Capital gains? Capital pains! There are big-time, big-money French Champagnes to lubricate the rich (you two still out there?) and there are scads of plucky sparklers made 'round the world for the other 99.99% of us workin' stiffs. I'm a big fan of Prosecco and I've even had a Spanish Cava or two that I dug. Honestly, I've never been wowed by the Cali bubblies that I've tried. Tasted scores, never wowed. Until August. On a day laden with waaay too many pinot noirs and gewurt's in Anderson Valley/Mendocino, I stumbled across a Reveletory Sparkler. Scharffenberger Cellars first began making wines in 1981, with varying levels of success. Fast forward to 2008, they're currently owned by famed French Champagne house Louis Roederer, and are making what I belive to be Cali's best sparkling wine. And It's not French at all. It's composed of 65% pinot noir & 35% chardonnay, and while the pinot is clearly driving the bus here, the chard shows it's elegant face shiningly. Fruit forward, with the AV pinot bringing creamy strawberry/raspberry, cherry and brambly plum in. The chardonnay component undergoes 100% malolactic fermentation, enhancing the vanilla creaminess. Twenty-first century Cali tropicality brings exotic mango, lychee and pineapple fluff notes. Two years rested on lees, the chard brings a yeasty toastiness, dense with pastry shop butterscotch brioche and lemon chiffon flavors. Sweet this is not, true brut dry-finishing with a crunchy mineral backbone. All for under sixteen smakers, price-specialized for your drinking pleasure. Being from Mendocino, serve Scharffenberger Brut with whatever you eat when you get the munchies.
Cheers, Buckley Wineholt