Review : Varichon & Clerc Privilège Blanc de Blancs

Super sophisticated sparkle!

Last night Lisa and I wanted some bubbly wine and we bought this sparkler from Savoie, France at Enoteca La Storia in Los Gatos.

Well, it was a great crisp and fruit forward sparkling wine.

Non-Vintage Sparkling Wine from Seyssel, Haute-Savoie, France.

Located in the hilly pre-alps between Lyon and Geneva, Varichon & Clerc have been continually producing classic “Methode Champenoise” wines since 1901! Local grapes, such as Altesse and Molette, are skillfully blended with judicious amounts of Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, and Maccabeu to fashion this very elegant wine. This is a smooth and creamy sparkler with flavors of gentle pear, apple, vanilla and toast. In short, this wine marries high quality and a low price.

Pure and natural like alpine spring water, you will want to have more than one bottle of Varichon & Clerc Privilège Blanc de Blancs on hand because everyone will want a second or third glass. For optimum enjoyment and proper handling, chill this winsome méthode traditionnelle sparkling wine to below 40° F. Enjoy!

Alcohol Content : 12%

Allergens : Contains sulfites

Basically a spectacular sparkler for 11$

What is Méthode Traditionelle Sparkling Wine?

If you see the words ‘Méthode Traditionelle’ on a bottle of sparkling wine, then it has been made using the methods originally developed in the Champagne region of France.

Many people complain of headaches after one sip of sparkling wine, but this result can oftentimes be easily averted. There are several different production methods, all of which affect the quality of the end product.

“Drinking Sparkling Wine made by the Méthode Traditionelle is an effective way to avoid a Champagne headache. It may not cure every alcohol related headache, but generally people can enjoy a headache-free glass of Sparkling Wine if it’s Méthode Traditionelle.”

The technique requires hand-harvested grapes. Each bunch is in the field carefully inspected to eliminate rotten, or under ripe grapes. Bunches are basket pressed and the juice is fermented using specially cultivated yeasts. Using wines from different vineyards creates the blend called cuvee. To this blend (cuvee), sugar and yeast are added then the wine is bottled and secured with a crown cap. The bottles are stored in special racks and undergo a secondary fermentation. Because the bottles are sealed, the CO2 produced by the yeast is dissolved in the wine.

The bottles are stored on their sides and riddled by a state of the art gyropalette machine during the fermentation process. Riddling (reumage) is a process in which the bottles are twisted to shake the sediment loose and gradually angled downwards until they are fully inverted. This helps compact the yeast sediment into the neck of the bottle. This is done repeatedly until the bottles are fully inverted and all the sediment is packed into the neck.

When complete, the neck of the bottle is frozen, the cap removed, the frozen plug of sediment and wine removed, the bottle topped up with wine, and corked. This is done quickly to avoid the loss of the effervescence.

“This is a very labour-intensive production method that produces extremely fine bubbles in the wine.”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *