Happy New Year! I know, I know.. you thought I would be drinking Champagne. But as much as I love love love Champagne, there's a whole wide world of amazing sparkling wine out there. And whose bubbly star is on the rise? England. I've been reading about English sparklers in British wine magazines for years, and am so very excited that these wines are starting to have a presence in the US market.
The Ridgeview Cavendish is a traditional blend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and Chardonnay, produced using the Champagne method. The grapes are grown in Sussex, England, a region with a cool continental climate similar to that of the Champagne region of France. Cool Sussex nights ensure that the grapes retain their acidity, making for a zippy, zesty bottle of bubbles. After the second fermentation, the wine rests on its lees for nearly two years, imparting a yeasty depth as the perfect counterpoint to the bright acid. So, let's taste (and toast!)...
Review: The Cavendish is a pale gold color, with streaming, small persistent bubbles. On the nose, the wine shows golden orchard fruit and rich, yeasty pastry. The palate is bone dry with bright acid (as advertised!), a medium to full body and a generous mouse. The wine is dominated by savory toasted hazelnuts and fresh brioche, and balanced by soft Meyer lemon curd and baked golden apples. The finish is long and lingery.
I adore this wine. So well balanced, with such intensity of fruit and savory character. A home run in my book.
Food Pairing: Perfect on its own, but vibrant enough to stand up to rich foods. I'm pairing mine with some corned beef with spicy mustard.
Bottom Line: A beauty with balanced fruit, autolytics and fresh acid. I can't wait to try more British bubbles!
- VINTAGE: 2013
- PLACE: Sussex, England
- GRAPE: 26% Pinot Noir, 40% Pinot Meunier, 34% Chardonnay
- BOOZE: 12%
- CELLAR: Drink now through 2018
Where did I get it? Astor Wines & Spirits
What's the damage? Premium