Sip of the Day: Jaillance NV Clairette de Die
Last week I posted an update to my facebook and twitter talking about today’s featured Sip of the Day. There’s just so much to love about this wine, its uniqueness, its sweet, bubbly fizz, and its quality for the price, I could hardly wait to talk about it.
This complete package sparkler is a Clairette de Die, a classic, somewhat sweet wine from France’s Rhone Valley made with a legally mandated blend of 85% Muscat and 15% Clairette grapes. What makes these wines stand out from the crowd is their own unique production method. Most sparkling wines undergo two fermentations, the first converting the grape juice to wine and the second trapping carbon dioxide in solution and making the wine bubbly. Clairette de Die wines are different. They’re made in a historic style called the méthode ancestral, a modern day reproduction of the very first technique used to produce sparkling wine. As a wine is fermenting, if its temperature drops significantly enough, the yeast cells can go into a temporary state of dormancy, effectively pausing the fermentation. It is believed that the first sparkling wines produced were unintentionally made this way when wines that had not fully completed fermentation were bottled, later becoming carbonated as they finished fermenting in the bottle.
The same basic process is followed with these wines, as they are chilled, bottled, and returned back to warm enough temperatures for them to begin fermentation again and start making bubbles, which are then trapped in the bottle. The final result is a fresh, vibrant, and somewhat sweet bubbly that offers a taste of winemaking history. Best of all, this one comes in at just around $15 a bottle.
Floral and fruity on the nose, this wine has an impressive balancing minerality too. Orange leaves and flowers, canned Mandarin oranges and peaches in syrup and a hint of crushed stone all show at once aromatically.
This wine is just as balanced and impressive on the palate as it was on the nose. It’s sweet and fruity, ripe and delicious, and drenched in honeyed floral tones. Deep, multidimensional, and juicy, notes of sliced golden apples, oranges, and tangerines mix with an interesting minerality reminiscent of crushed stone and quinine. It’s sweet but very nicely layered and crisp with a refreshing finish.
Worth Buying. 93 points.
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