The Michelle Brut Sparkling wine is a non vintage blend of 63% Chardonnay, 19% Pinot Noir and 18% Pinot Gris sourced from vineyards in the Columbia Valley of Washington State. Michelle is a rebranding (and maybe a little reconfiguring) of Domaine Ste Michelle Sparkling wines which were/are the Bubbly division of Chateau Ste Michelle. This Bubbly is made with the same process used for Champagne and is aged for up to 18 months before release. The winemaker uses 110 separate lots of juice before deciding on the final blend. Remember, with Sparkling wine, a Bubbly labeled Brut is Dry or not sweet and a Bubbly labeled Dry means sweet, I know, it is needlessly confusing. The alcohol content is 11.5%.
The color is a pale wheat yellow, with loads of teeny, tiny non-stop bubbles. The nose is lemon, lime, brioche, green apple and a little pineapple. This is a light, refreshing, slightly tart Bubbly. It starts with juicy apple, pink grapefruit, mild lemon and Anjou pear. There is a nice brush of minerality along with a little dried apricot on the mid palate. The acidity adds a crispness to the flavors and the finish is fairly full and long.
The Michelle Brut is a first class, Champagne style, Sparkling wine. The list price is $13, but during the Holidays you should be able to find for around $10 and at that price it is an amazing Bubbly. The flavors are light and delicate, but the acidity gives this Bubbly a little heft and a solid amount of structure. The Michelle Brut would work well with hors d’oeuvres and light dishes, and has enough class and elegance for the NYE midnight toast. If the Michelle Brut came from France, the wine critics would be doing summersaults, but this Columbia Valley Bubbly, for the price, can hold its own with Sparkling wines selling for much more.