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The future of B.C. bubbles is bright (and lively).
If wineries were stocks, I’d be fantastically bullish about B.C. sparkling as a sector with unbelievable upside going forward. It’s good at every price point. At $50 and up, you have this bottle of 9 year old Blue Mountain that slays Champagnes that are twice the price. And at $30-$45 you have Pet Nats the really express a sense of place and passion, and some amazing more classically made gems like Lightning Rock and Fitzpatrick.
But today we’re talking about the absolute steals available at the entry level—$25 and below. In this market (and most others in the world) Spanish Cava is the absolute pinnacle for value bubbles, but B.C. is nipping at its heels and these three bottles show that if our region can produce wine this good at a price this reasonable—while having none of the economies of scale our Spanish friends enjoy, then watch out world if we ever scale up production.
This is a great go-to as a housewarming gift, because it’s just such a nicely designed label/bottle combo that makes it looks like it cost much more than $22. And what’s inside is no slouch either—this in made in the charmat method, which is the go-to style for Prosecco and it’s a mix of Pinot Gris, Semillon and Gewurztraminer. That trio doesn’t scream austere Champagne to anyone, but channels the slight sweetness that lurks in— you guessed it—Prosecco. And at $22, it’s well-priced even by Prosecco standards (and a major steal for buying small-production, local wine).
Ah Stellar’s Jay… I take you for granted. You have a storied pedigree (Sumac Ridge started making it in 1989), you use the very pricey and time consuming Methode Traditional (i.e. how they make Champagne) in your production, and while you use screwy grapes to make rosé at least you use awesome screwy grapes like gamay. And, all joking aside, this fuller-bodied take on rosé is solidly made with some red berry juiciness up front but a solid strain of acidity that belies its low price point.
This is a small cheat, because it’s only thanks to a month-long sale that this is under $25, but for the month of December it’s time to fill your boots with bubbles. This is Mission Hill’s entry-level sparkler, and like the Hester Creek, it’s made in the charmat method but it uses the traditional grapes of Champagne—in this case Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The result channels some of the notes of a traditional sparkler with the lift and lightness that the charmat method imparts. If you were to give a three-word description? Classy, but fun. Bottom heavy bottle makes it look pricey, too.
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