Review: Gruet Blanc de Noirs

Sparkling wine that’s good enough to drink on its own yet economical enough to make brunch cocktails with? And it’s made domestically? We’re interested. What if we also told you that it was made in the traditional method champenoise style? Sold. Gruet’s Blanc de Noirs is enticingly tasty and just as affordable. This New Mexican sparkler is our current obsession. Yep, that’s right — New Mexican.

Gilbert Gruet began his wine career by opening a co-op in the village of Bethon in the Champagne region of France. Back in the 1980s, while on a family vacation in the southwestern United States, he met a handful of winemakers who were having some serious success with the terroir of New Mexico. The following year, he opened an experimental vineyard in the state, planting the grapes he knew so well from his beloved Champagne region — Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Twenty-five years later, Gruet’s wines are some of the best examples of what the southwestern USA is capable of producing.

Gruet Blanc de Noirs is a classically delicious example of what Pinot Noir can do in its sparkling form. The wine is a beautiful pale salmon color, with fine bubbles and a creamy mouthfeel. Aromas of cherry and toast carry over to the palate and create a refreshing acidity, following through to a long finish. The wine is aged on its lees for 24 months, bringing complexity and layered, toasty flavors to the blend. Delicious enough to drink on its own, yet affordable enough to make some experimental cocktails with, guilt-free. Who ever said a celebration was needed for sparkling? We’re making this one a staple on our wine shelf.

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