There needed to be a wine that was classy, but fun to sum up my 2 months here in Florida. And here it is - my last wine review from the Sunshine State: Brut Rose by Domaine Carneros (by Taittinger). As I'm obsessed with bubbly, it seems only fitting to "cheers" my exit with some slightly salmon-colored bubbles.
I have to admit that I'm rather sad I never stopped to photograph Domaine Carneros Winery despite the many times I drove by it or stopped at it for work or fun. Thankfully, there are a lot of images on Google, and this one pretty much captures the essence of the winery:
(Photo from Google Images)
I'm especially a fan of the purple/pink Spring time flowers. :) Gorgeous, classy, sophisticated - the quintessential visit if you only get to go to Napa and Sonoma once. This winery lies right on the crossroad (Highway 121/12 or the Carneros Highway) between the start of Napa and Sonoma Valleys. They make brilliant Pinot Noirs and some incredible sparkling. Sit on their balcony and watch the cars pass by while you indulge in a moment of a serenity:
View from Domaine Carneros Balcony
(Photo from Google Images)
One sip of their Brut Rose (said "rose-ay") took me back to the days of Napa... reminding me of my time well-spent there, the experiences and sights, the day-to-day routine, and the countless rows of California wines at my finger tips... But the glass was also used in celebration of my fun times in Florida and, of course, new memories to come. Without further ado...
Sparkling Wines at Domaine Carneros
(Photo from Wikipedia)
2007 Brut Rose
(Photo by author)
The D-2010 Scale
2007 Brut Rose by Domaine Carneros (Carneros, CA)
Appearance (10 points possible): Lots of small bubbles burst from this salmon-hued/light pink wine. Bubbles are everlasting - signature of the Methode Champenoise style. - 10 points
Aroma/Bouquet (20 points possible): Strawberry, bread/yeast, slight rose. - 18 points
Taste (10 points possible): Off-dry Brut sparkling, but the wine seems particularly dry. Light bodied, crisp in acid, nice strawberry, but aged flavor. Very refreshing. - 8 points
Balance (5 points possible): I thought this sparkling was perfectly balanced - no one attribute really stood out to me, and I'm especially happy to see the 12% alcohol limit for this style. Wine is 55% Pinot Noir grapes and 45% Chardonnay. - 5 points
Finish (5 points possible): Again, a nice combination of a slightly fruit, but aged sparkling. Finish lingers forever and definitely refreshes palate. A good sparkling choice for when you want something subdued and sophisticated. - 5 points
Packaging *Introduction to the D-2010 Scale*
Quality of Package (5 points possible): Label, glass bottle, cork, and capsule are all high quality. - 5 points
Label Marketability (10 points possible): To the modern-aged wine drinker, this may not be appealing from a marketing perspective. But, in terms of the Napa/Sonoma tradition, the appearance is quite lovely. I especially enjoy the golden symbol of the winery. - 8 points
Other (5 points possible): Traditional, California packaging. And of course, the style of this label fits the "ambiance" of the tasting room. - 5 points
Total Points: 94 points
Overall Thought: I enjoyed this bubbly. Of course, this is probably beyond the price point that many would like to spend for a sparkling wine, but I very much enjoyed it.
Food Pairings: We drank this throughout an afternoon on its own. Truly enjoyed it without a major food pairing, but then again, I feel that way about most sparkling wines. Of course, sparkling is a good choice whenever you need something light and refreshing between dishes.
Splurge Factor (out of 4): 2 or 3, depending on your budget. I would say this is an "occasion" wine. If you want to get a sparkling wine from California with a little more class, then this is a good choice. If you are looking for something sweet, fruity, and fun, then a lower tier sparkling wine is probably for you. But there is a time and place for every wine out there!
Where to buy: I'd check this one out on their website! Cheers!