While Champagne is the traditional bubbly most will look to pop, we think there is a growing opportunity to try sparkling wines from “other” wine growing regions, ones that are more affordable in price. The really good ones are somewhat hard to find, but they are certainly worth the effort when you take your first sip. Here are four such wines, each really good in their own right and I suggest you jump on the bandwagon now & beat the crowds, the inevitable long wait lists and escalating prices.
Gregoletto Prosecco “Sui Lieviti”—True, authentic, artisan Prosecco, unlike the more generic, commercial minded, mass produced versions more commonly found in the market. In fact, every bottle may taste different—vino vivente—living wine. Yes, this is your chance to sample the real stuff! The family can be traced back to the late 1600’s/early 1700’s. “All of the family’s work from the vines to the bottling is done by hand—artisinally, carefully, and patiently—based on oral traditions passed down over the centuries. Many of their secrets are closely guarded. The sui lieviti bottlings represent the history of this region before the Champagne method was invented. Secondary fermentation takes place in bottle slowly and a fine sediment forms in the bottom of the bottle”. Former “SLO Foods Winemaker of the Year”.
Scammacca del Murgo Brut Rosé “Metodo Classico” (Sicily)—100% Nerello Mascalese grown on Mount Etna & its volcanic soils. Primary fermentation in stainless, secondary fermentation in bottle. Aged on fine lees in bottle for 3 years. Dosage—5 g/l.
Nicole Chanrion Brut “Effervescence”—Nicole Chanrion is a true vigneron, in every sense of the meaning, think of the difference between a samurai and a swordsman from their perspective. She is total hands on and lives it, not only talks about it. Her Beaujolais red wines are standout and iconic because of their quality, personal touch and soulfulness. Every now and then she produces this wine—100% Gamay Noir (a proven descendent of Pinot Noir) from 50 year old vines, grown in schist and porphyry soils, vinified methode champenoise in stainless steel, 18 months on the lees, hand riddled two times a day and bottled with only 3g/l dosage. Yes, it is definitely one worth checking out!
Raventos I Blanc Brut Rosé “De Nit”—This is as good as Spanish Cava gets and is thankfully a very different take on what sparkling wine can be. This family has owned their vineyards since 1497. Yes, you read that right, 1497, just 5 years after Christopher Columbus set out to find America! Located in the Anoia River Valley, biodynamically farmed– 48% Xarel-lo, 32% Parrellada, 15% Macabeu & 5% of still Mourvedre—18 months on the lees.