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Screen Shot 2014-07-03 at 7.18.57 PMIt is always great when a friend comes over and leaves a nice bottle of wine or, in this case, sparkling wine. It was New Year, not going to lie, because normally I do not drink Champagne. For some reason, maybe this is a disclaimer, but I seem to have a harder time getting a nose and taste off of the Champagnes. I know that the Lees give Champagne a whole lot of the flavor and I can tell a 50-100% Stainless steel non-sparking Chardonnay from a 50-100% Sparkling Champagne or Chardonnay.

Recently in France, we did get a chance to stop by Reims and take a tour of a couple Champagne houses. One of those houses was Taittinger. When I returned home, I was surprised to see that the bottle of 2009 Domaine Carneros by Taittinger Brut that was left behind is “by Taittinger.” After looking into some of the research of it, it is the saem Taittinger in Reims. Claude Taittinger searched for a worthy U.S. counterpart to his French production in the 1970s and in 1987 settled upon Domaine Carneros. One other interesting note is that this winery is certified organic. You can check out their website here.

They do not list this sparkling wine on their website so I have to turn to Wine.com for some tasting notes:

Aromas of baked apple, golden apple, lime zest, honeycomb and vanilla marry with brioche on a very round palate. This graceful wine features a remarkably well-integrated dosage and notes of toasty brioche often found in a fine aged cuvée. The hallmark of Domaine Carneros wines, a luxuriously long finish, rewards each sip. Exceptionally delicious now, this wine will continue to develop complexity for another decade with proper cellaring.

Savor this vintage Brut on its own, or enjoy its pairing versatility with oysters, fish and shellfish, poultry, most Asian cuisine and even rich cheeses.

So with my struggle with sparkling, did I even get close?

Color – Pale, slightly dull yellow.

Nose – Citrus and I did get the baked apple.

Taste – More lemon on the taste and that very distinct champagne taste that I felt while I was in France. I can’t describe it but then again I have never had brioche.

Finish – Long and heavy for a sparkling wine. Not to dry either.

Overall, this could be a Champagne from France. I mean just coming back from the region, I can tell you it is really close to a lot of the Champagnes from Taittinger there. I highly recommend this sparkling wine, if you want full-bodied but light look sparkling.

Rating: B-

~Justin