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K&L Staff Recommendations
Wine Enthusiast: "From a former rock-star sommelier of the Parisian wine scene, this slightly sweet cider is produced from the fruit of apple trees more than 50 years old. Tones of baked apple drizzled with honey beg to be paired with warm apple pie à la mode. Don’t let the sweetness fool you—there’s enough tannin and acid to please even dry-seeking palates. (AP)" (9/2015) K&L Notes: A sommelier by training, in 1992 Eric took over his family's estate and orchards. His goal was to revolutionize the cider industry and bring it into restaurants, high-end retail and export markets. A clo... Read More »
Wine Spectator: "Soft, delivering ginger, brioche and pear notes, with a friendly, open finish. Drink now. (Web Only-2013) (JM)" K&L Notes: A pale yellow wine with tiny bubbles, this Cremant de Loire Brut is rounded and delicate with a fine, nervy, complex nose and the freshness of Chenin Blanc, floral Chardonnay and fruity Cabernet Franc from 20- to 30-year-old vines. With its lively attack, it evolves gracefully across the palate with nice aromatic persistence in the mouth and lingering notes of fresh peaches and pear. A great opener to a memorable night! 12.5% abv. (Eric Story, Lo... Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "This profound, off-dry sparkling pear cider from Normandy comes from biodynamically farmed, 300-year-old trees." (5/2014) K&L Notes: A sommelier by training, in 1992 Eric took over his family's estate and orchards. His goal was to revolutionize the cider industry and bring it into restaurants, high-end retail and export markets. A close friend of his, Didier Dagueneau, the icon wine-maker in Pouilly-sur-Loire encouraged him down the path of producing ciders from apples and pears that are like no others. Ciders that make one draw comparisons to fine vintage wine. The ... Read More »
Méthode Traditionnelle (same process as Champagne) 60% Chardonnay 40% Folle Blanche grown in soils consisting of chalk and flint on the south side of the Loir. This fun bubbly is fresh, vibrant yet delicate and textural. Subtle hints of brioche with a ultrathin spread of fruit which adds to the aromatic. There is a nice richness on the palate which comes from the Chardonnay and then finishes clean and mouthwatering thanks to the Folle Blanche. This is a super food friendly bubbly but will double down and be a fantastic stand around cocktail sipper as wel... Read More »
La Capitaine is a family-run winery that farms 27 hectares of the glorious Chenin Blanc grape. This sparkler made in the Champagne method shows a beautiful floral nose that leads to fine, elegant bubbles and a zippy finish. It's a festive wine for parties, but would also make a great accompaniment to a spicy Indian curry.
70% Folle Blanche, 30% Pinot Noir
It's unlikely you'll find a more elegant, refined pear cider than this one from famed biodynamic Loire Valley cider producer Eric Bordelet. The tiny little tear-dropped shaped fruit for this comes from a stand of 60-foot tall, 300-year-old pear trees. With a delicate bead and complex flavors that are unparralelled, this would make a stunning and surprising substitution for Champagne at your next party.
Claude Branger makes this small-production sparkling wine in his own domaine, from a one-and-a-half acre plot of older Melon vines. Branger is a committed grower who farms his 61 acres in the heart of the Muscadet Sèvre et Maine appellation completely sustainably, with an attention to detail that translates to wines of superior quality.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "This wine offers a fresh, almond and white flower-laced nose and a lively, earthy, and chalk-packed flavor profile. This refreshing sparkling wine is sure to bring a smile to readers' faces on hot summer afternoons. (RP)" (6/1998) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Light gold with tiny bubbles. Subdued aromas of orange zest, lemon, dried pear and honeysuckle. Broad but energetic citrus and orchard fruit flavors are complemented by anise and honey, giving the wine an impression of richness as well as vivacity. The persistent finish repeats the honey and floral notes and clings nicely. This i ...Read More »
Vinous: "Vivid gold with an aggressive bead. A complex bouquet of ripe apple, pear and quince, with honey and beeswax nuances. Distinctly chenin blanc in character, offering dried orchard fruit and bitter lemon qualities and a strong mineral undertone. A touch of marzipan adds depth to the dry, stony, precise finish. This will be very flexible with rich fish or poultry dishes. (JR)" (5/2010) Wine Spectator: "Alluring, with ginger, quince and maple hints allied to a soft, brioche-filled palate. The friendly, open-knit finish has an off-dry hint. (JM, Web-2010)" K&L Notes: Produced from Chidaine... Read More »
From the producer: "At a time when modern oenology triumphs, we often have a tendency to forget that a great wine is conceived above all with the vine: ploughing of the ground, output control, canopy management, manual grape harvesting and respect of the biotope. Ahead of its time, Le Domaine de l'écu has been certified as an organic agriculturist since 1975 and certified in Biodynamics since 1988 (Demeter) for the whole if its 22 hectares. In addition, we have renounced all artificial technology in our cellars to break with the movement of standardizati... Read More »
Jancis Robinson: "Light but distinctive nose, honey and lemon character. Gentle, soothing sort of character, and genuinely dry (even at 12%). Very subtle, and pretty short, but a great lunchtime option, with a lovely savoury finish. (RH)" (10/2013) Vinous: "Bright gold with a frothy mousse. Pear and white peach on the nose, with complicating floral and spice qualities and a hint of orange zest. At once fleshy and dry, offering tangy citrus and orchard fruit flavors and slow-building spiciness. The finish repeats the orange note and leaves a strong spicy quality behind. This impressi ...Read More »
About the producer: "Domaine Les Hautes Noëlles was founded in 1930 in the village of St Leger les Vignes and is in the appellation "Muscadet Côtes de Grandlieu". The domain spreads over 25 hectares of vineyard, mainly planted with Melon de Bourgogne grape variety (Muscadet) and is cultured according to the rules of organic production. The Domain produces about 120,000 bottles a year divided into Muscadet and Gros Plant for AOP wines (Controlled Protected Appellation) and Chardonnay, Gamay, Cabernet, Merlot, Grolleau Gris and Grolleau Noir for Vins de ... Read More »
Some would call this pétillant naturel méthode ancestrale, which is loosely the same thing: a sparkling wine made in bottle with its native yeast and without any sugar additions (no chapitalization during initial fermentation, no sweet yeast liquor added for secondary in bottle, and no sweet dosage at disgorgement the bottles are simply topped off with the same wine and corked). Indeed, Originel is made without any additions or modern interventions of any kind. It is absolutely natural, a requirement enshrined by its makers and, as of 2007, by law for Pé... Read More »