Sunday, November 25, 2018

Blue Mountain bubbles for the 2018 holidays

Photo: Blue Mountain toasts the vintage

In the fall of 2010, Blue Mountain Vineyard & Cellars celebrated its 20th vintage by hosting an extensive tasting of its reserve wines.

The wines in the tasting included a 1994 Reserve Brut R.D., which means recently disgorged. If my files are correct, the winery released its next R.D. sparkling wine from the vintage of 2004. Happily, the winery has begun to release is classy R.D. wines with some regularity now.

Blue Mountain has produced an 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 result is a series of sparkling wines that stand side by side with Champagne.

Blue Mountain Gold Label Brut, the winery’s bread and butter sparkling wine, spends two years on the lees before being disgorged, bottled and released. Wines made in this style are typically crisp and fresh. At $28 a bottle, this wine represents outstanding value for its quality.

The R.D wines necessarily are more expensive, reflecting the additional years these wines are aged. The reward for tying up capital for another five to eight years is the enhanced complexity that the wines develop from extended lees contact.

Currently, the winery has three R.D. releases available.

Blue Mountain Brut Ros̩ 2014 R.D. ($33). The base for this wine is 68% Pinot Noir and 32% Chardonnay. After secondary fermentation in the bottle, the wine aged 30 months on the lees before being disgorged in the fall of 2017. The dosage is 10 grams of residual sugar per litre Рjust enough to add flesh to the texture while retaining a crisp finish. With its pink hue and fine bubbles, the wine gives a fine display in the glass. The aroma is fruity. Creamy on the palate, the delicious wine delivers flavours of strawberry and brioche that coat the palate and linger on the finish. 93.

Blue Mountain Blanc de Blancs 2010 R.D. ($40). Made with Chardonnay grapes, this wine, after its secondary fermentation, remained seven years on the lees, to be disgorged in August 2017. It is finished in the brut style, with almost no sugar in the dosage. In the glass, the wine has a fine and vigorous mousse. It has brioche aromas and flavours, with hints of lemon and green apple and a crisp finish. The elegance of this wine is quite striking. 92.

 Blue Mountain Reserve Brut 2010 R.D. ($40). This is 50% Pinot Noir, 50% Chardonnay. This wine has had six and a half years on the lees before being disgorged in the fall of 2017. In the glass, the mousse is fine and active. The wine has aromas of citrus and toast, going on to delicate fruit and brioche on the palate. The finish is lingering. The wine has the classy elegance of Champagne. 92.

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