Domaine Chandon Etoile (Crown Cap)
Non-Vintage from North Coast, California
Tiny bubbles elevate a complex bouquet of almond, honey, and buttered toast with a distinctive hint of citrus blossom that arouses the senses. étoile's structure is long, soft, and creamy with flavors of fuji apple, candied ginger, and a savory hazelnut spice. These flavors intensify across the palate, building to a lingering yet, lively finish.
Information on Crown Caps:
Despite their widespread use in champagne facilities and sparkling wineries around the world, crown caps continue to be the winemaker's best-kept secret of the cellar. The primary use for crown caps in modern-day winemaking is for secondary fermentation and aging on the yeasts. Every modern champagne house and sparkling winery in the world uses crown caps during production (including the makers of G.H. Mumm, Perrier Jouet, Roederer, Taittinger, Dom Perignon, Moet & Chandon, and Veuve Clicquot to name a few.) It is not until the final product is prepared for market and disgorged, that a cork is added to each bottle. Many notable wine critics predict however, that non-cork closures for still wines as well as sparkling wines will soon outnumber bottles finished with cork in the marketplace due to their superior ability to guarantee product quality.
Wine Enthusiast - "From the pale straw color to the delicate citrus and honeyed aromas, this wine strives for elegance and finesse and largely achieves it. Light but suggesting strawberries and limes. Dry, with a rich, creamy texture. Really stands out for elegance and harmony, and finishes on a slightly bitter-almond note."
Wine Spectator - "Delicately rich and structured, with floral lemon zest and smoke aromas complementing the taut flavors of apple, fresh ginger and spice."
Domaine Chandon Winery
As the first American sparking wine venture by a French Champagne house (Moet & Chandon), Domaine Chandon has been a leader in sparkling wine production since 1973. Bringing hundreds of years of winemaking tradition and experience to the Napa Valley, Chandon's principal achievement has been to craft a range of sparkling wines that reflect California's vibrant regional character, yet remain true to the practices of methode traditionnelle. In 1990, the winery parlayed its experience with the classic Champagne varieties into an exciting varietal wine collection. Domaine Chandon continually strives to seek new ways to heighten its reputation as the fullest hospitality experience in Napa Valley, and to provide its guests with inspiration to entertain with Chandon at home. View all Domaine Chandon Wines
About North CoastView a map of North Coast wineries
Beyond Napa and Sonoma in the north you find a couple of other counties producing great wine. Among these are Mendocino and Lake County. The northernmost California winegrowing regions, these two counties are right above Napa and Sonoma, geographically. Yet, wine-wise they are very different – both from their southern neighbors and from each other.
Notable FactsMendocino has a high amount of organic vintners and vines. The first winery to settle here was Fetzer, which practices organic viticulture and holds some of the most vineyard land in the area. Mendocino has many pockets of micro-climates while Lake County, being smaller in size, is less diverse climactically. As for the grapes, Chardonnay is the most popular in both counties, but there are also some excellent Sauvignon Blancs, particularly in the Lake County. In red wine, Zinfandel leads the way, followed by Rhone Blends and Petite Sirah. The reds in both counties are complex and sumptuous. Anderson Valley is a sub-AVA of Mendicino and is quite well known for its excellent cool climate, producing the delicious Roederer Estate sparkling wines and some wonderful cool-climate Syrah.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.
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