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les bourgeoisIf Cava has shown you don’t need Chardonnay or Pinot Noir to make good sparkling wine, Les Bourgeois shows that the grapes don’t have to be v. vinifera either  (v. vinifera is the species of grape from which most wines are made). This dazzling sparkler is made from 100% Missouri-grown Vidal Blanc, a grape developed in France in the 1930’s, a cross of Ugni Blanc and several non-vinifera species. The high acidity and fruity aromas of this grape make it an ideal candidate for sparkling wine.

Muted lemon and pear leave a first impression with almond hints, and subtle tropical notes emerging against a background of bready aromas that signal a serious sparkler. Aged 12-18 months on the lees, this wine features creaminess and textural depth on the palate, with a lengthy, mineral-infused finish. The mousse is fluffy and soft with small bubbles gamboling gleefully up the flute but dissipating rather quickly. Racy, dry and elegant, this is a fine effort made méthode traditionnelle.

Score: 90

Price: about $30

Alc: 11.2%

Sparkling wine will always pair well with celebratory music but I often associate the explosive, effervescent motion of the bubbles with explosive, effervescent hard bop from the 1950’s. Bubbles burst against the palate like Art Blakey’s percussive drum solo in this scintillating version of A Night in Tunisia .

Review based on an industry sample

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