Methode Champenoise' sparkler that's “zéro dosage” (bone-dry), from chardonnay grown at high elevations
Region: Santa Ana, New Mexico
Grapes: 100% Chardonnay
Medium Body, Lively
Flavors: Citrus, mineral, toasted almond
Pairings: Crudo, Oysters, Steak
French born, Gilbert Gruet began cultivating his first vineyards in his hometown of Bethon, Champagne in the 1950s. By 1967, Gilbert established Gruet et Fils, putting Bethon on the map for noteworthy Chardonnay in Champagne.
Gilbert and his family travelled throughout the southwestern part of the U.S. in the early 80’s and while passing through New Mexico, learned of vineyard plantings from the early 1600s. Recognizing the ideal climate and soil conditions for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, the family planted experimental vines in Engle, NM. This eventually turned into the family moving overseas and the release of their first vintage in 1989.
The risky move paid off as Gruet is known as one of the best producers of Champagne Method sparkling wine in the U.S. Today, the winery is run by Gilbert’s descendants, his son, Laurent being the head winemaker. Gruet produces 20 different wines, 14 of which are sparkling and have gained global acclaim.
Named Sauvage (French for Savage) for good reason! The 100% Chardonnay is zero dosage (meaning no added sweet wine typically added to sparkling wines) which highlights the grip and life of the New Mexican soils. The vineyard sites for this Chardonnay are at about 4,300 ft which are some of the highest in the U.S. The nighttime dip of temperature combats the sunny hot days resulting in grapes that are ripe in fruit yet maintain the essential acidity for sparkling wine. To get the grapes at their perfect point, the growing season is from mid-April to the end of July which is a few weeks shorter than most of the world.