Medium copper color; strawberry, red cherry, flowers on the nose; cherry, strawberry, cranberry, raspberry, red watermelon on the palate.
Brut; very nice, crisp acidity; clean and fresh in the mouth. Vigorous, fine bubbles—superb perlage; made using traditional method with secondary fermentation in the bottle. Blend of 90% pinot noir and 10% chardonnay from Marlborough, New Zealand. The largest percentage of the fruit came from Kelly’s Creek Vineyard in Spring Creek, vines that Andréa McBride helped plant as a child. With diminished diurnal changes and rich soil, those grapes contribute soft tannins, red fruits, and restrained acidity. The remainder of the grapes came from vineyards in the Central Wairau Valley that have greater diurnal changes and less rich soil, thus providing more acidity and structure. Clever blending.
The McBride Sisters target Millenials and Gen X markets particularly, which reflects in the style of this effort. When I first encountered the sisters—Robin and Andréa—the wine company was named Truvée and they partnered in the effort with Diageo & Estate Wines. When Australia’s Treasury Wine Estates purchased Diageo, the sisters ended the relationship and now control their McBride Sisters Collection. The new “McBride Sisters” name is a wise brand move: beyond the wine, the story here is the McBride sisters, and what a story it is.
The sisters were born and raised 7,000 miles apart. Robin grew up in California, Andréa in New Zealand. Neither knew of the other’s existence. Things changed when Andréa was 12 years old and received a call from her father. “He said he had just gotten out of the penitentiary. He said he had terminal stomach cancer. And oh, by the way, you have a sister.” Andréa’s father said he thought Andréa’s sister lived in California. Andréa’s life had been somewhat chaotic. After divorcing Andréa’s father, her mom died of breast cancer when Andréa was seven and she was raised by a foster family.
Fortunately, the foster family had the resources to send Andréa to California to both meet her long-lost sister and to go to the University of Southern California, where she was a 6-foot-1-inch USC volleyball and track and field star who studied international business and was fascinated by wine. Robin worked in electronics marketing and also was fascinated by wine. Together the sisters started an import company bringing boutique New Zealand wines to the states. Within three years they were supplying wines to more than 100 restaurants in California.
That start allowed the sisters to start EcoLove in 2010, a wine company sourcing grapes from New Zealand vineyards to make food-friendly wines. In early 2015 they forged their brief partnership with Diageo—Truvée Wines. Today they are on their own and no longer have a relationship with Truvée, Diageo, or Treasury Wine. Their company is the first wine company run by African-American sisters. They are a millennial amazing story making wines targeting Millennials. Expect them to be a force for years to come.
McBride Sisters Collection Brut Rosé NV is excellent, affordable sparkling with delicious red fruit, good acidity, and tiny bubbles that seem to go on forever. It is another excellent McBride Sisters effort worth finding. As a sparkling, it could pair with almost anything save the richest red meats and sauces, and even then it would not be a fail. More standard pairings would be with roasted chicken, panko-coated chicken schnitzel, braised pork, creamy risotto, almost any fish dish. With its lovely color, bright flavors, and persistent bubbles it also will serve well as aperitif or poured as toasting wine at a celebration event. $20-25