Friday, December 13, 2019

Blue Mountain releases three premium sparklers





Photo: Blue Mountain's Matt Mavety


Blue Mountain Vineyard & Cellars has produced excellent sparkling wine every year since the winery was founded in 1991. For many of those years, the production volume was too limited (or sold too quickly) to allow the winery to hold back a portion each vintage for extended aging on the lees.

In recent years, the winery has been able to do that. The resulting R.D. sparkling wines stand side by side with Champagne.

R.D. means recently disgorged. The two 2011 R.D. wines reviewed here spent 6 ½ years on the lees and were not disgorged until the fall of 2018. Then they spent another year in bottle before being released.

Any Champagne producer would do the same with premium sparkling wines as Blue Mountain winemaker Matt Mavety is doing. The reason: prolonged lees aging allows the wines to develop complex flavours and creamy textures that are the hallmark of top bubblies.

The R.D. wines necessarily are more expensive, reflecting the additional years these wines are aged. The reward for tying up capital for five years to eight years is remarkably sophisticated wine.

These Blue Mountain wines are special occasion wines, released for Christmas or New Year’s.

Here are my notes:

Blue Mountain Brut Rosé 2015 R.D. ($40). This wine is 60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay. The wine presents in a Champagne flute with a delicate pink hue and active bubbles. In the aroma, there are notes of brioche and raspberry that are echoed on the palate. The wine is creamy on the palate but crisp and fresh on the finish. A very elegant wine. 92.

Blue Mountain Reserve Brut 2011 R.D. ($50). This is 55% Chardonnay, 45% Pinot Noir. The extended lees aging has given the wine a fine mousse and great complexity in the aroma and flavour. There are hints of brioche and red fruit. The texture has been polished by the time on lees so that the wine dances on the palate and has a long, elegant finish. 94.

Blue Mountain Blanc de Blancs 2011 R.D. ($50). This is 100% Chardonnay. Once again, the wine has a fine mousse with toasty aromas and flavours mingled with touch of citrus. On the palate, the wine leaves an impression of richness that is offset by the crisp and elegant finish. 93.

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