Birthdays and bubbles go hand in hand, especially when produced by one of California’s unequivocally finest, Domaine Carneros. And, as birthdays are the special occasion you select your best bottles for, Domaine Carneros Le Reve Blanc de Blancs Brut ($120) is only fitting.
Currently on the 2012 vintage, and produced from 100% Chardonnay from sustainably grown fruit from their 138 acre Carneros estate, the wine shines as the leading example of why the Taittinger’s wanted to have a winery in California. With consistent, ample sunshine (a trait that isn’t always the case in Champagne) fruit is able to obtain optimal ripeness while cool evenings and gusty afternoon winds lock-in acidity and freshness, a requirement for balanced sparkling wine. Aged six years on the lees (yeasts) in the bottle, the textured, highly textured sparkler shines with layers of toasted cream, brioche, marzipan, and honey, melding seamlessly with honeydew, ripe apple, and baked pear. Meaning “the dream” in French, Le Reve Blanc de Blancs showcases the best of Domaine Carneros, with structure, complexity, and thousands of tiny bubbles. A perfect pairing with creamy cheese, fresh lobster, seared scallops, and caviar.
Established in the 1980s by Champagne Taittinger in Carneros, Napa Valley, after a lengthy search to find the best place to produce traditional method sparkling wine in America. When you find the best piece of land, equipped with growing premium classic Champagne varieties sustainably, you want the most capable hands at the helm to work with that fruit. From the start, the Taittinger’s selected as winemaker Eileen Crane. Though young in her career at the time, she had already made a name for herself for crafting delicate, elegant, refined, vintage sparkling wine. Now, over 45 years of sparkling wine production in her rearview mirror, this Doyenne of American sparkling wine will retire at the end of harvest this year. But, she leaves an incredibly talented team she has carefully molded to follow the path she has set forth, ensuring those of us who love Domaine Carneros bubbles will continue to enjoy the quality style she has established. I can’t wait to see what is next! #cheers