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Catherine Bugue

Catherine Bugue

Sipping this sparkling wine makes me think that no other bubbles are needed in the world except these. The red apple fruit and mineral character is bright, elegantly balanced with the refreshing acidity of the palate, so that each sip is a seamless taste of sparkling goodness. Rich, but not too rich; fresh, but not austere; the wine glides across the palate into a long, lingering finish. This is mastery of the sparkling brut style.

The brut style generally means that the wine has no perceptible residual sugar. While tests may show a small amount of sugar, the racy acidity makes the wine appear dry.

Blancs de blancs means “white of whites”: a white wine is made from white grapes. The term, coming from France, means that Chardonnay only is used in producing the wine, and not the two other key varieties often used in Champagne, which happen to be red (Pinot Noir and Meunier). Chardonnay adds longevity to the wine — having the acidity to structurally age for decades to come.

Catherine Bugue is the Star’s tasting panel writer. Her weekly pursuit of a good glass of wine provides a nice supply of choices for the Wine of the Week column. If you’d like to submit a Napa Valley wine for this column, please send it to the Napa Valley Wine Academy, 2501 Oak St., Napa, CA 94559. There’s no guarantee your wine will be chosen to be featured, but all wines will be evaluated and considered.

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