The 2020 Blanc de Blancs offers enticing aromas of candied lemon and toasted marshmallow. While the entry is soft and delicate, the palate displays a lovely rounded texture with a rich mousse that underscores the shimmering flavors of white flowers and refined tropical fruits.
Three press cuts were made from each lot: cuveé, taille, and heavy press. One at 124 gal/ton, another at 20 gal/ton, and the heavy press at 30 gal/ton. Keeping the press fractions separate allowed us to choose the ideal amount of tannin and acid for the final blend. Fermentation took place in tank at a cool 65º F to preserve fruit aromatics. When fermentation was complete the wine was barreled down and aged in 3-year-old French oak barrels to allow it to breathe, while not imparting any toast aromas.
Tirage: In April of 2021, the cuvée was put into bottle with yeast, sugar, and riddling aid, which is called the Liquer de tirage, then sealed with a crown cap. A secondary fermentation occurred where the CO2 produced was trapped in the bottle to produce the bubbles we know and love. The wine was then aged in bottle en tirage for 30 months—almost three years! This is where the wine developed its unique flavors and aromas, which are a function of yeast autolysis and aging.
Riddling: In July of 2023, after 30 months en tirage, the bottles were riddled. Riddling moves the yeast from the bottom and sides of the bottle into the bottle’s neck by slowly rotating and increasing the angle of the bottle.
Disgorging: In August of 2023, we disgorged, which is the removal of the sediment in the neck, and the addition of dosage to each bottle. Dosage is where we adjust the sweetness and flavors of the wine slightly while bringing the bottles to proper fill levels.
- 6 mLs of Blanc de Blancs Liqueur d’Expedition (LEX @ 55Brix) per bottle
- 8 mLs of 2020 Rued Clone Chardonnay per bottle
- 5.4 g/L residual sugar
How to Serve and Open a Bottle of Sparkling Wine:
- Serve chilled, 40-45º F, can be in an ice bath
- Remove the foil covering the cork, there is a tear tab to help
- Place your thumb over the top of the cork with the wire hood still in place, and untwist the tab to loosen the wire hood, do not remove your thumb from the top of the cork
- Grasp the cork and neck of the bottle and tilt the bottle away from yourself and others at about a 45-degree angle.
- Slowly twist the tilted bottle (not the cork), keep firm pressure on the cork to allow it to slowly ease itself out of the bottle, the cork should come out with a whisper, not a pop!
- If using a flute, which preserves the bubbles, fill the glass 1/3 full, let the mousse die down, and then fill the flute all the way up.
The season began with a warm winter, with no frost issues, and a mild spring that resulted in a nice, even fruit set. While the summer was quite warm, there were only a couple of short heat spikes, which ensured that the grapes were able to fully ripen while retaining the natural acidity we love. As a result, our Chardonnay crop was balanced and healthy, yielding wines with vibrant flavors and excellent depth and energy. The fruit for this wine was harvested on August 26, 2020 at a modest 20.9º Brix from Sangiacomo’s Kiser Block Chardonnay.
In 2016, the MacRostie Winery tradition of making stunning Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays inspired the decision to use the varietals we know and love to make a sparkling wine. In 2020, Winemaker Heidi Bridenhagen chose to create a Blanc de Blancs using Chardonnay from the famed Sangiacomo Family Kiser Ranch. Blanc de Blancs refers to making a white wine (Blanc) from white grapes (Blancs).