Carboniste 2020 Sparkling Albariño Extra Brut, Gomes Vineyard, CA
Champagne is from France. CARBONISTE is California.
- Winemaker: Jacqueline & Dan Person
- Farming: Organic Practices
- Variety: Albariño
- Terroir: Located on Andrus Island, nestled between the Sacramento and Mokelumne Rivers. This site has deep, rich soil, well fed from the Sacramento River. It is dry farmed without cultivation and is transitioning to organic farming certification.
- Vinification: Traditional Methode Champenoise. After harvest, grapes were pressed whole cluster and settled for 2 days as juice. The juice was fermented in tank with native yeast at 60-65°F for 3 weeks. The fermentation sediment was kept with the wine until bottling without the addition of sulfur dioxide or the presence of malolactic fermentation. The wine was bottled with fresh yeast and a small amount of sugar.
- Aging: After 4 months in bottle, the yeast had consumed the sugar, the sediment was removed, and we added back a small amount of wine and sugar. After a light dosage, the bottles were capped again in order to preserve the natural youth and freshness of the wine.
- Dosage: 5 g/l
- Tasting Note: Gooseberry, kumquat, and stonefruit blossom. It is a fantastic aperitif wine and is guaranteed to pair so many favorite recipes including grilled octopus!
From our December 2021 Bottle Club Notes:
Carboniste | Gomes Vineyard | Sparkling Albariño Extra Brut | California | 2020
Carboniste was founded in 2017 by winemakers Dan and Jacqueline Person with a single goal in mind: to create a modern take on California sparkling wine. They met while studying at UC Davis, and after making wine all over the world and in California (including Dan's three years at Schramsberg), they came to the conclusion that most Californian sparkling wine was an attempt to mimic Champagne rather than a creation of something unique to its terroir. They felt the industry needed a shakeup, so they created Carboniste as an ode to the sparkling style, as well as their beloved California.
Dan and Jacqueline focus on wines that are first and foremost enjoyable. They don’t create wines with the intention of aging bottles. Instead, their handmade wines vary from year-to-year, dependent on pristine vineyard sources, and, well, the deliciousness factor. As they say, “If there is something we believe will make the wines better for the consumer, we allow it to consume the way we craft the wine.” In an era when nearly everyone is attempting to produce cellar-worthy 'prestige' wine, this is an unexpectedly refreshing take from a small-production house. When we blind-tasted this wine a few months ago, I was struck by how delightfully easy-drinking it was while remaining thoughtful.
After learning more about Carboniste's approach to making approachable wines from high-quality fruit, it was clear that they were on the right track. The fruit here is 100% Albariño from the Gomes’ family vineyard on Andrus Island in the Sacramento River Delta, where they’ve been farming since immigrating from Portugal's Vinho Verde region in the 1880s.
This bottling comes from a serious vineyard source, however, the wine is made in an aperitif style; it goes through a traditional fermentation and has a residual sugar dosage of 5g/L, but the low atmospheric pressure of the bottling makes this wine easy to sip and allows the ripe quality of the fruit to shine through.
The kumquat and white peach notes are juicy and inviting, but the finish rides an unexpectedly mineral wave, dropping racy acid-driven salted gooseberry notes. This is a great wine to start the evening off right! — Simi Grewal