As summer turns to fall, producers of Champagnes and other sparkling wines begin to think of the holidays – the time of year when most of their sales take place – and soon samples of bubblies begin to drop like falling leaves of red and gold.
We have several here – our first tranche of sparklers of the season:
NV La Vieille Ferme Vin de France Sparkling Blanc ($8) – Mellow apple flavor with good bubbles, but a touch heavy on the palate.
NV Le Vieille Ferme Vin de France Sparkling Rosé ($8) – A real winner, just a lovely everytday bubbly with fresh apple flavors, a little spice and a lean finish.
NV Marqués de Cáceres Cava Brut ($12) – Minerally, with a root-cellar note of preserved apples.
NV Alma Negra Mendoza Brut Nature Rosé ($22) – A firmer bubbly with strawberry flavors, a hint of white cheese whey and a lot of fine bubbles.
NV Stephane Briday Crémant de Bourgogne ($29) – Very frothy with apple and vanilla flavors and some tin-cup minerality.
NV Amirault “Les Quarterons” Crémant de Loire ($35) – A little sweet and minty with dried fruit notes in the finish.
NV Loimer Niederösterreich Extra Brut Reserve ($41) – Very nice, with rich herbal flavors to complement the apple fruitiness and metallic minerality.
NV Loimer Niederösterreich Brut Rosé Reserve ($45) – Lean, very minerally with light flavors of strawberries and a hint of taffy in the finish.
And besides effervescence, we also have some very interesting red table wines from Hardys:
2021 Highlands 41 “Black Granite” Paso Robles Red Wine ($15) – A big, interesting wine with dark berry and dark cherry flavors and a lot of dry savory accents.
2019 Hardy’s “Tintara” McLaren Vale Shiraz Reserva ($20) – Very tart, with a lot of sticky tannins and great flavors of drying blackberries just pried off the dying vines.
2019 Hardy’s “Tintara” McLaren Vale Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve ($20) – Lovely aromas of dark and tart berries with ripe and rich, almost creamy, berry flavors and flavorful tannins with a lean finish.
2018 Hardy’s “Eileen Hardy” McLaren Vale Shiraz ($99) – Great depth of flavors with mature, concentrated berry fruit and lovely barrel notes, a little tight yet almost creamy – a luxurious wine to sip the way one would a fine red Burgundy.
Prices listed are generally SRP or from wine-searcher.com. As more wineries are now shipping direct-to-consumer, check the winery website if you can’t find a bottle in your retail store.