gruetbrutrose'The Gruet Brut Rose  is a nonvintage Sparkling wine made from 100% Pinot Noir grown at Estate vineyards near the town of Engle, 170 miles south of Albuquerque, in New Mexico. They add 2% still (no bubbles) Pinot Noir to give the wine a pink hue. This Sparkler is made in the Methode Champenoise process, just like the wines from Champagne, France, where the second fermentation takes place in each individual bottle. The wine is aged in the bottle for 24 months. I was talking to a French winemaker last spring about all the different areas that are producing quality wine, and he mentioned how he admired the Pinot Noirs from Oregon. When I mentioned that they make excellent Champagne style Sparkling wine in New Mexico, he said, “Well, Gruet is French you know.” When the French are taking credit for Sparkling wine grown from New Mexico grapes, you know it has to be very, very good. The alcohol content is 12%.

The color is pale salmon pink, with tons of small delicate bubbles. The nose is strawberry, lemons and limes and a little magnolia. It tastes of tart cherry and strawberries, there is a light creamy texture, the bubbles hit your tongue, release their flavor then disappear. A subtle, balanced wine, the tart fruit and the creamy texture compliment each other. The yeasty, bread flavors that dominate in many Champagne style wines are muted here. This is a dry wine, no cloying sweetness, it goes down very easily, almost too easy. The acidity is balanced throughout the length of the wine and helps a strawberries in cream finish linger on and on.

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The Gruet Brut Rose’ is an extremely classy 13 buck Sparkler. Balanced, subtle, textured, delicious and inexpensive are not supposed to be terms that go together when discussing Champagne style wines. This is a Sparkling wine that would really work at weddings or anniversary parties or pair it with Thanksgiving dinner, the tart Pinot Noir flavors and the balanced acidity would help give the turkey a nice lift. Or you can do what I always say I’m going to do, but somehow always forget to do, drink Bubbly on a tuesday night, just because.


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