Thursday, January 10, 2008

Last Night's Tipple

The regular, old Gruet NV Brut sparkling wine ends my recent tour of the sparkling offerings of this New Mexico winery. They make others -- a vintage Blanc de Blancs (made exclusively from Chardonnay grapes), a vintage rosĂ©, and a tĂȘte de cuvee bottling that Gruet named after its founder Gilbert Gruet -- but those others don't have a wide distribution, and I haven't been able to find them except on the Gruet website. I'd love to try them, but for now, I will have to content myself with the four non-vintage offerings that I can find.

Where the Gruet Blanc de Noirs is mostly Pinot Noir with a smattering of Chardonnay, the Gruet Brut is mostly Chardonnay with a smattering of Pinot Noir (75% to 25%, according to the label). One would consequently expect this wine to have more citrus and sour apple flavors and aromas (both associated with Chardonnay when used in sparkling wine) and fewer raspberry and strawberry aromas and flavors associated with Pinot Noir. And so it is. But here's the key: it is sour, but pleasantly so. There is still fruit, so it's not just acidic nastiness. Gruet's Blanc de Noirs gets all the press, and that's probably appropriate. I like it better than I like this because I like raspberries and strawberries and fuller-bodied sparkling wines than I do apples and citrus and lighter-bodied ones. But this is still very enjoyable, and it is a raging bargain for the price it commands.

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