We love to work with wines where the families own their vineyards, use more heirloom and heritage vine material and farm sustainably. These are NOT Grand Cru or Grande Marque wines by any means, but are instead 4 true artisan, traditional-minded & “out of the box” French bubblies which reflect the culture and heritage of the families, in addition to be tasty, unique & undoubtedly offering great value for the dollar for pure enjoyment, especially during the upcoming hot Summer days & warm nights. This tasting was interesting and fun!
“Seyssel may be unknown to many oenophiles today, but the vineyards of this small Savoie appellation of eastern France are regularly mentioned in documents dating back to at least the 11th century. With the development of sparkling wine production methods in the 19th century a new Seyssel mousseux was created that quickly gained great popularity with 70% Molette and 30% Altese grapes grown in clay and limestone soils. The sparkling wines of Seyssel indulge in the same méthode traditionnelle production techniques used for Champagne and the bottles are stocked sur latte for two years”.
Punta Crena Spumante Brut “Colline Savonesi”
“The Ruffino family has been tending their neatly terraced vineyards on the slopes and in hidden clearings on the peaks of Liguria, 1000 meters from the Sea for over 500 years. They pass their knowledge and wisdom from one generation to the next without hardly changing a thing. This bubbly is produced from the Mataossu grape variety in a similar secondary fermention in the bottle as in Champagne”. FYI–the true Mataossu grape variety is grown by only 1 family & in 1 village (Varigotti). One can smell & taste the salinity, which I believe comes from the nearby Sea, as well as the sunbaked rocks & wild shrub & herbs which surround the vineyard. The bubbles are just icing on the cake!
Nicole Chanrion is one of the true standout producers of the Côte-de-Brouilly, an appellation that “sits on the hillsides of Mont Brouilly, a prehistoric volcano that left blue schist stones and volcanic rock along its slopes. These stones yield structured wines with pronounced minerality and great aging potential”. A true artist and brilliant wine mind, she decided to produce “Effervescence”, a vintage sparkling wine, although Nicole uses a non-vintage label. This is Gamay Noir grown in schist & porphyry soils, vinified in the Méthode Champenoise, fermented in stainless steel tank, aged 18 months sur latte, hand riddled twice a day, then manually disgorged. What a wonderful, completely refreshing bubbly.
“The great historian Pliny the Elder was the first to record the greatness of the Clairette and Muscat here, celebrating a pétillance and freshness widely believed to predate those of Champagne. Among the most well-known of Clairette de Die’s producers today is the tiny Domaine Achard-Vincent. The vineyards are organically and biodynamically farmed. Though the name Clairette de Die suggests the emphasis of the Clairette grape which goes into the blends, it is actually the Muscat à petits grains for which the appellation is best known. The Clairette de Die “Tradition” uses the méthode dioise, an ancestral method that allows a secondary fermentation in the bottle without dosage, because the wine is bottled with residual sugar remaining, typically at 6% alcohol. The bottles are then decanted off of their lees and rebottled under pressure following the secondary fermentation”.