Saturday, May 21, 2011

8th Generation Bubble

Back before Boo and I trekked off to South America last October, I'd briefly read about a first-time release of a sparkling wine by 8th Generation winery. I've quite liked the Rieslings that I've tasted from them in their short Okanagan existence; so, I was glad to find out that Village VQA Wines in Kits was able to locate and put away a bottle for me while we were gone. This proved especially fortuitous because I've since read that there were only 333 cases produced and the wine sold out in less than a month.

I figured this is as good a time as any to crack the top (since the intriguing bottle features a beer-cap crown closure rather than a cork or screw-cap).

808. 2009 8th Generation Chardonnay Frizzante (VQA Okanagan Valley)

With the name "Frizzante" and the unique bottle, I was expecting a rather Prosecco-esque wine. From what I've read, that is the style that the winery was gunning for. The wine wasn't nearly as off-dry as I'd anticipated, but that's not a bad thing at all. I just wasn't expecting it to be as dry as it was.

I've only found one reference (and it wasn't on the winery's website) to the winemaking process. Neither classic Champenoise nor Charmat - the two most common methods for producing bubbles - there is no second fermentation involved here. The winemakers retained the CO2 from the initial fermentation of the wine and then infused it back into the wine at the time of bottling. The resulting wine is, therefore, a bit fruitier on the nose and palate and the effervescence is somewhat subtler.

This isn't a wine for fans only looking for a brisk and crazy mousse, but neither does it have any yeasty or biscuity overtones that can accompany more classic bubbles.

The release of the wine certainly met with much acclaim however. Jurgen Gothe, in the Georgia Strait, named it as one of the Best Bubblies for 2010 and Nico Schuermans, celebrity chef from Vancouver's Chambar, used it to pair with his entry in the national Gold Medal Plates Competition.

We certainly approved of the wine's versatility as well. After trying to find a bottle of the Italian aperitif, Aperol, for years, a few bottles have finally shown up on local shelves. I grabbed one as soon as I saw it and re-created a little taste of Venice by mixing it with some of the Frizzante.

I think we'll be trying the Frizzante again - both on its own and in combination. It was a pretty clear winner either way.

If only I can find another bottle.

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