The Vickery Park Chardonnay Brut is an $8.99 Trader Joe’s import exclusive sourced from Chardonnay grapes grown in vineyards located the Loire Valley and also a few select vineyards in the south of France. Vickery Park is an English wine company, their main brand is Griffith Park Sparkling wines which are sourced from Australian grapes. The Vickery Park Sparkling wines are produced by Marquis de Goulaine in the Loire Valley of France, the winery dates back to 986 (yeah, not a four digit date, but three) and they say they are the oldest wine family in the world and possibly the oldest family owned business in the world. So, you are not just get some inexpensive Trader Joe’s Bubbly, you are getting a glass full of wine history. This Bubbly is made in the Methode Traditionelle, the same way Champagne is produced (the 2nd fermentation, where the bubbles are added, occurs inside each and every bottle). It is funny, in the Champagne Region of France, they call it Methode Champenoise (even though they did not invent the procedure) and all the other French Sparkling wine producers call their production methods anything but Methode Champenoise. Brut indicates these Bubbles are on the dry or not sweet side. This Bubbly was aged, in the bottle for 9 months (Champagne in contrast is aged a minimum of 18 months) and the alcohol content is 12%.
The color is pale wheat yellow, with loads of tiny bubbles. The nose is a little lemon, a little apple and a little baking bread. It tastes very crisp and clean, the flavors are subtle and the acidity is strong, but balanced. It starts with apples, unsweetened lemon/lime, lightly buttered bakery bread and a soft brush of minerality. The lip smacking acidity propels the finish for a decent length of time.
The Vickery Park Chardonnay Brut will not blow you away with its flavor or balance, but I found myself topping off my glass every time it got a little low. There is something quietly beguiling about these Bubbles. At 9 bucks, the Vickery Park can easily be an everyday wine, every year I keep telling myself, this is the year I drink Bubbly, just because, no celebration necessary. Bubbles this much fun and affordable, allow you to be decadent while staying within your budget.