Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The United Grapes of America - New Mexico - Gruet Winery Blanc de Noirs

It was unanimous. Every chef and sommelier interviewed by StarChefs.com selected Gruet Winery as their preferred winery from New Mexico. There are about 40 wineries in the "Land of Enchantment" producing wines from Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Johannisburg Riesling, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, and Zinfandel grapes. This Labor Day Weekend, wines from New Mexico will be showcased at the New Mexico Wine Growers Association Harvest Wine Festival at the Southern NM State Fairgrounds in Las Cruces and in Bernalillo at the 25th Annual New Mexico Wine Festival.

Gruet Winery is probably the most popular winery - assisted by its wide distribution network - selling over 100,000 cases to 48 states. The winery was founded by French champagne producer Gilbert Gruet after he and his family visited the American southwest in 1983. As a result of meeting a group of New Mexican winemakers, they (Gruet; his children, winemaker Laurent and daughter Nathalie; and family friend Farid Himeur) planted an experimental vineyard with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes near the town of Engle.  The vineyards are situated at 4,300 feet, allowing for large diurnal temperature change between the extremely hot days and cool nights. Plus, there's little humidity to contribute to grape rot. An excellent location. And using the traditional grapes from Champagne, New Mexican sparkling wine was born.

The United Grapes of America
StarChefs.com: The United Grapes of America
For our tasting ,we selected the Gruet Blanc de Noirs available from Whole Foods for $15. Composed of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, the wine follows traditional Champagne Methodoise practices, maybe too much - since the secondary fermentation gave this sparkler an explosive amount of bubbles. But after the initial fireworks settled, the wine was very tasty, 100% dry with creamy apple flavors and a tart almost citrusy finish. This is a solid sparkling wine, and at that price, why not drink a sparkler a day.


Kovas - 50 States Of Wine said...

The Gruet rose sparkler is also a nice wine, great with food!

Dick said...

Also very good is Ron Zacapa EdiciĆ³n Negra Rum from the Diageo spirits company is a solera blend whose distillates have a maturity range of between six and 23 years. Not only American bourbon barrels housed the distillates in the caves at an altitude of 2,300 meters, but also European oak barrels previously filled with sherry and Pedro Ximenez brandy. The complicated solera process for aging and refining has shaped the premium rum just as much as the high-quality raw material. One can expect an intense, smoky pleasure, which brings notes of spice and wood and relies less on sweet tones.