Saturday, January 1, 2011

Domaine Carneros by Taittinger Sparkling Wine

Domaine Carneros

Pinot Noir, Chardonnay
Napa, California, U.S.A.

$19.99 -- Costco, Austin, TX

Color: Pale gold
Nose: Apple, minerals, a hint of bread
Body: Light
Front: Lemon
Middle: Bread, orange
Back: Lime, wet stones
Burns clean?: Yes
Cap: Cork

What better way to ring in the new year--and more or less this blog's fourth--than with sparkling wine? This one has long been a family favorite, though I seldom, for some reason, take the time to review sparkling wines (a fault I'll correct this year), so it hasn't shown up yet.

The 2006 is super, at this price. Nicely balanced, with good bread, acidity, fruit, and a hint of something more. Just a hint, though: it doesn't have that powerful late-mid-palate delivery of something bizarre that I like most in sparkling wine. But it's a good pairing with almost everything except bubble gum and raw pork. Wasn't superb with pistachios, but you cannot win them all.

As for this blog, I note that last year was a banner year, if one measures things in terms of volume. This year I'm focusing a little more on quality. I'm not sure what that means, but I think it has something to do with reviewing odd varietals, tackling a couple of problems in the wine world, more carefully reviewing things made by houses I gravitate to, including more photos, and reporting on more wine dinners.