Hello Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am honored and delighted to have spent another year being your wine guide. I’m looking forward to being an even better steward for you in 2022! That said, Let’s Celebrate the exit of 2021 and the high hopes for 2022. I am hopeful that life will continue to get closer to some sort of normalcy in the coming new year. Thank you all and have a Happy and Safe New Year’s Eve with my bubbly selections!

Waris Hubert ‘Albescent’ Blanc de Blanc Grand Cru N/V

Champagne, France

Cash Price $51.29

The wine is 100% first press Chardonnay (Blanc de Blancs) from the Grand Cru villages of Cramant and Avize.  It was aged for 3 years on the lees and bottled with a dosage of 7 g/l (.7).   The term Albescent come from the ‘Albe’ in Latin meaning white. The vineyards are an average age of 25 years and farmed sustainably.  Tight, clean bubbles weave through flavors of Granny Smith apples and freshly squeezed lemon with a vivacious backbone of minerality.  Hints of brioche and granary toast sneak into whiffs of white flowers, wet stone and tickles of honey.  Stunningly Clean and complex. What a treat!  Barlow Score: 94+

Piper Sonoma Brut Rose N/V

Sonoma County, California

Cash Price $19.94 but only $18.94 with a $1.00 Key Savings

I recently brought in this sparkling Rosé to our portfolio. I was quite impressed with the quality in the bottle. The winery is Piper Heidseck’s American branch that was founded in 1980 in Sonoma. The wine is 53% Chardonnay/39% Pinot Noir/6% Pinot Blanc/2% Aged Reserve (for complexity) and has .7% Residual sugar. It was produced Methode Champenoise with the grapes being hand picked and pressed in separate lots. Piper has a beautiful salmon color with vibrant bubbles. It offers flavors of ripe red berries and cherries with a nice citrus component that latches to the zesty acidity on the backbone of the wine. Whiffs of tangerine and white peach pop into notes of creamy mousse and hints of hazelnuts. Barlow Score: 90 Points

Heartcraft Brut Sparkling N/V

Napa Valley, California

Cash Price $12.99 but only $11.99 with a $1.00 Key Savings

Bubbly season is upon us, so kick off your New Year’s Eve party right with this tasty VALUE California sparkler. The wine is mostly Chardonnay and Pinot Noir based and produced in the Charmat method (think Prosecco). Flavors of lemon citrus and pear pop into the palate with zesty little bubbles. The mid palate softens out and shows toasted brioche and caramel. The finish offers just a smidge of white peach and flowers wrapped in a blanket of effervescence. Barlow Score: 88 Points


James C. Barlow, CWE, CSS

Spec’s Fine Wine Buyer

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