If you know sparkling wine, you know much of the artistry lies in the blend. Typically, when crafting bubbly, you’re constantly mixing from different blocks, vineyards and vintages, which allows you to produce a consistent wine, year after year. However, certain years are unique. With some vintages, on some plots of land, the wine fates are kind, enabling a sparkling winemaker to capture a remarkable harvest as a worthy vintage.
A few years ago, while contemplating ideas for exclusive, creative Prestige Member wine offerings, Sparkling Winemaker Tom Tiburzi and Senior Wine Ambassador Ellen Flora came up with a novel idea. What if you created a small batch of sparkling wine, divided it into thirds, and aged each sur lees—or in the bottle, with yeast—for three, four and five years?
Sparkling wine is made in the traditional way from 3 classic grape varietals — Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Because these three wines are known to be so food friendly, the delicate and bubbly wines made from them are a natural companion for a wide range of foods. With the holidays just around the corner, we asked Ellen Flora, Chandon's Senior Wine Ambassador, to share her expertise in choosing wines for the year's most festive gatherings...