California Bubble Works
California: Napa Valley
What We Say
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Mission Codename: All That Glitters
Operative: Agent Sparkle
Objective: Procure an outstanding, adventurous and delicious sparkling wine for our Romantic Operatives
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Avventura Vintners
Wine Subject: Sparkling Cabernet Sauvignon
Winemaker: David Stevens
Backgrounder: With Valentine’s Day approaching, resident Bubbly spy, Agent Sparkle, has been a very busy gal – sleuthing and hunting for the most unique and delicious sparkling treasures that she can find. Today she brings us a remarkable and extraordinary sparkling wine from Napa’s Sun Valley. Read her tasting notes and mission report below for full details.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – An incredible color that falls between copper and peach, with oodles of teeny-tiny bubbles that glide up to the surface in thin columns. Some bubble linger at the sparkling surface while others pop instantly on arrival
Smell – A rush of fresh apricot, nearly-ripe strawberry, vanilla extract, red apple pie, soft cherry and a hint of slate
Feel – This bubbly starts with ultra-fine bubbles that expand in the mouth. The wine is full-bodied and lightly mouth coating and slightly drying at the edges and rear of the mouth
Taste – Full and rich with flavors of apple crumble, cherry, pronounced apricot, fresh bread, cream and a hint of bourbon with an easy minerality
Finish – Starts sweet and light, then flavors ramp upward, peaking somewhat sweet and then tailing off with a mild mouth watering tartness and lingering flavors of apricot
Conclusion – A really wonderful bubbly, with stunning flavors and killer color, astounding aromatics and a unique feel. A perfect accompaniment to your most romantic rendezvous or as an elegant afternoon aperitif. Made in the traditional Méthode Champenoise, this is a serious wine with a seriously fun side.
My favorite Cabernet Sauvignon, you ask? That’s easy. I go for big but balanced Napa Cabs every time! What does a Napa Cab have to do with today’s sparkling wine, you ask? You ask a lot of questions, don’t you!
Well, I’ll answer by telling you that today’s bubbly wine is a glorious fusion of my two favorites: Sparkling wine and Napa Cab!
I was skeptical, at first, but if hanging around with Agents Red and White have taught me anything, its to keep a wide open mind when it comes to wine. And so, with mind open and palate in perfect tune, I ventured forth to meet with our new friends at Avventura Vintners, the craftspeople behind a most unique and surprisingly delicious Sparkling Napa Cabernet Sauvignon.
David Stevens, winemaker (“Bubble Master?”) for Avventura is a former winemaker for Domaine Chandon, a respected Napa Bubblehaus. David’s approach to winemaking is reflected in his sparkling wine. He is part scientist and part creative naturist, imbuing his sparkling wines with all of the art and intelligence of his years of experience.
David’s Cab Sparkler is a beautiful and unique wine with a price that I think is beyond great value. If you are looking for something special to enjoy with someone special, I have to tell you that you must pick up a few bottles of this rare and delicious treat!
Cheers to you and Happy Valentine’s Day!!
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
California Bubble Works has a rich and creamy texture with loads of berry jam, red apple and black cherry. Our Winemaker insists that he finds a hint of french bread toast with his fathers apricot conserve (the one with the pits in the jar). Look for the crisp clean finish with a lingering aftertaste of berry cobbler and freestone peaches.
Tasting Notes: This unique wine is all about fruit. The idea behind the production of this wine, technically a Blanc de Noirs (white wine from red grapes) from the non-traditional sparkling variety of Cabernet Sauvignon, is to showcase the character that makes Napa Valley Cabs so prized by wine lovers. If you believe the wine press, that character is usually described in terms of tree fruits and berries.
In order to enjoy every bubble, California Bubble Works is best served very cold. As this wine is truly hand crafted, respect the tendency of it to foam slightly after opening.
Food Pairing: Enjoy this wine with whatever you want! Just enjoy…
About The Winery:
At Avventura Vintners, we believe that great sparkling wine should be fun and free from all the fuss that usually accompanies the enjoyment of bubbly. To do this, we get the grapes that make CBW so special from a special location; California’s Napa Valley.
Augusta, Broadway, Sun Valley… Just the name of some places evokes intrinsic quality. Nowhere is that more true than in the world of wine. The French, who always seem to have a different word for everything, call it terroir – their word for the sum of the geographical attributes that give a wine a ‘sense of place’. We agree that where you grow something definitely affects its flavor. Anyone who has eaten real Stilton cheese or a Walla Walla sweet onion knows that. No where is that more true than with Cabernet Sauvignon grapes and the Napa Valley.
Just what is it about the terroir of the Napa Valley that makes it a great place to grow Cabernet Sauvignon grapes? Some say the climate – usually described as Mediterranean – hot and dry summers, warm and dry springs and autumns, and cool (but not too cold) wet winters. The more traditional (mostly those French again) wine philosophers are convinced that the soil is the critical factor. Most of the soils in the Napa Valley are rich and alluvial with varying amounts of clay. Some say it is the proximity to all of the great restaurants that are scattered throughout the valley. A few claim that it is the skill of the winemakers who make their home in the navel of California’s wine regions. We don’t really care why; we just know that the Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is second to none! (As is California Bubble Works!)
About The Winemaker:
After a summer job fell through, David Stevens, Winemaker for California Bubble Works had the good luck to sign on with one of the fledgling wineries in his then home of Walla Walla, Washington. “I learned there that wine production combined the joy of creative effort with the rigors of science. Plus, I could taste the world’s best wines and get paid for it!”
Having completed a Masters Degree in Enology at the University of California, Davis, David worked for several world renowned wineries in the Napa Valley, California’s preeminent wine production region. As Associate Winemaker at Domaine Chandon, he sharpened his skills as a crafter of Sparkling Wines. “The great Economist John Maynard Keynes once said that if he had to live his life again, he would have drunk more champagne. I have no intention of having the same regret.” To that end, producing exceptional Sparkling Wines has been the focus of most of his professional career. “At California Bubble Works I produce the type of wine I love— elegant yet fun and true to the cabernet sauvignon from which it comes.”
David’s expertise as a wine maker is in great demand all over the world. As a consultant, David has traveled extensively in the United States, South America, and Europe. David’s wife is a physician specializing in endocrinology and they have two, much fussed-over daughters. It should be no surprise that they make their home in Napa, California – beside a vineyard that grows grapes for making champagne.
Wine Type: Sparkling Wine
Varietal: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Appellation: Napa Valley
Sugar: 0.67 g/100 ml
Acid: 0.72 g/100 ml
Aging: > 1 year on yeast