Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ben's Bubbly: Kluge Estate 2003 Brut

This past week was quite a week. First, I started a new Meet the Winemaker series to coincide with Regional Wine Week. Second, I attended a Terry Theise grower Champagne tasting with the likes of Pierre Gimonnet, Pierre Peters, Varnier-Fannière, Henri Goutorbe, Gaston Chiquet, L. Aubry, Henri Billiot, Chartogne-Taillet, Pehu-Simonet and Vilmart & Cie. I will report on my thoughts in a few days.

However, the biggest event of the week was Ben's first airplane ride. The three of us traveled to Lawrence, KS for a friend's wedding. We had originally planned on driving, but a deal on airfare convinced us to try flying. It could not have gone any better. Ben mostly spent his time either sleeping or smiling at our neighbor. On the way there, most of the people in the rows around us were actually surprised to see a baby on the plane when they stood up to deplane.

Ben was also lucky enough to spend most of the weekend with his grandma and grandpa who came to Lawrence just to watch him so that we could enjoy our weekend with friends. He was so excited to see them and poke them in their faces instead of just breaking my laptop while talking to them on Skype. The two days went by fast and the grandparents were sad to see him go, but we all hope that it won't be so long until the next visit.

2003 Kluge Estate Brut, Virginia

Much has been published about the winery recently acquired by Donald Trump. So, in the spirit of Regional Wine Week, we popped the cork on this trumped up Virginia bubbly. I decided to open this first of two bottles I recently purchased, because it showed several centimeters of ullage. After pouring into tulip glasses, the dark yellow juice yielded fresh baked bread and lemon aromas. On the palate, it presented bright acidity along with toast, lemons, grapefruit and a disappointingly short finish. This was a fun and decent wine and definitely could have held its own with some of the nondescript Champagne at the tasting, but is far from being mistaken as a top sparkling wine. 12% abv Purchased $18. Good

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