15 February, 2012

Budget Brut from the Languedoc #WBW74

February 15th, 2012 is Wine Blogging Wednesday, a monthly event with a special theme in which wine bloggers write about a wine that matches the theme. This month is a theme that I LOVE: Sparkling wines $25 and under.

I just read a very heartening statistic: American consumption of Champagne is on the rise and has increased by at least 20% since 2010. I have certainly added to that increase and have grown to love Champagne and sparkling wines over the past year. There is nothing more wonderful than an expensive, vintage Champagne. However, I cannot afford bottles of '02 Cristal or Krug from 1996 so I am so happy when I can find an affordable alternative, especially if it is under $20. My pick for WBW #74 is:

What makes a pricey champagne (vintage or non-vintage) from Champagne so great to me are the yeasty, toasty notes they acquire from so much ageing on the "lees", which are deposits of yeast in fermentation tanks.

Will a $15 bottle of Brut from the Languedoc have the same yeasty complexity? NO, but it has been aged on lees for 18 months so it has some of that flavor and texture that I love so much.

This sparkler has a good balance of fruit and yeastiness. It is composed of 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Chardonnay. It tastes like strawberry jam spread on toasted brioche with slices of tart green apple. It is crisp and dry and has a long, creamy finish making me want to drink more. It pairs especially well with sushi.

This sparkling wine is special and is only carried by K&L Wines, a large wine store in the Bay Area. They import it directly from the producer, Jean -Louis Denois, one of the oldest wineries in the Languedoc region of Southern France and the grapes for this sparkler come from vineyard sites in the French Pyrenees.

If you are not in Northern California just click on the link above and order some of this sparkling wine. You cannot beat the quality of this wine at the price of $14.99.

A Votre Sante! from Xandria

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