Thierry Germain et Michel Chevre, Bulles de Roche, AOC Saumur, Maine et Loire, France, NV
This wine: a 90% chenin blanc blend with chardonnay and cabernet franc, the vins clairs (base wines) are aged in oak (of unspecified age), Champagne method, natural mushroom cork closure, 12% abv, Costco, £6 (05/17)
Consumer tasting note: an entry-level full sparkling wine, nevertheless with fresh acidity and some character from ageing on the lees; an apple dominated profile – stewed and baked, along with touches of leaf tea, honey, toast and anise. Follows into a medium length.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, medium intensity gold, showing small bubbles and tears.
Nose: clean, medium intensity, fully developed, with aromas as they come, of light touches of brioche and fleetingly of toast, stewed apple with a slightly caramelised edge, touch of honeydew melon, leaf tea, touch of light honey, and after some time low-key anise.
Palate: dry, medium (+) acidity, medium alcohol, medium (-) body, medium intensity, a noticeable grip, with flavours of baked apple flesh, pear skin, leaf tea, a little waxy, almond oil. A medium length with a clean stewed apple leaf tea-edged finish with a noticeable grip; a creamy mousse, with a medium persistence.
Quality: good, balanced alcohol with fresh acidity, suits the alcohol; has seen oak (not new) and shows some complexity, but with modest intensity throughout, lightweight concentration and a modest length.
Drinking readiness/ageing potential: drink now, unsuited to further ageing, but will keep for a year or so.