Bad to the Bone Bubbles
$35.00 per bottle
Man this stuff is fun. People should drink bubbles like this every day! It is elegant like Nora Jones, but complex like Mars Volta and exciting like the craziest metal band you have ever heard. It has a fine mousse that just allows the bubbles to add structure and fun to the fruit driven palate and creaminess of the wine. You would be equally cool hanging with friends in your back yard or livin’ it up VIP style in a red rope lounge. This stuff is crazy good and needs to be at every occasion.
Well a classic would be to say enjoy this with some fresh shucked oysters. That said we are not traditional so let’s push the envelope. Try this with all sorts of foods and occasions from aperitif all the way to the cheese course. Drink it with that roast game bird in its own juices. I promise you it will be incredible. This is not just for caviar anymore (though that is pretty awesome too).
The Bad to the Bone Bubbles is made in the Methode Champenoise style. The grapes were harvested early with lower sugar and high acidity to maintain freshness and really show off minerality. This was really neat because it balances well with the generally very fruit forward style of Virginia sparkling wine. The initial fermentation was cool and slow in stainless steel. The wine was then re-fermented in bottle and allowed to rest on the lees for 3.5 years before being disgorged and having a dosage of 1% residual sugar.
The fruit for the Bad to the Bone Bubbles all comes from a vineyard in Carter Mountain in the Monticello AVA. The Chardonnay that comes from Carter Mountain is a higher elevation site that gets cooler nights preserving acidity and is planted to clones that are about holding acidity and maintaining slightly lower and balanced sugars for better alcohol balance.
The 2009 Vintage was full of challenges that left us with concern for many varieties. We were tested on our patience, faith in Mother Nature and our quest for quality. Most of the summer was cool and wet with the exception of August. There was a moist spring, drying up just in time for bloom to assure a healthy size crop. We were forced to strongly thin the crop to maximize ripeness later in the year by over 50% in several cases. Viognier was the only variety that started with a low crop as its bloom was too wet and fruit set was uneven creating inner cluster thinning and sorting to be crucial at harvest.
Mid July gave us a nasty storm that dropped nickel size hail on our vineyard for 4-5 minutes and winds that severely damaged many shoots. The lowering in the crop was not all bad and the dry two weeks post the storm allowed for the fruit to dry up and not be plagued by rot.
August was hot and dry allowing the fruit to enter the harvest period ripening at a better rate. Through September and October it was all about waiting for the best physiological ripeness of the grapes. At times deer and potential weather tempted us to harvest early, but we stayed on course and allowed the flavors to ripen beautifully.
Overall the 2009 vintage gave us a really neat crop. It gave us fruit characteristic with ripe flavors at higher acidities and lower alcohols. The wines of 2009 will be marked by their elegance more so then their power.