Being David's most beloved category of wine, he was no doubt extremely excited about this month's tasting. The results were surprising, having two French wines as the top finishers, but both from outside the Champagne region. And one of David's favorite domestic sparklers finished dead last.
In her first ever tasting, Maria won by a landslide, doubling the points of the second place wine.
Thanks go out to Addy, another first time guest taster.
The Results . . .
First Place: Louis Bouillot Crémant de Bourgogne Brut Rosé Non-vintage. Rosy in color, with fine, persistent and slow bubbles. Tasters thought the nose was reminiscent of smoke, burnt buttered toast, charcoal, pine, must, vegetables, tomato skin and earth. Lemon and tangerine aromas made an appearance. Maria thought is was like "walking through the woods in the rain". Light and airy on the palate, with raspberries, strawberries, rose petals, and a less creamy, though slightly sweeter quality. Andy felt it was "giving a lot a every stage", while Maria noted "cat urine". One taster described it as a "rosé bitchslap". The overwhelming favorite, with 34 points. Maria's bottle. About $13.
Second Place: Wolfberger Crémant de Alsace Brut Rosé Non-vintage. Fine bubbles. Salmon in color, with Maria describing "sunset colors". Aromas of peaches, strawberries, ruby red grapefruit, vanilla and toast. David felt it was "rounded in the mouth", while Maria said it "floats on the tongue". Smooth, creamy, with flavors of peaches & cream, bubble gum, lemon oil, leafy greens, citrus rinds, radicchio, artichoke hearts, and honeydew. Long finish exhibited some chalk and cream. Addy thought it was "more feminine". Received 17 points. Andy's bottle. About $19.
Third Place (tie): Jaume Serra Cava Cristalino Brut Rosé Non-vintage. Super-red hue, like cranberry juice/watermelon. Large, persistent bubbles. Not effusive in smells, with suggestions of chalk, pine and sweet berry. Tart flavors of cranberry, honey, raspberries, roses, and melon. Chalky on the relatively shorter finish, along with lemons. Maria noted that there was "sweet tart on the back of the throat". Tastes more like it looks. In the mouth, tasters felt that the bubbles didn't last. Ali suggested that it was a "dichotomy of loud and soft". Received 11 points. Ali's bottle. About $8.
Third Place (tie): Gosset Champagne Grand Brut Rosé Non-vintage. Showing a great deal of bubbles. Medicinal, tawny port like nose, having scents of eucalyptus, mint, light cocoa, toast, spackle, under-ripe strawberries, flowers and nutmeg. Exhibited a zesty quality that Maria described as "snapping in my nostrils". Lemony, like cleaning agent, pears, and paint thinner. Andy described the cleansing action of the wine as, "sorbet you would have between meals". Maria felt it was "scratching out my taste buds", and Ali said it was a "roar-sé". Received 11 points. David's bottle. About $60.
The others . . .
Moët et Chandon Champagne Brut Imperial Rosé Non-vintage. Scents of orange rind, hibiscus, herbal tea, freshly cut herbs, "smelly markers", and a fecal quality. Ali was reminded of "fresh Barbie". On the palate, it was juicy, soft and fruity, with cherry cola, pepper, and gummy bear. Overtly fruity and a touch spicy. Finishes tart. Received 10 points. Addy's bottle. About $56.
Roederer Estate Brut Rosé Non-vintage (Anderson Valley). Looking like a regular sparkling wine, this bottle showed very little in the way of color. Cedar, saw dust, wood, eucalyptus, brioche, feet, and lipstick showed up on the nose. Andy described a "pleasantly unwashed foot". Musty, chalky, along with tree moss and earth. Inner tube, rubber, cream and white peaches. Tartness reminded Andy of "suckin' on a lime", while Addy noted that it was "puckery". Metal and lime on the finish. Received 1 point. Kristin's bottle. About $23.