One should drink bubbly regardless of occasion. But it is my birthday. So I root around in the cellar for a fizzy friend. Bottles of Dom Perginon and Krug tempt me. Yet thirty five does not feel that special (aka expensive). I turn to something interesting instead:
Ravines, Brut, Methode Classique, Finger Lakes Sparkling Wine, New York 2006
I cannot press enough what potential New York’s cold climate Finger Lakes posses. We lived there for four years. Like Champagne, the weather is miserable, soil poor, seasons short: a perfect recipe for austere, ageable bubbly. Five years ago, I even posted about another 2006 sparkling wine by Dr. Konstantine Frank (read here).
Ravines winery has always been special to me. Morten & Lisa Hallgren have crafted clean, dry, serious wines since 2000. Their Rieslings compete well with Germany. Once in a while a vintage shines enough to merit a sparkling wine.
in 2006, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir picked, fermented and went through secondary bottle fermentation giving it a fine fizz. Ravines only made 375 cases.
A decade after harvest, how does it hold up? We throw on the 1932 Mummy and crack it:
APPEARANCE: Clear, medium minus intense but bright gold color, mixed fizz size, fine rapid bubbled core.
AROMAS: Clean, medium intense, diaphanous golden pear, camomile, light honey, vanilla powder.
PALATE: Dry, like Boris Karloff’s face, medium plus acidity, fine fizz, light alcoholic warmth, ripe fruity core medium bodied.
FLAVORS: Medium intense and persistent, palate-clinging flavors lead with poached pear, honey, into shortbread, followed by light lemon juice, ending in wet slate that dries at the back of the palate by steely fine bubbles. Long length.
Ravines’ 2006 Sparkling Brut is very good (4 of 5). It remains crisp and refreshing with enough filigreed complexity to get lost in. Salads, poached white fish, light deserts, and laid back birthday celebrations with classic horror films. Do drink it now. One could age it for another five years but that citric freshness will slip away, like the sands of Egypt. For $35 one cannot complain: