Hello friends. Today we have cool-climate sparkling wine from the Pacific Northwest, made with traditional Champagne varieties, from estate-grown vineyards more than 40 years old.
Where in the hell, you might be asking, are we?
Yep: the Okanogan Valley of British Columbia (see location here).
Yes, that’s Canada, where the Mavety family planted Blue Mountain Vineyard in 1971.
No, I’m not going to make a big deal out of it, and no, it’s not the start of a slew of offerings for BC wines. The truth is, because of some tricky import-tariff issues, BC wines are usually terrible values to sell in the United States.
In this case, I’m not sure how many horse heads ended up in the beds of how many provincial officials, but somehow, this wine landed in the US with a truly compelling price for the quality.
And in our ongoing quest for vinous nirvana across the Pacific Northwest, we can’t let small things like national boundaries get in our way.
This showed up at a recent tasting I attended and was a total standout. I mean, don’t throw away your collection of vintage Champagne or anything, but this more than holds its own against wines like Cremants de Bourgogne that inhabit similar price points. When I taste sparkling wine made like Champagne, I generally evaluate three things: intensity, flavor profile, and texture.
I want the intensity to be high, and that’s the case; it coats the palate with its refreshing flavors. The flavor profile is outstanding: a combination of lemon, pear, and terrific autolytic grace notes of biscuit. And the texture is convincingly elegant, with a fine mousse and a seamlessness across the palate. For less than $25, this is more than enough for me. 61% Pinot Noir, 36% Chardonnay, and 3% Pinot Gris (which is an acceptable grape even in Champagne, although many don’t know it).
With each passing year in the wine trade, my ability to be surprised diminishes. So when a wine shocks me in a positive way, as this one did, it’s a reinvigorating treat.
First come first served up to 12 bottles, and the wine should arrive in about a week, at which point it will be available for pickup or shipping during the autumn shipping window.