Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Brotherhood Grand Monarque Cuvee

This is going to be a Brotherhood week. Not only did I taste their Grand Monarque but I made a Scallop dish with their Riesling.

I will begin with their Grand Monarque

Brotherhood's Grand Monarque is a wonderful sparkling wine. You can't call it Champagne because it's not from the Champagne region of France. It is made with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from their Hudson NY vineyard.

This Sparkling Wine is made in the traditional French way of methode champenoise, containing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes.

Let me explain the Methode Champenose method of making champagne. After the wine goes through it's first fermentation, they will add a mixture of sugar and wine or sugar and brandy to get it moving into it's second fermentation. This results in the creation of additional alcohol and carbon dioxide gas, which gives the wine its effervescence or "sparkle." Sediment is also thrown off during the second fermentation and is removed through the steps of Riddling. Riddling is the process of positioning the bottles upside down and every 3 or 4 days you give the bottles a shake and turn, gradually increasing the angle of the tilit and dropping the bottle back in the rack with a slight wack. After 6 - 8 weeks the bottles are positioned straight downward and the sediment has collected in the neck of the bottle. The sediment is then removed by disgorgement. Walla..you have Sparkling Wine. It is then stored in the bottle for a minimum of 14 months.

When we uncorked the bottle of Grand Monarque Cuvee you could smell the aroma of the Chardonnay grape. The bubbles in the glass went straight up and it was a beautiful color of yellow.

The taste was smooth. The carbonation was not overpowering, which sometimes can be an issue if champagne or sparkling wine. The sparkling wine was smooth and silky, very well balanced. It wasn't to dry and wasn't to sweet. It was nowhere near a brut, but not sweet either.

I believe this sells for $25.99 at the winery or liquor store. This is definetly a great purchase it you like Champagne.

I am not a big fan of Champagne, but was really wowed on this. Even my grandmother who stayed away from carbonation would have like this Champagne..oops..I should say "Sparkling Wine"
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