November 5, 2020

Wine of the Week: 2016 Argyle Brut

Napa Valley Register Logoby Dan Berger

2016 Argyle Brut, Willamette Valley ($25) – There are probably 40 or more exceptionally high-caliber producers of sparkling wine in this country, all of whom aim to compete with Champagne. Very few actually do because the West Coast has a Mediterranean climate and Champagne has a continental climate, and the grapes are often radically different in character. This wine offers a distinctive Oregon mien.

Winemaker Nate Klostermann is a superb craftsman when it comes to wines of this sort. It doesn’t have the overt yeasty elements that often show up in Champagne, but the flavors here are “sea foam,” subtle spice, peach, and brioche. Pristine acid levels give the wine not only wonderful food compatibility but also a superb aftertaste. Wine geeks might like to know: the 55% Chardonnay, 35% Pinot Noir blend has an acidity of 8.3 g/L, and pH of 3.08. The back label says it is “disgorged on demand,” so later bottles will be even better than this!