2002 Domaine Carneros Brut Cuvee’ – Carneros, Napa, California
Many major champagne houses own wineries in Northern California, specifically to make less expensive sparkling wine for the American market. Domaine Carneros, founded in 1989 by Taittinger, was one of the first, and is one of the best in California. The 2002 Domaine Carneros Brut Cuvee’ is elegant and dry, with a touch of minerality, Fuji apple and pear, a hint of cherry, and just a little biscuit/yeast on the nose and finish. Winemaker Eileen Crane decided on a blend of 70 percent pinot noir and 30 percent chardonnay, then aged the blend for three years “sur lie,” in the bottle with the yeast.
The chateau of Domaine Carneros sits at the entrance to their 195 acres, a huge expanse in Carneros, the southernmost tip of Napa Valley. This cool region is ideal for pinot noir and chardonnay, and thus production of sparkling wine. By European Union law, only sparkling wine from the Champagne region of France can be called “champagne,” all others are simply “sparkling wine.”
– Special to The Vail Trail
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