The Trader Joe’s Blanc de Blanc Brut is a non-vintage Sparkling wine produced somewhere in France and TJ’s sells it for $4.49. This is a revisit, we tasted the TJ’s Blanc de Blanc Brut back in July 2011 and we thought it was $4.49 very well spent. Blanc De Blanc in Sparkling wine terms means White wine from White grapes, in Champagne they also use Red grapes, Pinot Noir and Pinot Muenier, then it is Blanc de Noirs. Trader Joe’s does not give much detail on the making of this Bubbly, only vaguely mentioning White grapes. My theory is, that if Chardonnay or Chenin Blanc was used they would have mentioned it, because that would be a selling point. It is probably produced with regional French White wine grapes that the average American wine drinker has never heard of, maybe Grolleau or Mauzac. As long as it tastes good and sells for $4.49, they can use any grape they want. The alcohol content is 11%.
The color is pale golden yellow with loads and loads of bubbles that dissipate rather quickly. The nose is (remember don’t swirl Bubbly, it messes up the bubbles) lemons and limes, with some buttered bread and a sweet floral edge. Crisp, refreshing, slightly tart with a solid balanced dose of acidity, are my first impressions. There is a some dry (non sweet) 7up or Sprite happening on the mid palate along with apple (core and all) and an unexpected slap of minerality. These Bubbles have far greater complexity than you would ever figure for a sub $4.50 Sparkling wine. The finish is light and delicate, but the acidity allows it to last and last.
Will this $4.49 Sparkler make you forget about top notch French Champagne, probably not, but it will give you loads of respect for whomever made a Bubbly this good for less than 5 bucks, hell yeah. This is a very cheap Sparkling wine that does not have issues, it is well made, good tasting, crisp, refreshing, it does what Sparkling wine is supposed to do and it does it rather well. If you are planning a Holiday party, take note, a case of this stuff is less than $60, you can barely get 2 bottles of entry level Champagne for that price.
1 comment on “Trader Joe’s Blanc De Blanc Brut”
This is currently $6, and no bargain even at that price. (If the new tulip-shaped bottle I recently bought is representative.) The “nose” was mostly vinegar. The taste was an unstructured mix of vinegar and Brut champagne.
Returned to TJ’s and upgraded to a $7 “Chateau St. Jean Brut Cuvée Sparkling Wine.” (Back label adds: “California Sparking White Wine.”) That magnanimous extra $1 investment is priceless. If you like white-based sparklers, this is a solid, tight, dry, tangy, cohesive delight.
Far more satisfying than well-reviewed, name-brand California Bruts I’ve tried in the $19-23 range.