The Gruet Brut Rose’ is 100% Pinot Noir Sparkling wine sourced from estate and contracted vineyards near Truth or Consequences and a little north of Albuquerque in New Mexico. Gruet is a family owned and operated winery and originally made Champagne (G. Gilbert et Fils, still in business) in the town of Bethon, France (Moet Chandon owns vineyards near here) in 1952. Gilbert Gruet had heard of vineyards in New Mexico with unique growing conditions since the 1960s and in the early 1980s visited the area and decided set up shop. The Gruet winery was founded in 1984 and the first vintage was released in 1989 (it takes time to make good Champagne style Sparkling wine). This Rose’ is made from Pinot Noir grapes and I know you have always been told Rose’ gets it pinkish color from the red grapes skins being removed from the crushed grape juice as soon as the desired color is reached. But with Sparkling wine the color most likely comes from the Saignee Method, here the skins are not left with the juice (which is basically clear) and at the very end of production they add in 2% of regular still (not Sparkling wine) to get the desired color. Like the Sparkling wine of Champagne the Gruet Brut Rose’ goes thru 2 fermentations, the second fermentation occurs after the wine fermented once is bottled, then a measured amount of yeast and sugar are added to each bottle and a temporary cork is inserted. The actual 2nd fermentation only lasts for a short period of time, Gruet allows the wine to age in this state for 24 months, in Champagne the Sparkling wines must age for a minimum of 18 months. Brut indicates this wine is dry and not sweet and the alcohol content is 12%.

The color is salmon pink, with loads of tiny energetic bubbles. The nose is strawberries, lemon, bakery bread, a little cream, and a late slap of ripe cherry. This sparkling wine has a nice jolt of acidity along with interesting fruit flavors. It tastes cherry hard candy (the kind your grandmother used to give you), tart raspberry, pink lemonade and a touch of brioche. The mid-palate shows very tart strawberry in cream and a dash of minerality. The acidity is abundant but balanced, it sips well. The finish is delicate and long-lasting.

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The Gruet Brut Rose’ is a delicious Bubbly and in my opinion Gruet Bubbly is the best readily available, affordable Sparkling wines on the market. For that matter the more expensive Gruet Bubbles can go one on one against some Champagnes selling for twice their price. I just qualified these wine with “readily available” and ‘affordable”, but they don’t need qualification. Good wine is good wine, period, price and location of the vineyards are beside the point.

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Don’t tell anyone, but there is absolutely no correlation between the cost of wine and the quality of wine.