INSIDER'S PICK: 2013 THIBAUT-JANISSON BLANC DE BLANC 'CUVEE d'ETAT' EXTRA BRUT VIRGINIA SPARKLING WINE
With New Year's Eve approaching it is of course imperative we pour something sparkling and festive for our last Insider's Pick of 2016. And what would be better than the newest release from Virginia's finest sparkling wine maker. Thibaut-Janisson are specialists and their orange labeled NV bottling is one of the most easily identified bottles in stores and restaurants across the area (even more so than that more famous yellowish orange label Champagne). In certain higher quality vintages they pull some of the best fruit (not enough to affect the quality of the regular bottling) to do a little something special in an effort to see how far they can push the quality. 2013 provided just such an opportunity, and they took Chardonnay from an area vineyard, one of the oldest parcels in Virginia, and created this stunner.
Being an Extra Brut puts this in the driest category of sparkling wines, even drier than Brut. For most wines this would be very difficult to do and achieve balance, as without the bit of body and added fruit the small amount of residual sugar would bring to the palate it would come across much more astringent and shrill. The older Chardonnay vines used here provide juice with a richer natural weight and texture, enabling them to push the dryness down without sacrificing balance and enjoyability. Brilliantly crisp and fresh apple and pear aromas and an appealing fine bubble in the glass are immediate reasons to celebrate, but the palate is where this wine really excels. Great weight and round leesy fruit give plenty of texture to support the racy intense acidity and crisp bubbles that show lots of intensity and length. While this level of quality can still only be done in smaller batches in certain years, it is very encouraging to see sparkling wine from Virginia that is every bit as good as those made in California of a similar price. Less than 100 cases made, so enjoy it while you can.
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The Best of the Best.
We offering free tastings on these wines in the store every Thursday and Friday, and a 10% discount off the retail price through the duration of the day. Come on by and give them a try!