Instead of May flowers we’ve had a grey day and a massive downpour, but May brings with it the promise of summer to come, and that deserves some bubbles! Specifically, today we’re talking Kew Vineyards 2014 Barrel Aged Blanc de Blancs!
Blanc de blancs is the term used to describe sparkling wine made only from the Chardonnay grape (sparkling wine is typically made from a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier, but can be made from single varietals – if made from only red grapes, it’s called blanc de noirs). Some of the most prestigious champagnes and sparkling wines are blanc de blancs!
Kew’s sparkling wines are made in the traditional method (méthode traditionnelle, or méthode champenoise if we’re talking about the real deal from Champagne producers). This means the wines go through two fermentations – the second, which produces the carbon dioxide that gives the wine its sparkle – occurs in the bottle.
Kew’s blanc de blancs is fermented and aged for one year in French oak barrels. It then spends two years “on lees” which means that the wine is left in contact with dead yeast cells after fermentation as they break down and release compounds into the wine – this process imparts a toasty, nutty flavour to wines and is commonly used in white wines from Burgundy and other French Chardonnays.
Kew Vineyards’ tasting room in Beamsville, Ontario is located in an adorable and immaculate historic homestead on a 160-year-old estate. We stopped in a few weeks ago for a quick visit and enjoyed a tasting flight, learning that Kew does sparkling wine well – like, really well – and picked up a few bottles!
This wine has a robust, toasty aroma and bright golden colour. It tastes of crisp green apple with a hint of lime, has a subtle mousse and lots of fast-moving bubbles in the glass. You can pick up a bottle at the vineyard for $29.95 or go wild and order a case online (not gonna lie, it’s tempting)!
Cheers to all the sunny summer days coming our way!