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The Louis Pommery Brut NV is a blend of 95% Chardonnay, and 5% Pinot Noir sourced from vineyards in California. This Sparkling wine is the California version of Champagne Pommery (founded in 1858), with Madame Pommery creating Brut (dry, not sweet) Champagne in 1874. Pommery has had a winery in Napa since 2004.
The same winemaker that oversees the Champagne Pommery production is in charge of Louis Pommery Sparkling wine. The Louis Pommery website is vague on the production details, and the Pinot Noir is sourced from the Carneros AVA. While they do have estate vineyards in Napa, they do not indicate if they are estate grapes.
On the bottom edge of the bottle, there is a stamped production code using white ink. I am no expert on reading these codes, but they seem to indicate that the Louis Pommery Brut NV had a second fermentation that lasted about three years. That is an impressive length of time for a Bubbly that sells for around twenty bucks.
The longer the 2nd fermentation, the more creamy the Bubbly becomes and the smaller and more delicate the bubbles. They also use a proprietary yeast program that is the same process used in Champagne. While California Chardonnay and Pinot Noir have different characteristics than those grown in Champagne, much of the production is very similar.
I had intended to review the Trader Joe’s Reserve Brut Sparkling Wine ($14.99) when I got to thinking why drink Trader Joe’s Bubbly when French Champagne Houses have California Bubbly that sells for under $20? Champagne-style Bubbly is a Prestige wine. If you pop the top on a bottle of Mumm, Piper, or Chandon, your guest will be far more impressed than if you open a bottle of TJ’s Bubbly.
I fully expect the Trader Joe’s Reserve Sonoma Bubbly to be delicious; it is just that I know nothing about it. I know some excellent things about the Louis Pommery Brut NV, and it is priced only a few dollars more. The Louis Pommery has received 90 points plus by leading wine review magazines. While it is a reasonably new California Sparkling wine, it is off to an excellent start. The alcohol content is 12.5%.
The Louis Pommery Brut NV Tasting Notes
The color is a mix of silver and peach with tons of happy bubbles. The nose is baked apple, vanilla, Anjou pear, tart grapefruit, spice, brioche, and light spring flowers. The Louis Pommery Brut NV has a firm mouth-feel and solid and balanced flavors.
This Bubbly tastes like a stew of baked apple, peach, and ripe lemon; that may sound odd, but it tasted great, followed by soft, not sweet candy spice and grapefruit. The mid-palate shows a touch of tropical fruit, nectarine, a little of that salty/nutty “on lees” thing, and sleek key lime. This Bubbly has flavor!
- The top Sonoma Sparkling WIne Houses, such as Schramsburg, Iron Horse, and Gloria Ferrer do not offer affordably proced Bubbly (under $20), the the Champagne Houses from France almost all offer excellent well-priced Northern California Bubbly.
- The Louis Pommery Brut NV is an extermely tasty Bubbly.
- As much as I do love Champagne, when it comes to value I will take Champagne’s California versions. They hit hard for the price.