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2012 Graham Beck Brut Zéro, South Africa, Western Cape, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$22.00USD

Graham Beck makes some great values in sparkling wines in South Africa.  This was the best one yet I have tasted.  It is a blend of 77% Pinot Noir and 23% Chardonnay.  The zero refers to the fact that no sugar is added to the wine to help a secondary fermentation.  Copper/gold in color.  The nose has some toast, and citrus/lemons.  On the palate, this is very clean.  Nice acidity.  Lemony with underlying minerality.  Long finish.  This is drinking well now and should continue for another seven to ten years.  It will go with just about any foods.  And, it is a great value.  

2016 Sokol Blosser Bluebird Cuveé Sparkling Wine, Oregon, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$25.00USD

An interesting wine.  Tasted as part of a sparkling wine tasting, this stood out as being quite different.  This is a proprietary blend of white grapes, I would be curious as to what.  Silvery gold in color.  The nose is big and toasty.  Nice salinity and minerals.  On the palate, this is slightly sweet and slightly flabby.  It is more about minerality than fruit.  Easy to drink.  Long and persistent finish.  This seems to be made for near term drinking.  It will work with lighter foods.  

2006 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne Brut La Grande Dame, France, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2006
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$115.00USD

Always nice to revisit this wine.  This time it was in a tasting with other sparkling wines and tasted blind.  It started out quite tight and took some time to open up.  It continued to open up all night long.  it was the groups wine of the night though not mine.  Light golden in color.  The nose has a lemon/citrus quality to it along with minerals and slight ginger.  On the palate, the citrus carries thru with nice minerality.  Good acidity.  This is just starting to enter its peak period and  should be good for another decade or more before slowly starting to fade.  With the (better) 2008

2010 Pierre Callot Champagne Grand Cru Les Avats, France, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2010
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$90.00USD

This is 100% Chardonnay from a vineyard originally planted in 1951.  Les Avats means "All Good" in old French.  Silvery gold in color.  The nose has minerals and lemons with slight yeast notes.  On the palate, this is slightly sweet.  Not a lot of effervescence.  It seems slightly oxidized.  I don't know if that is the house style or an issue with this bottle.  Either way, it is not to a level of being a problem.  The lemon/citrus carries thru to the palate.  Nice finish.  This probably should be consumed in the next five years if this bottle is representative.  It will go with most foods. 

NV Moët & Chandon Champagne 150th Anniversary Impérial Brut, France, Champagne, Wine Review

Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$45.00USD

This ubiquitous Champagne seems to be everywhere and sometimes, that means it can be easy to look past it (for wine geeks anyway).  It is quite good.  This is actually a special bottling to celebrate their 150th anniversary of their founding in 1869.  It is a blend of equal parts Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier (30% to 40%) and the rest Chardonnay.  Golden in color with a bit of copper.  The nose is nice with toast, apple and slight ginger.  On the palate, this has nice full carbonation.  Good acidity.  Slight tannins.  Pears and apples.  Long finish.  This is drinking well now and should cont

NV Chartogne-Taillet Champagne Cuvée Sainte Anne, France, Wine Review

Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$42.00USD

This is a 50/50 blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.  It is 50% from 2013, and 50% from 2014 and 2015.  It was disgorged on 12/2017.  Silvery gold in color.  The nose is interesting with toast, pear, slight dried floral notes but also this interesting chocolate quality.  It took some time to open on the palate and continued to improve all evening.  Notes of pears with good acidity.  A slightly oily texture.  A bit clipped initially on the finish, that worked itself out with air.  This needs some time to develop.  It certainly should improve with a couple of years of good cellaring.  Then, it

2004 Michel Furdyna Blanc de Noir, France, Champagne, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2004
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+

Golden in color, slightly copper.  On the nose this has a bit of toast, slight ginger, and a bit of straw/yeast.  On the palate, there is some citrus.  Some strawberries.  Just a touch of residual sugar.  This seems to be showing some age and probably should be consumed in the next couple of years.  It will work well with medium or lighter foods, especially sea foods.  

NV Pierre Paillard Champagne Grand Cru Extra Brut Les Parcelles, France, Wine Review

Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$40.00USD

Great label with lots of info.  The base wine for this NV wine is 2013.  it is 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay.  This bottle was disgorged on 04/2018.  It is also a really good wine.  Medium gold in color.  The nose has apples, honey, and slight ginger and minerals.  On the palate, this has a nice backbone of acidity.  Tart apple fruit.  Lots of depth and complexity.  Long finish.  This is drinking well now and should for at least the next five to seven years.  It will work with just about any food.  

2015 Schramsberg Vineyards Crémant Demi-Sec, USA, California, Calistoga, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$38.00USD

This is an interesting blend.  It is 67% Flora, 19% Chardonnay, and 14% Pinot Noir.  Flora is a crossing of Semillon and Gewürztraminer that was created in 1938 by Harold P. Olmo at the California Agricultural Experiment Station.  Light golden in color.  The nose has seltzer, slight marzipan and peach.  On the palate, this is slightly sweet.  Apples and apricots.  Turns sweeter on the finish.  This is enjoyable on it own but would work with a not too sweet peach/apricot dessert.  Drink over the next couple of years.  

NV Calafè Greco di Tufo Kami, Italy, Campagna, Greco di Tufo, Wine Review

Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+

This was my second time trying this wine.  The first time was on it's own, but this time was in a blind tasting of Sparkling wines (mostly Champagnes) and it did not fare as well.  It showed fine, but was the groups and mine's last place wine.  That could be because it was so different as this is made from Greco di Tufo while most were made from Chardonnay or that it had less acidity than the others.  Blind tasting offers some levels of objectivity and then introduces other prejudices.  Context when drinking wine is very important.  In any event, this is light yellow gold in color.  The nos

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