Shipping detainments, glass shortages, extreme weather… if the pandemic continues to teach our industry anything, it’s to expect the unexpected. While supply chain issues are predicted to last into 2023 and we might not see the same production numbers in Champagne as we’re used to, c’est la vie!Plenty of delicious bubbles abound, and we’re here to shine a spotlight on eightreadily available alternatives:
Sparkling Rosés From France’s Italian Neighbors To The South
Ever since Prosecco formally introduced their rosé category back in 2020, interest and consumption has been blossoming! If you haven’t dived into this charming, quaffable category already you have to start with Tenuta Santomè. Third generation winegrowers turned winemakers, this family operation farms 24 hectares in Grave di Papadopoli, an island formed by the river Piave in the Veneto. With a focus on aromatics, freshness of flavor, and a balanced mouthfeel, you won’t be disappointed. Did we mention that their second-generation patriarch Armando Spinazzè was awarded a Knight of the Italian Republic?
One of Italy’s most lauded regions for wine production, the US is finally catching on to the regal and vibrant wines made using the Classical Method in Franciacorta DOCG. Behind Sweden alone, the US accounts for the second highest percent of Franciacorta’s global exports. It’s here that Majolini, a family that has been connected to the grapes and the land from the esteemed Ome municipality since the 15th century, craft wines of notable minerality and structure. Try their ‘Altéra’ rosé: only produced in the best vintages, its elegance and personality will add dimension to any program already brimming with Champagne.
Head Even Further South for Famed Cap Classique
South Africa’s answer to Champagne Methode wines has come a long way since 1973, when ‘Kaapse Vonkel’ (aka Cape Sparkle) was first released. Today about 250 producers in South Africa craft Cap Classique. And as leaders in global wine sustainability practices, heading for this category that has officially been around since 1991 should be a no-brainer. Krone, producers of vintage-only MCC at the historic Twee Jonge Gezellen farm in Tulbagh, released their inaugural bottling that very same year.
Leading with Pinot Noir and a touch of Chardonnay (8%), this ethereal, gossamer pink rosé pairs perfectly with melty Camembert, rolled porchetta, and salmon.
The Perfect Non-Vintage Bubble? Look for Lees
The standard in Champagne follows that any non vintage wine is required to spend at least 12 months on its lees. Beyond transforming texture, ‘sur lie’ aging adds depth and can impart aromas of hay, yeasty notes or even nuttiness. We can’t get enough of both of these bottles, which overdeliver with a minimum of 2 years on their lees:
Hailing from the coolest appellation in California, Scharffenberger Cellars consistently offers quality examples of the Anderson Valley’s hallmark acidity. Grapes from this region undergo massive diurnal temperature swings— sometimes even a 50 degree difference throughout the day! The climate is ideal for producing sparkling wines. We love how their Brut will fool you into thinking that you’ve just walked into a bakery first thing in the morning: think notes of flaky pastry, fresh bread, and hints of caramel and hazelnut…
Meet Cesarini Sforza— a traditional method sparkling wine producer known for their refinement and vitality, located in the Trento region of northeastern Italy. In 1993, Trento was one of the first regions worldwide after Champagne to attain official sparking wine certification. Intensely aromatic and complex, this highly rated wine displays an intense bouquet of citrus and white flowers with the sweet scent of cotton candy and pastries.
Still Stuck on Champagne? Revisit These Heritage Brands:
Based in Cramant, Gilles Lancelot descends from a long line of growers and farms 55 parcels. Each block offers something unique and their average vine age is 40 years old. What can you expect from this Grand Cru grower Chardonnay from the Cotes de Blancs? Detailed clarity and elegance. Five years on its lees has ushered this wine into showing some of Champagne’s most famed attributes: chalkiness, minerality, salinity, and butter. Pour it with seafood, cheese, celebrations and everything in between.
The story of this prolific Champagne house is one of legacy and a pioneering spirit. Back in 1968, Serge Faust made the innovative decision to convert his vineyards to organics. Today, under the reverential eye of his grandson Christophe, they remain one of the few growers to have achieved organic certification (there are only 100 estates out of 3,000 that are certified). 100% Pinot Meunier, this Champagne is both rich and creamy with gorgeous notes of white peach, honey, applesauce and toast.
Click to explore our sparkling portfolios on SevenFifty: