Turns out 2020 is the perfect year for our new sparkling wine to make its debut. Nothing lifts one’s spirits like a gorgeous bubbly. From the 2016 vintage, the King Estate Brut Cuvée was four years in the making, arriving just in time for the holidays. Not since 2008 has King Estate produced a sparkling wine. If we do say so, this one was worth the wait.
Brut Cuvée and King Estate
Brut Cuvée literally means a dry blend that uses the first pressed and most desirable grape juice. COO/Winemaker Brent Stone describes “cuvée” as the heart of the grape. This wine is a blend of Pinot Noir (83%) from King Estate’s vineyard and Chardonnay (17%) from the Cascade vineyard at Kraemer Farms just outside Salem, Ore. Made in the traditional “méthode champenoise,” this wine uses the traditional varieties found in Champagne.
Similar to the Champagne region in France, the Willamette Valley’s cool climate is ideal for growing fruit that is well suited for sparkling wine. Fruit was predesignated for the sparkling program based on how it ripens. Always the first fruit harvested, it is picked when the brix (a measure of sugar content) is low and the acidity is high. The wine undergoes a second fermentation in the bottle which produces those lovely bubbles. Following fermentation, the wine ages en tirage, or in the bottle on the lees, for a minimum of three years as its complex flavors continue to deepen and develop.
“This is a lovely, rich, effervescent sparkling wine,” Brent says. “It’s very fresh, with citrus accents of lime zest and lemon oil, but complex at the same time as the tirage aging brings out creaminess with notes of hazelnut and honey. It’s a great, balanced sparkling wine.”
Making sparkling wine is a labor of love; we are delighted to share it with you. The end of 2020 is reason enough to celebrate. So here’s to you and cheers to 2021!