Monday, February 20, 2012

Ben's Bubbly: Kirkland Champange

It is amazing how much can change in a week. Last week, Ben was beginning to take a few "independent" steps here and there. Now, the child is walking across the house. In fact, he is now walking as often as he crawls. If he can pull himself up on something, he will then use his feet to stumble like a drunk cowboy around the house. However, if he really wants to get somewhere fast he'll plop down and crawl with a vengeance. Despite having a low-grade fever, a leaky nose and a cough for the past few days, he is being a trooper during the day. The nights are a different story, unfortunately. One of these days, I am confident we will sleep through the night again.

Kirkland Signature Champagne, Brut

For those of you that don't know, Kirkland Signature is Costco's store brand. Now, of course Costco does not make Champagne, but has the wine privately labeled by an actual Champagne house; Janisson et Fils. With the current hype surrounding Grower Champagne, most consumers only know that the label codes RM and NM differentiate between R├ęcoltant manipulant (farmer fizz) and N├ęgociant manipulant (larger houses). Little do most Champagne consumers know that there are five other producer designations found on bottles. In the case of the Kirkland bubbly, it is designated as Marque auxiliaire (MA), which is a brand that is unrelated to the actual producer, such as Kirkland Signature. I doubt that you will see this designation much in the U.S., though you might find it more often if you were shopping at a supermarket in France.

It is darker than most other bubblies that we have poured over the past 46 weeks. It is a pretty amber color with medium-sized bubbles. The nose is a bit muted, but with a little citrus fruit. I was quite surprised that this wine showed so much tart grapefruit flavors along with a slight nuttiness. It was so tart that it wasn't all that pleasant on its own, but a bit of food made it a bit better. You can't beat this price for true Champagne, but unfortunately it doesn't come with the quality you would expect from Champagne. I you just can't stand non-Champagne bubbly, but can't stand the prices of good Champagne this might be a wine for you. 12% abv Purchased $20 Average/Good

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