Wine Reviews: Bubbles

Posted by | Posted in Wine Reviews | Posted on 12-07-2019

The holiday season is in full swing — the lights, the commercials and jingles, shopping, all that stuff. And, right on cue, I’ve been receiving a lot of bubbles for review.

Of course, good bubbles (especially Champagne) are good year-round, but popping the cork on a bottle of fizzy wine during the holidays, with family and friends, it really never gets old.

To help with the holiday sparkling wine shopping, I have a nice mix of sparkling wines this week. I recently tasted through some delightful Champagne, to some surprisingly good Proseccos, and some value-driven Cavas. These wines were received as samples and tasted sighted.

N.V. Palmer & Co Champagne Brut Réserve France, Champagne
SRP: $60
Rich yellow color. Bold nose of yellow pears, lemon curd, honey, ginger, but also a nice mix of crushed chalk and shells. Bright acidity meets nice creamy texture on the palate, a broad fruit assortment (apple, apricot, lemon). Nice amount of complexity in the form of sea spray, chalk dust, minerals. Biscuit and honey notes woven in well. Gains depth and complexity with air. Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and about 15% Pinot Meunier, aged four years on the lees, 8 g/l dosage. (90 points IJB)

N.V. Bruno Paillard Champagne Rosé Brut Première Cuvée France, Champagne
SRP: $60
Medium copper color. Chalky, biscuit, sea salty nose with lemon, red apple and apricot fruit, a slight, pleasant musky note. Nervy and brisk on the palate but broad texture, with crunchy red apple, juicy raspberry and strawberry, and nuanced notes of spiced tea, chalk. Brisk but toasty, zesty but plenty of fruit – seems like a holiday crowd-pleaser of a rose Champagne for sure. Pinot Noir with some Chardonnay, the blend includes reserve wine dating back to 1985, aged 3 years sur lie. 6 g/l dosage, disgorged July 2018. (91 points IJB)

N.V. Laurent-Perrier Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut Nature France, Champagne
lpSRP: $100
Deep gold color. Super bright on the nose, with a chalky, dusty, mineral, saline infusion, along with sea spray, white flowers, lemon curd and tart apricot. On the palate, this is nervy and precise with a lot of focus. It is has a knife’s edge briskness throughout, yet enough depth and creamy texture for balance, and nuanced bready doughy notes. Apricot, lemon curd and lime, topped in minerals, crushed shells, quinine and white flower tones. This is a brand new cuvee from L-P (their first in 30 years), and they’ve managed to pull off a really good Brut Nature, here. Chardonnay sourced from the Côte des Blancs (Avize, Cramant, Oiry, Chouilly) and Montagne de Reims (Tours-sur-Marne, Villers-Marmery, Rilly La Montagne), aged about six years before disgorgement. (92 points IJB)

N.V. Cantina Produttori di Valdobbiadene Prosecco Val D’Oca Italy, Veneto, Prosecco
SRP: $13
Pal lemon color. Aromas of white peaches, topped in wildflowers, white tea, nettle and sweet tarts. Crisp on the palate, juicy but tart, with white peaches, lemon and kiwi fruit. Notes of wildflowers and herbs. Food-friendly, simple in a good way, a crisper, dryer style that works well. (87 points IJB)

2018 Cantina Produttori di Valdobbiadene Val D’Oca Brut Rive di San Pietro di Barbozza Italy, Veneto, Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG
SRP: $33
Pale lemon color. Steely and bright on the nose, with a burst of lemon/lime, kiwi, and an exciting streak of minerals, chalk and dried flowers and herbs. Lovely creamy depth on the palate, but bright acidity keeps it lively and crisp, delightful balance. Ginger, honey, crushed chalk, white flowers, all of this on top of kiwi, lemon and green apple. This is a really impressive Prosecco that surprised me. (90 points IJB)

2018 Cantina Produttori di Valdobbiadene Val D’Oca Prosecco Millesiamato Extra Dry Italy, Veneto, Prosecco, Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore D.O.C.G.
SRP: $18
Lemon colored. Aromas of quince, lemon and tangerine, along with white tea, crushed sweet tarts, and an interesting musky, spice element. Fleshy texture on the palate but tart acidity. Lime, quince and apricot fruit mixes well with white tea, honey and chalk. There’s some complex floral and spice tones that are quite attractive. (88 points IJB)

2018 Cantina Produttori di Valdobbiadene Val D’Oca Punto Rosa Italy, Veneto, Marca Trevigiana IGT
SRP: $13
Pale copper color. Aromas of red apple, cranberry, with some nettle and musky tones. Crisp and light on the palate with bright acidity on a light frame. Punchy red apples, watermelon, strawberries, topped in some chalk and flowers. Pleasant, crowd-pleasing stuff, made from Pinot Nero and Pinot Grigio. (87 points IJB)

cavaN.V. Vilarnau Cava Brut Reserva Spain, Cava
SRP: $15
Medium yellow color. Aromas pop with lemon, lime, honey, some toasted nuts and baguette. Creamy texture on the palate, refreshing acidity, along with lemon crème, yellow apples. Notes of almond, sea salt, freshly baked biscuits. Fun stuff, this delivers a lot for a low price. 50% Macabeo, 35% Parallada, 15% Xarel-lo, 10 g/l residual sugar. (87 points IJB)

N.V. Vilarnau Cava Rosé Delicat Brut Reserva Spain, Cava
SRP: $16
Deep copper color. Nose of bright strawberries, cranberry, red apple, along with rose petals, some bread dough and peanut notes. On the palate, fresh acid pervades, but there’s good breadth of texture, and a nice mix of juicy strawberry fruit with crunchy red apples. Elements of sea salt, toasted nuts, baguette, and a spice floral tea note add complexity. This has a lot to show for the price. 85% Garnacha, 15% Pinot Noir, 8 g/l residual sugar. (88 points IJB)

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