Appellation: Columbia Valley
Here’s a fun bit of trivia: Who bottles the most Pinot Noir in Washington state? It’s Michelle winemaker Rick Casqueiro with this delectable sparkling presentation of Pinot Noir (93 percent) and Pinot Meunier. Prepare for its pleasing mousse and nose-tickling aromas of strawberry freezer jam, Rainier cherry, cranberry, rhubarb pie and apricot. There’s also a touch of yeastiness, which comes from the 18 months of surlie aging. On the attack, it’s akin to fresh strawberry compote on breakfast toast, followed by a stream of raspberry flavor which provides extension. There’s plenty of acidity to balance the residual sugar of 1% because while the red fruit flavors are ripe, they are far from sweet. The party in the mouth may just make you say “Wow!” Rated "Outstanding" by Great Northwest Wine. (11.5 percent alcohol)
Cases produced: 15,000 cases
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Food pairings: This versatile food wine will work with everything from seafood (lobster, oysters, scallops, calamari, smoked salmon) to spicy (pho, enchiladas, chicken tikka masala, curry).
Michelle, 14111 N.E. 145th St., Woodinville, 425-488-1133, www.michellesparkling.com