INSIDER'S PICK: NV JACKY BLOS/TAILLE AUX LOUPS 'TRIPLE ZERO' MONTLOUIS PETILLANT $26.99
When it comes to the very best, top end of the sparkling wine genre, Champagne is still the undefeated/undisputed king. When you want to splurge on greatness there is nothing finer. But there are a lot more choices out there in the world that make really enjoyable sparkling wines of their own distinction, and can be quite exciting values. This store favorite is a prime example, sourced from the Montlouis region just across the Loire river from Vouvray. Like its more famous neighbor Montlouis is best noted for Chenin Blanc based wines, but only a few producers are able to produce the dazzling array of dry to sweet wines that many Vouvray houses can, and not nearly the volume to make it a household name. When they hit the mark, though, you can score a huge win as the wines really over-achieve.
The name 'Triple Zero' refers to the three different times during the traditional sparkling wine process (chaptalization, 'liqueur de tirage', and dosage) that sugars can be added in to have the wine finish at its desired level of dryness. Taille Aux Loups uses grapes with so much natural ripeness at harvest that for this wine they don't need to add anything back at any point, and still have the wine finish completely dry. The nose is full of juicy pears and white fruits as well as that rich honeycomb note that good Chenin usually carries, as well as that dusty note that comes with carbonation. The texture in the mouth is extra full due to the natural ripeness of the grapes, allowing the acidity and carbonation to perk up all the white fruits and give them more peach and nectarine brightness. Some sparkling wines with the Brut designation will feel lean, astringent, and lacking, but this delivers all the impact and texture of a lot of true Champagnes as nearly double the price. A classy way to ring in the New year without having to blow out the budget.
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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!