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Surprising Sparklers

We've always got a wide selection of bubbles at Craft and Cru, and we're always keen to introduce people to something new in the category.

Folias de Baco UIVO Pinot Noir 'PT NAT' 2018 Most of you didn't get to try this last year. The local distributor sold out in 36 hours, and we sold our stash in about a week. With the 2018 vintage, we're determined to reach a wider audience, so we'll open a bottle for you on Saturday. It's a bit of an oddball: Pinot Noir grown in the Douro, made into a sparkling white wine with the most ancient method. It's also just super delish: zesty, crisp, fresh, tart fruit competing with stony flavors, low in alcohol and way to easy to gulp. In many ways, it is the least serious wine of the lineup, but then it's also one of the most enticing.  Patrice Colin 'Perles Grises' 2016 A varietal wine, Perles Grises is made from a rather uncommon peppery red grape variety of the Loire Valley, the Pineau d'Aunis cultivar. We love this wine and had it on our racks for awhile, but then the importer ran out. Not surprising; Patrice Colin does not make a lot a wine. What was a bit of a surprise was that when it came back, it was still the 2016 vintage. The new batch, however, had spent extra time with the lees in the bottle, and it showed. The first batch was lean and mean in the best way. The second batch is still very fresh and light, but it finishes more graceful and supple; not so mean.  A subtle shade of pink precedes a subtle wine; notes of citrus and tart red berries are accented by delicate herbal tones. It finishes super dry, this wine is not for those who want sweetness. Terres de Velle Cremant de Bourgogne Extra Brut 'Bulles' NV This is where we start to get a wine more like Champagne. A blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Aligote, this has a bit of toastiness that indicates its traditional method, and a wealth of tart white and yellow fruits that would seem to indicate its cepage and origins. An Extra Brut style, it is very dry, but like a good Champagne it has an engaging richness upfront and through the finish.  Seleque Champagne Brut Rose 'Solessence' NV We tasted this wine last week and although we didn't need another Champagne, we took it anyway; it's an incredible deal for fine pink Champagne from a small grower. The color here comes from two sources: Pinot Meunier that has gone through a short maceration, and a small amount of red Pinot Noir wine that is added to the final blend. The entire cepage consists of 45% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Meunier and 15% Pinot Noir. Flavors are myriad: red currant, raspberry, strawberry, cranberry, mint, spice, toast.... its price belies its complexity. Finishing dry and chalky, it lingers on fresh fruit and subtle toasty notes, and is overall pretty easy-going for a Brut.  Tenuta Pederzana Lambrusco Grasparossa 2017

Yes, we've poured this before, but we're pouring it on Saturday... and we'll pour it again. Why? Well the vintage changed, but more importantly, we think more of you need to know about excellent Lambrusco, and Tenuta Pederzana is about as good as it gets. For a many years now, American wine critics have been very enthusiastic about Tenuta Pederzana, so we were not surprised to see a glowing review in a current issue of a glossy wine magazine. Massachusetts is lucky enough to a have a direct importer for Pederzana, while most of the rest of the country must buy it through a national importer, which almost always drives the cost way up. But let's focus on more tasty matters: this is good wine and quite serious too. Gobs of dark fruit, lots of nuance in the form of spices, flowers and earth, significant tannin, a bit of sweetness, fine frothy bubbles... it is so tasty and it goes with just about everything (sweetness and bubbles go a long way with pairings).

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