My wife and I are big fans of California sparkling wine. Not to say we don’t like Champagne, but I think that some of the Napa outposts of the big houses of Champagne make some really spectacular sparkling wine with California grapes.
We’re members at Domaine Chandon, the Napa camp of Moet & Chandon, famous for its Dom Perignon prestige cuvee, and this wine comes from nearby Domaine Carneros, outpost of Comtes de Champagne’s Tattinger.
First off, I tend to really like rose sparklings. Leaving just a little of the Pinot Noir skins in contact with the wine—just for a bit—adds a little kick that I find less common in regular brut or blanc de blancs sparkling.
The color on this brut rose is not a bright, or even a light pink, but something much more peach, with a hint of orange. It looks much more masculine than other brut roses I’ve seen, to be honest.
The wine smells kind of like it looks. Like peach, but also like a light floral bouquet, featuring rose petals. A bit of apricot in there too.
On the palate is more of the same, flowers and apricot, and a touch of peach, and orange peel. All very subtle, and the wine is very much a brut—very dry, not sweet in the least. A nice minerality helps keep the floral and fruit flavors in line.
A very pretty, very celebratory wine. If you haven’t tried brut rose before, if you’re afraid of (or look down your nose at) “pink” sparkling wine, this is one to try. It won’t disappoint.