Last week I took part in a Thirsty Girl twitter tasting with Domaine Ste Michelle located in Washington State.(#TGTaste). On the tasting table was their Brut and Brut Rose sparkling wine. I highly recommend grabbing a bottle or two.
Each of the sparklings was done in Methode Champenoise method which the second fermentation takes place in the bottle. The primary fermentation lasts about 2-3 weeks. Then the winemaker selects 5 cuvees based on aroma and acidity to create blend (assemblage). It's then put in bottles and the liqueur de triage (reserve wine + cane sugar and yeast) is added to begin the second fermentation. The sparkling is then aged sur lie (on the dead yeast cells) for up to 18 months. It is during this time between 8-10 months it begins to go through autolysis. This is when the yeast cells die, their nuclei releases amino acids and other nutrients into the wine. It creates the aromas and flavors that taste bready or toasty. Then it's disgorged and the dead yeast cells gather in the neck, are frozen and pop out. A sweet dosage is added to balance out the acid and viscosity give each of the wines their unique style.
The Brut is made of 88% Chardonnay and 12% Pinot Noir. Aromas of pear and green apple filled my glass with a hint of breadiness. On my palate I tasted green apple with a soft toasty finish.
The Brut Rose is made with 100% Pinot Noir grapes. Aromas of bright raspberries and tart cherries filled my glass. Palate full of red berries and a long lingering finish of ripe raspberries.
I enjoyed both sparklings but really like the Rose the best. Both will be great tonight to toast in the New Year tonight. I found them at my wine store for $10.99. What a great value!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
Disclosure: I received this wines as a media sample from Domaine Ste. Michelle