Price Range : $17 - 22
Region: Dundee, Oregon Ready to Drink: Immediately upon release
This is no time to play it safe.
With the world evolving culturally, technologically and socio-politically faster than anyone can keep up with—and, with an industrial economy in the U.S. that’s booming and benefitting all stratas of the population unlike we’ve seen since post-WWII—this is a good time for taking good, calculated risks and being smart.
Out with the old, in with the new.
So, how about a great under-$20 bubbly to celebrate all that’s passed and all that’s to come? The EVOLUTION Sparkling Wine, from the highly-regarded Oregon winery Sokol Blosser, is one fitting for our occasion. Made from seven grape varieties—now, that’s crazy—it’s “Champagne” that pushes the envelope. The wine is made using the traditional Champagne method, but that’s where tradition stops.
The wine’s color is almost lager-like in its deep, dense amber yellow. You might even call this a beer-lover’s Champagne, now that I mention it. Ah, take in the smell… caramel, stewed apple, ginger, persimmons… caught somewhere between feminine and masculine. On the palate, the senses love the roundness and relative density for a sparkling. None of that piercing dryness which non-Champagne drinkers blame for their headaches. The brassy notes of sourdough toast, burnt sugar and apricot as well as a hint of bitters on the finish serve up surprising aspects of the wine’s personality. And, of course, the bubbles… lush but bright.
Atypical yet easy to drink and eager to please—that’s a winner for our changing times. American sparkling wine is an exciting place right now—smack in-between the birth and maturation phase of its evolution, and the Evolution Sparkling Wine, with unusual depth and substance, is among those standing out front helping define just what American “Champagne” can be. –J.M.