Upstream in Winecurrent

Vintages Release date: November 25, 2017

• The following 2015 Gérard Bertrand ‘Thomas Jefferson’ Brut Sparkling Wine is produced méthode traditionnelle from a blend of grapes—chardonnay, chenin blanc, mauzac, pinot noir. It’s named to recognize this early US president’s love for the sparkling wines from Limoux. This area was first mentioned as producing sparkling wine in the 1531 records kept by the Benedictine monks of the abbey of Saint Hilaire, just south of Carcassonne and they make claim to being the first producer of sparkling wine made in volume in France. The reasoning behind the ‘in volume’ is that sparkling wine can and does occur naturally under certain conditions.

90drink now 
Gérard Bertrand ‘Thomas Jefferson’ Brut Sparkling Wine 2015
AOP Crémant de Limoux Blanc $19.95 (438838) 12.5% alcohol 
The price-quality balance tips well in your favour here. Honeysuckle and melon aromas abound on the nose of this clean and refreshing sparkling wine. This offers up a lively mousse when poured and a persistent stream of fine-bead bubbles in the glass. It strides over the palate with Granny Smith apple, lemon pie filling and notions of white grapefruit finishing with a crisp, lengthy aftertaste. (Vic Harradine)

93drink or cellar 
Domaine Drouhin Dundee Hills Pinot Noir 2014
Oregon $52.95 (961284) 14.1% alcohol
With savory herb, red cherry, black plum and floral aromas on the nose, this unfurls on the palate with fanfare and persistent purity of fruit. Black currant, black plum and cassis flavours caress the palate embellished with spice, pepper and soft herbs. It’s medium bodied with good mouthfeel and dry, fruity finish and aftertaste. This is elegant and charming with a decade or more of wonderful life ahead. (Vic Harradine)

91drink or cellar 
Fess Parker ‘Bien Nacido Vineyard’ 2014
Santa Maria Valley, California $64.95 (209858) 14.1% alcohol
Piquant spice, strident savory herbs and beetroot aromas introduce a sweet-tinged, medium bodied, nicely textured stream of red currant and pomegranate intertwined with savory herbs, earthy notes and grainy, ripe tannin blanketing the palate persisting through the dry fruit-filled finish. Aerate/decant two hours before pouring with chicken tagine. (Vic Harradine)