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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Freixenet Elyssia Gran Cuvee Brut - Champagne By Another Name

Holiday Sparklers 2012

Freixenet Elyssia Gran Cuvee Brut - Champagne By Another Name
Don't tell the French but there's plenty of good sparkling wine not called Champagne -- and it's much cheaper than Champagne too! Zut alors!

40% Chardonnay, 30% Macabeo, 20% Parellada and 10% Pinot Noir from Penedes, Spain.

SRP of $18 and available for as low as $17. Sample submitted for review.

From the bottle:
"Elyssia, meaning state of perfect harmony, offers this Gran Cuvee which brings the idea of symmetry alive with its combination of traditional Macabeo and Parellada cava grapes with international favourites Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The result is a wonderful bouquet of roasted nuts, citrus fruit and honey. This complexity carries through to the palate, delivering a brilliant kaleidoscope of fruit flavors followed by a crisp, elegant finish with a hint of spice.

Sparkling Wine - Fermented In This Bottle

11.5% Alcohol"
As we discussed in our last Holiday Sparkler review, the excellent Segura Viudas Reserva Heredad Cava, there are many sparkling wines made in the traditional method of Champagne, they just can't be called Champagne because they aren't FROM Champagne. (One of the problems when you name a style of wine after a region.) And while this was also true of our last Cava, today's wine ups the ante a bit as it includes a good portion of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, two of the three primary grapes allowed in Champagne. It's not all Spain trying to imitate France though as this one also contains a good portion of the two traditional Spanish grapes Macabeo and Parellada as well.

You might also remember that we thoroughly enjoyed the Elyssia Pinot Noir Brut Rosé from this same line in last year's series. Let's find out if the Brut fares as well.

The Freixenet Elyssia Gran Cuvee Brut begins with nice, dusty aromas of yeast, almond and other toasty nuts, apple, lemon/lime and nectarines. Very intriguing! The wine tastes delicious with lots of apple, pear and ginger plus good acidity and nice bubbles. Maybe not quite as intriguing as the bouquet but still a really nice sparkler with a bit of complexity. The finish is dry and long-lasting with floral notes lingering for a long time and a bit of grapefruit and fresh baked bread to go along with the appple, pear and ginger. Quite tasty no matter what you call it!

Other wines in the Holiday Sparklers 2012 series:
Also check out the 12 recommended sparkling wines from last year's series!

See a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.

Taste Rating: 8              Cost Rating: 4
Overall Rating: 7.0


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