We continually search to find really “good”, interesting wines from along the Mediterranean basin and from afar to bring home to offer our valued guests. Here is a taste of four sparkling wines it has taken some time to gather. While Champagne is still “King of the Hill” in the bubbly category, there are some interesting, unique & completely refreshing sparkling wines to experience. Each of these provides a very different slant of bubbly can be. Each brings a smile to the face, when reminiscing of my first taste/encounter. And, I feel they deserve a “voice”. I hope you take advantage of this opportunity.
Lokelani Brut Rose–Here is a wonderfully, light, tasty, completely refreshing sparkling wine from Maui Winery. I have so much respect for Paula Hegele, the proprietor/visionary. Despite seemingly insurmountable challenge after challenge, she has stayed the course for 43 years of grit, determination and complete passion. Imagine, for instance, NO dormancy for the vines, no “sleeping/rejuvenation” (imagine you never sleeping?). Imagine being in tropical climate where there are diseases, pests, etc that no one would know how to treat? Paula persevered through it AND with the charming, ulifting, genuine smile and twinkle in her eye. She deserves our support. A toast to Paula!
Birichino Cinsault “Pet Nat”—“fizzy & so tasty & refreshing”. You start off with really interesting Cinsault grapes, in this case from the iconic Bechthold vineyard out in Lodi, which was planted in 1886!!!! Most is used to produce their Old Vine Cinsault bottling. The leftover and the saignee is used to this orange-brown tinged Petulant Naturel—“Pet Nat”, using the Old World’s Ancestrale Methode”, capped thus trapping the CO2 in solution. Yes, a completely different take of what fizzy wine can be.
Lambert de Seyssel “Petite Royal”–One of the historic, iconic sparkling wines of France—located in Savoie of eastern France. This estate was bought back and is being resurrected since 2008. 70% Molette and 30% Altesse which are two indigenous grape varieties of the area grown in clay-limestone. The sparkling wines of Seyssel indulge in the same méthode traditionnelle production techniques used for Champagne. This cuvee is two years sur latte and an additional ten months on the lees. Pure, minerally, wonderfully refreshing AND a completely different slant on what sparkling wine can be.
Wolfberger Cremant d’Alsace Rose–Now, here is something one doesn’t run across too often here in Hawaii—a sparkling wine from Alsace, France. Back in the 1990’s in my former life as a wine distributor, we used to bring in the Wolfberger because of its breathtaking purity, its silky, though uplifting texture and its true deliciousness. Well, here is their Cremant d’Alsace Rose—100% Pinot Noir–done in the same méthode traditionnelle production techniques used for Champagne (15 months on the lees). Yet, another different perspective in what sparkling wines can be!