Sparkling Pointe: The Peak of Bubbly Perfection on Long Island, being bubble heads we…Food & Wine, Free Weekly Saturday Wine (and sometimes spirits) Tastings, What's New?, Wine & Spirit Events & News
Visiting Sparkling Pointe Vineyards & Winery 39750 County Road 48 Southold NY 631-765-0200 Being bubble-heads (Champagne Aficionados) literally our first stop our Mighty (VW) Beetle made was at Sparkling Pointe in Southold almost at the end of the North Fork. I’ve tasted this North Fork wine casually once or twice but the trip to the winery to go through the full range was awesome. Tom and Cynthia Rosicki, the founders and owners of the winery have devoted themselves 100% to making Methode Champenoise. their wine is to me is true to the spirit of Champagne in every sense except for the source of the grapes and the scale on which they produce. The big houses in Champagne have labyrinthian caves storing millions of botttles. One shipping container full of Moet falls off a freighter and you’ve lost more than SP’s total production. This is definitely a labor of love.
What’s so great about Champagne? Bordeaux touches the harder senses, it is the wine more based in the senses in an analytical way, Burgundy strikes the emotions and is experienced more sensually but Champagne is more transcendental and touches the spirit. It is experienced through the senses of taste and smell but it seems the flavors and aromas are felt on a higher plane, as if the bubbles are delivering the experience right to your neurons. Champagne is produced by refermenting a special still wine in the bottle often with an addition of yeast and grape sugar known as the dosage (“doe-sauge”) there is then some lees contact after which the lees (fermentation residue) is laboriously removed from each bottle after which there is a considerable amount of bottle aging in the famous caves (“kah-vs”) for at least 14 months but as long as 10 years before release. This results in a wine with two more dimensions of flavor from the lees contact and the refermentation as well as the benifit of much more bottle age than usual with a white wine.
Sadly I find few lovers of Champagne, even amongst my many wine geek friends. Champs are dismissed as frivolous, ceremonial, not a serious wine, not much to it. I say bring on the bubbles! The flavors of high quality, cool climate Chardonnay from chalky soil (think good Chablis) often blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier are the backbone of the wine but the secondary flavors from the bottle age which can range from fig newton and other dry fruit to even earthy mushroom scents kick in as well as the characteristic leesy flavors of dough or brioche, or butter cookies or toasted almonds. This all is delivered with lovely finely beaded bubbles and a fresh, brisk acidity that makes it oustanding with food. Except for it being real expensive for the good stuff, I don’t know what there is not to love.
So we were among friends at Sparkling Pointe and had a lovely tasting of a flight of four of their Champagnes with a nice spread of feta stuffed olives, local goat cheese and salmon roe (as close to caviar as we could get).
2007 Brut 15%Pinot Meunier 25%Pinot Noir 60%Chardonnay about $30
Tasting Notes: Very lovely nose of red fruit, apple, a little citrus, spice and a little almond cookie, very lengthy finish, nice balance on the acidity.4 Years production from Harvest to Flute, 1000 cases. Technical Data: Alc: 12.5% – pH: 3.12 – TA: 8.8 g/l – Residual Sugar: 8 g/l
2006 Blanc de Blancs 100% Chardonnay about $40
Tasting Notes: This one came off a bit flintier and went better with food than on its own. It had a brighty racy nose of apple and lemon rind with notes of animal crackers and baking bread and a dry intense finish
7 Years production from Harvest to Flute, 125 cases. Technical Data: Alc: 12.5% – pH: 3.20 – TA: 8.7 g/l – Residual Sugar: 8 g/l
2002 Brut Seduction 48%Pinot Noir 52%Chardonnay $50-60
At 173 cases it is the smallest vintage of this tete de cuvee wine to date. With its deep gold color this mature sparkling wine offers fantatstic aromas of brioche and toasty almonds. Aging 8 years prior to disgorgement, this wine delivers an uncommon effervescence with extremely fine bead and a creamy mousse.
Tasting Notes: Excellent nose of baked apple, pear, quince and toasty almond cookies. The age gives it a lovely creamy roundness and some secondary flavors of dried fig. The length and power is impressive yet understated, went really well with our salmon roe.