This is Beauregard’s new Sparkling Wine project produced using all Bald Mountain Chardonnay, hence the term Blanc de Blancs meaning all white grapes were used. This release of the 2013 was made utilizing traditional Methode Champenoise wine making techniques identical to the approach used in the Champagne region of France. The wine spent just under 3 years on lees (yeasts in the bottle) before receiving its final cork and is bottled as “Brut Nature,” meaning the wine has no dosage (sugar added after disgorgement), leaving a pure expression of the grape and place. (Note: Most traditional producers in the Champagne region add 8-12 grams after disgorgement and are labeled as “Brut” which adds a just a touch of detectable sweetness to the final wine.)
The 2013 Blancs de Blancs has a pale golden yellow core that moves to yellow reflections on the rim. Small bubbles bead through the center with precision and grace. Quintessential Blanc de Blancs aromatics of yellow plum, green apple, acacia flowers, wet chalk and fresh hazelnut fill the glass as the wine opens with oxygen. The palate is bone dry, and has freshness and purity with a seamless integration of bubbles; beautiful minerality comes to life on the tongue with flavors of green and yellow plums, green apple, lemon peel, lees and very fine, crushed white rock minerality. As the Champagne sits in the open air and warms up ever so slightly, the complexity in the glass springs to life so do not rush consuming the wine the moment it is opened. For best results, serve in a white wine stem or a large Champagne flute; at all costs, avoid the traditionally-thin Champagne flute, because the aromatics will be near non-existent. I would highly recommend waiting until 2018 or beyond to enjoy this Sparkler as it was recently disgorged in July 2016, and it will develop more and more complexity the longer it ages, most likely peaking between 2020 and 2025. With a dry, mineral-driven fresh Champagne like this, my favorite pairings always include delicate fish dishes. I suggest this blini with smoked salmon recipe; there is a real synergy with this pairing that you will find irresistible—especially if enjoyed in the summer sunshine with close friends. - Consulting Master Sommelier Ian Cauble
Bald Mountain Vineyard, located in Bonny Doon, is owned and farmed by Jim Beauregard. Planted in 1990, the 40 acre vineyard sits at an elevation of 920 to 1050 feet on a southwest facing slope. Monterey Bay marine influences combine with the rare white sandy Zayante soil to produces wines with minerality and striking acidity. Plantings: 33 acres Chardonnay Clone 4.