This first release of a C R Sandidge sparkling wine is made from grapes grown in both the 2012 and 2013 vintages. The Lake Chelan growing region is particularly known for producing exceptional grapes for sparkling wines. The classic Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noirs grapes flourish on our graceful slopes bathed in warm – dry sunshine. Both growing seasons represented “normal” grape growing conditions. Spring was uneventful and frost free. As the year progressed, less and less rain fell giving way to warm sunny days. Harvest commenced during the first week of September under blue skies and cool morning temperatures.
Our 2012 and 2013 Chardonnay fruit was harvested from the south – southwest facing Dry Lake Vineyard. Both vintages of Pinot Noir were picked from the south – southwest facing Amos Rome 98 vineyard. While both sites are facing the same direction, they are quite a bit different when the subject of soil type arises. Dry Lake soil is definitely loaded with glacial remnants. A lot of round rock deposited some 8,000 years ago. Amos Rome 98 soil is fairly deep with quite a lot of fine gravel, silt and sand.
All fruit was hand – picked, sorted and destemmed and whole cluster pressed. The juice was chilled while being pressed and allowed to settle for three days prior to being racked to a stainless steel tank. A slow 24 day fermentation was conducted. Once finished with the primary fermentation, the wine as re-inoculated with fresh yeast, sugar and yeast food for the tirage bottling. Three years of storage on the yeast resulted in a sparkling wine possessing immense depth and presentation. To obtain the pink color, our bubbly was tinted with a very small amount of 2014 Caris red wine. Pure magic!
If the notes for this sparkling wine mirror that of the Tyee sparkler it is not coincidence. The Cardinal sparkling wine is the rose’ version of our Tyee. A pale salmon – pink color begins the presentation. Warm brioche, ripe Anjou pear, peach, golden delicious apple and juicy strawberries flesh out the aroma – flavor profile. Finished as a Brut, the sugar acid balance is not to tart, not too sweet. The mouthfeel is crisp and juicy. Best enjoyed with ripe sheep or cow’s milk cheeses possessing a little bit of funk such as a triple cream brie or Chaource. A savory mushroom –cream sauced strudel topped with some Crater Lake Blue crumble pairs exceedingly well too. Need I go on? Our Cardinal is a lovely bottle of rose’ bubbly!