Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wine Wednesday - Drinking Bugey

As usual, just when you think you get a handle on something, new information presents itself and blows your mind. So it goes with wine knowledge. Regions gaining AOC status, new grapes being discovered, new wines being available in America...there is always something. My new 'discovery', Bugey-Cerdon.

Renardat-Fache NV Bugey-Cerdon Méthode Ancestrale Rosé

Pronounced Boo ghee Seir dohn, this wine region located in East France sits between Burgundy and Rhone and off to the right. Bugey has produced wines under the Vin Délimité de Qualité Supérieure (VDQS, which is typically just a holding place before a wine region is granted AOC status) since 1958. On May 28, 2009, INAO (the organization that regulates French agricultural products) gave its final approval for the elevation of Bugey to Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) status. Now the producers from the new Bugey AOC appellation are thus seeing their efforts to build an identity for the wines in their region rewarded.

In order to legally have the name Cerdon from the Bugey region, the rose sparkling wine must be made either from 100% Gamay or a blend of Gamay and Poulsard. Being close in proximity to Beaujolais which is home to the Gamay grape, it makes sense that the Bugey region would have luck with the Gamay grape as well. Grapes are picked by hand and fermented in chilled vats. The young and light wine is then bottled, along with its active yeast and considerable unfermented sugars. Under pressure of the cork, the wine continues to ferment, gaining a higher percentage of alcohol but retaining a nice amount of sweetness. This method of making sparkling wine is called the ‘methode ancestrale’, which skips the method champenoise process of disgorgement in order to produce wines with slight sweetness that still contain particles of dead yeast matter in the form of lees in the bottle.

In a couple of online searches the term ‘Adult KoolAid’ was used. Let’s open up this bottle and take a sip!

Typical sparkling wine has 6 atmospheres of pressure in the bottle, I think this one had like 12! As I was untwisting the cage, the cork shot up in the air! Good thing I was outdoors! Dark pink in color with bubbles for days, this sparkler has a delicate, floral nose, reminiscent of an Italian Lambrusco. Slightly ripe cherry, strawberry flavors balanced with medium acidity provide a nice complexity to this rose sparkler. A Jolly Rancher candy comes to mind on the finish, but still retains a crisp dryness. It is not too sweet for the dry wine lover, yet has enough sweetness and flavor for those that like a sweeter sparkler to sip. It’s perfect as an outdoor patio sipper or a sparkler to start off parties during the upcoming holiday season. For after dinner, with its strawberry flavors, I can see this paired with strawberry shortcake or strawberries and cream. The Cerdon is an extremely versatile sparkling wine that you can’t help but love. Drink Up!

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