Monday, December 4, 2023

Bubbles From Halter Ranch In Paso Robles

Halter Ranch Vineyard is located in the beautiful hills of western Paso Robles. The Santa Lucia mountain range is the backdrop to the 2700-acre estate. Only two hundred of those acres are devoted to organic grapes, 20 different varieties, as well as walnut and olive orchards. The rest is all Mother Nature, including oak woodland and wildlife corridors. Owner Hansjörg Wyss is described as a "Swiss entrepreneur, philanthropist, and world-leading land conservationist." Winemaker Kevin Sass spends a lot of time in the vineyard. He says that is where great wines begin. 

The Halter Ranch Libelle Sparkling Picpoul Blanc 2020 is made from estate grapes, grown right there in Paso Robles' Adelaida District. The wine is made like Champagne, 100% Méthode Champenoise, where the secondary fermentation occurs in the bottle to create natural carbonation. Alcohol is a low 11% abv and the retail price is $85. 

This wine is straw colored, but it pours up with plenty of white, frothy bubbles. They dissipate quickly, however, leaving what looks like a frizzante white wine. Citrus and minerals dominate the nose, but a pretty, floral note peeks through as well. The longer I smell it, the more the citrus fruit comes forward. The palate is juicy and refreshing, with a bracing acidity to match the lemon, lime and grapefruit flavors. Nutty notes play into the flavor package, too. This is the first sparkling Picpoul I've had, or even heard about. I'm impressed. It is fun, but not frivolous.

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