The Korbel California Champagne (Korbel has been in business since 1883 and are grandfathered in to legally use the term Champagne on the bottle) Brut (not sweet) nonvintage Bubbly produced from a blend of Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, French Columbard and Pinot Noir grown in several California grape growing AVA’s. This Bubbly is made in with the Champagne Method, where the second fermentation occurs in each and every individual bottle. I must admit, that I never paid much attention to Korbel before, I would walk right pass these bottles to pick up a Cava or a Prosecco without ever giving a thought to trying the Korbel. I never had a bad experience with their Bubbly, it is just that I had decided that Korbel was for your uncool Aunt and Uncle to drink on special occasions. But lately, I have been reading that Wine Spectator gave the Korbel Brut 88 points and Wine Enthusiasts gave it 87 points, while I am conflicted on giving wine points, points do not really tell you if the wine is made in a style you enjoy or not, but points do tell you if the wine is well made. And since cheapwinefinder.com’s unofficial motto is drink the wine BEFORE you decide if you love it or hate it, I thought it was high time to give Korbel a try. The alcohol content is 12%.
The color is a classy golden yellow with tons of tiny bubbles. The nose is lightly perfumed, with lemons, a hint of butter, tart hard candy. This is a Bubbly with a very full mouthfeel and a crisp tart citrus edge. It tastes of not sweet Sierra Mist, a touch of spiced apple cider, a sharp hit of acidity mingled with a smooth creamy texture, cinnamon spice, with a final dash of pear. There is a lot going on for Bubbly I found selling on sale for $8.99. The finish is full and goes on and on and on.
Well, I guess Korbel isn’t the largest selling Bubbly in the United States for nothing. This Bubbly is made in a style I enjoy, it has a strong undercurrent of acidity running through the body of the wine and while it hints at sweetness, it is a dry wine. The flavors have a bit of an attack to them, they are bold, this is an inexpensive Bubbly that has the flavor and the body to be a versatile food wine. The Korbel Brut makes me want to try some of their other offerings, they have an organic Brut using Sangiovese instead of Pinot Noir that sounds interesting.