treveri Cellars Gewürztraminer Demi-Sec Sparkling Wine Method Champenoise Columbia Valley NV $17
(Good/Excellent) An aromatically expressive wine with lychee, pineapple, and candied ginger. The palate is full of spicy fruit flavors that linger on the finish. A perfect aperitif. 100% Gewurztraminer. 12.0% alcohol. 35g/L Residual Sugar.
Pacific Rim White Flowers Brut Sparkling Riesling Cuvee Special Columbia Valley NV $16
(Good) An aromatic wine with guava, pineapple, and yeast notes. The palate is dry in style with a lively mousse. 12.5% alcohol. Sample provided by winery. Reviewed November 30, 2013
Treveri Cellars Sec Rosé Sparkling Wine Method Champenoise Columbia Valley NV $18
(Good) A pretty pale strawberry color with notes of petroleum jelly, grape skins, brioche and strawberry. The palate has lively strawberry flavors and a fine grained mousse. Chardonnay and Syrah. 12% alcohol. 15g/L Residual Sugar.
Michelle Brut Rosé Sparkling Wine Columbia Valley NV $14
(Good)A very pretty pale salmon color, this is an exuberantly aromatic wine with pomegranate, raspberries, and spice. The palate has tart, dry fruit flavors finishing a bit short. 93% Pinot Noir, 7% Pinot Meunier. 11.5% alcohol. 15,000 cases produced. Recommended Reviewed November 26 2013
Treveri Cellars Brut Blanc de Blanc Sparkling Wine Columbia Valley NV $14
(Good) Aromatically linked to its Extra Brut counterpart with grapeskins, pear, and spice. The mousse is coarser grained here which enhances the impression of some additional sweetness to the palate. 12.0% alcohol. 100% Chardonnay. 12% alcohol. 14 g/L Residual Sugar. Sample provided by winery. Recommended Reviewed December 26, 2013
Michelle Brut Sparkling Wine Columbia Valley NV $14
(Decent)A moderately aromatic wine with abundant pear, tropical notes, and spice. The palate is a straightforward, easy drinker without some of the acidic lift of some recent bottlings. 63% Chardonnay, 19% Pinot Noir, 18% Pinot Gris. 11.5% alcohol. 1.28g/100ml Residual Sugar. 175,000 cases produced. Sample provided by winery. Reviewed November 29, 2013
Michelle Extra Dry Sparkling Wine Columbia Valley NV $14
(Decent)Moderately aromatic with abundant tropical fruit notes and spice. The palate is off-dry, lacking some of the acidic lift of recent vintages. 63% Chardonnay, 19% Pinot Noir, 18% Pinot Gris. 11.0% alcohol. 2.18g/100ml Residual Sugar. 25,000 cases produced. Sample provided by winery. Reviewed November 29, 2013