Domaine Chandon California Brut Classic NV: Golden-yellow color; green apple, citrus nose; green apple, pear, citrus, hint of spice, raspberry and almonds on the palate;
fresh with very bright acidity, on the extra dry side of the brut bell curve (which means it has a glimmer of sweetness rather than stark bone dryness), extended finish, excellent bubbles and mousse. A really nice easy-drinking, fun times bubbly that also brings charming elegance to the flute at an excellent price point and widely available. Great palate-cleanser with creamy or nutty foods, Caesar salad, oysters, sushi. No hard edges, which sometimes afflicts entry-level méthode traditionnelle (same method as true Champagne) efforts, but not this pour in any way. Grapes are classic: chardonnay, pinot noir, pinot meunier from multiple vintages and vineyards. Multiple vintage and vineyard sourcing is common in sparkling wines and is done to achieve relatively consistent product. In 1973, Domaine Chandon became the first French-owned sparkling wine venture in the U.S. The winery’s beginning date back to 1690 and the legendary father of sparkling, Dom Pérignon at the Abbey of Hautvillers (the story is more complex and complicated, but the Comics Illustrated version of events is Dom Pérignon created the method for making Champagne). Claude Moët, a Dutchman, founded of house of Moët in France in 1743. The company set its sights on Napa in the late 1960s, pairing with cognac producer Hennessy to buy prime growing locations. Chandon released its first sparkling products in 1976. Today, Chandon is one of the leading sparkling wine producers in the U.S., and this pleasingly delicious, wonderfully crisp and bright effort is more than worth a taste. $18-22
Second photo: Chandon vineyard in Napa.