She also asked us to categorize our wine into one of three categories:
• Party Sparkler: a bargain sparkler that you would not be embarrassed to serve at a party.
• Special Sparkler: a more expensive bottle that you think is worth the price.
• Dud: you tried it but sorry, you wouldn't buy it again.
Today, my choice is the 2002 J Vintage Brut from J Vineyards & Winery a winery located in the Russian River Valley and owned by Judy Jordan, daughter of Tom Jordan of the Jordan Winery. The stylish bottle is one of the reasons why I like the J Vintage Brut. The second reason is that it is pretty good.
J Vintage Brut was the first product that the winery produced when it was founded in 1986. Today, J Vintage Brut is still the winery's main product and accounts for half of J's total production but the winery also produces several still wines from Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Chardonnay grapes.
This wine is a classic Champagne blend of 49% Chardonnay, 49% Pinot Noir and 2% Pinot Meunier. It is vinified using the Methode Champenoise that induces a second fermentation in the bottle. The wine had a light straw color and a delicate citrus nose. The palate had fine bubbles, a fresh acidity and a creamy mouthfeel that led to a vivid grapefruit finish, definitively, a Special Sparkler.
We enjoyed this fine bubbly with various holiday appetizers including a two-fish terrine, shrimp in endive boats, an avocado, pink grapefruit, and shrimp salad, and a sweet potato gratin. What a treat!
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