The Hacienda Methode Champenois Brut California Sparkling Wine is 100% Chardonnay sourced from vineyards in more than one California grape growing AVA. This is one of Bronco Wines (yes, the 2 Buck Chuck folks) over 100 wine brand labels, they have 18 different Sparkling wine labels. Bronco wines is a huge operation and virtually all their wines aim to bring bang for the buck. They stuck “Methode Champenois” in the name of this Bubbly because they want you to know that this Sparkler is made with the exact same production techniques as Bubbly from Champagne, France. A quick reminder, there are 2 main ways to produce Sparkling wine, the Italian way, such as Prosecco, here the wine is fermented the 1st time, just like regular wine. Then the once fermented juice is transferred to very large pressurized vats, along with a measured amount of yeast and sugar, the process lasts from a week or so for the very inexpensive Bubbly to several months for the more expensive Prosecco. The French Method or Methode Champenois, here the juice that was fermented once is bottled, each bottle receives some yeast and some sugar and the 2nd fermentation takes place inside the bottle, in Champagne this process must last a minimum of 1 1/2 years, but in the US there are no rules and regulations governing this. In the Italian Method the CO2 released by the fermentation is trapped in the pressurized tank and gets incorporated into the Prosecco, giving it bubbles. The same with the French method, the gasses are trapped in the bottle and over tIme become teeny tiny bubbles in the wine. Little bitty Bubbles mean the Sparkling wine had a long 2nd fermentation and larger Bubbles usually mean there was a shorter 2nd fermentation. This is a Brut Sparkling wine indicating is dry and not sweet and the alcohol content is 12%.

The color is a pale golden yellow with a flurry of energetic, tiny bubbles. The nose is yeasty, lightly floral, with apple, lemon and pear notes. This is a tasty Bubbly with well-balanced acidity which is sometimes missing in expensive Bubbly and Cava. It tastes of lemon, green apple, a touch of melon and pink grapefruit. The mid-apple adds a slightly salty, nutty flavor, along with peach, orange zest, and a final dash of brioche. The acidity is nicely in the pocket, this is Bubbly that can pair well with your meal. The finish matches the body of the wine and lingers for some time.

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The Hacienda Methode Champenois Brut California is a solid, tasty everyday Bubbly (Found it for around $12). It may not be a subtle, delicate, ethereal Bubbly like the best wines of Champagne, but what is in your glass tastes great and is very satisfying. There is nothing to complain about here, it delivers good value for the money, drinks well, and can be paired with a wide variety of meals, Thai, check, cheeseburgers, check, fried chicken, check, pasta , check….it has the acidity to balance all sorts of food.

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