Posted by: cvancil | December 21, 2009

Sparkle through the Holidays with wine from Laetitia Vineyards

You can read the original article here.

Laetitia has more than 600 acres of vineyards, so there is a lot of variation in temperatures, wind patterns and soils, not to mention clones and rootstocks. That gives Hickey a lot to choose from. “It’s kind of a wine-maker’s dream to be working here,” he says. After five or six years of experiments, he adds, he’s zeroed in on which clones and vineyard blocks he likes best.Most sparkling wine producers have a house style, and at Laetitia that style is fresh and racy rather than overly fruity or toasty. The nonvintage Brut Cuvée ($22) is crisp and citrusy, with a fine texture. The 2006 Brut Rosé displays pretty lemon and strawberry flavors, with that firm core of acidity and a lovely pink color. The Brut Cuvée and the Brut Rosé can be found in stores; the other bubblies are available only from the winery.

As for the others, the 2006 Brut de Blancs ($28), which is made from all white grapes (chardonnay and pinot blanc), is lemony, a little floral and refreshing. The 2006 Brut de Noirs ($28), which is all pinot noir, offers racy citrus and berry, a fine texture and a hint of yeastiness. The reserve-level 2005 Cuvée M ($35) — the “M” name dates from the millennium celebrations — is bright and citrusy, with a mineral note and more weight than the regular brut. The 2005 Brut Coquard ($35) is toastier, with racy apple and citrus fruit.

Hickey says the winery avoided making a sweeter bubbly for a time because of the “perception of cheapness.” But he made one for a special dinner, and it went over so well that Laetitia added it to the roster. The nonvintage XD ($22) is lightly sweet, but that’s balanced by the fresh, citrusy notes.

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