Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Virginia Bubbles - Briedé Sparkling Cayuga White

The Now And Zin Wine Country series started in 2011, with Virginia wine. In the dozen years since then I have sampled wines from 46 states. The last four - Mississippi, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming - have proven to be tough nuts to crack, for a variety of reasons. There are fewer opportunities in those states and shipping restrictions, to name two. I'll press on to find wines from those states, but when I get a chance to revisit a previous stop, I'll jump at the chance. Especially when it is Virginia. 

The Old Dominion State has 291 wineries, by Wine America's count. That's good enough for 6th place in the winery count. As far as wine production goes, Virginia lags a little more behind, in eighth place. 

Briedé Family Vineyards boasts a ton of awards won by their wines. They also have a menu featuring a ton of North American grapes, although they do utilize vinifera grapes mostly in blends. The price list looks a tad spendy to me, considering the grape varieties. I have tried only one of their wines, so I can't say whether the prices are justified. 

Located in Winchester, VA, Briedé occupies the 30-acre patch of land on which the family has lived for decades. They started their winery in 2013. The namesake sparkling wine is made from Shenandoah Valley Cayuga White grapes, carries alcohol at 11.6% abv and costs $57. They label the wine as Sparkling, but on their website they reference Champagnes, which it is not. It is, however, made in the same way traditional Champagnes are made. 

The 2020 Briedé Sparkling Winchester Brut has a yellow straw color with a huge helping of white foam, which dissipates quickly to a frizzante appearance. It is wild while it's there, though. The nose offers beautiful aromas of green apples and apricots under an overlay of yeasty toast. The palate has a boatload of acidity and yeasty flavors of apples, and pears. Fun and tasty, too. 

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