The season of holiday gatherings approaches and here at the winery we have sparkling wine on the brain, and in our glasses. After four years of eager anticipation, we’ve finally popped the cork on our first vintage of Compton Sparkling Brut!
Compton Brut is a traditional méthode champenoise wine, blending old vine Pinot Noir and Chardonnay aged 4 years on tirage. What makes a méthode champenoise wine so special and so sparkling? Here’s a quick version of our process.
For Méthode Champenoise/ Traditional Method wines, the transformation of still wine to sparkling wine happens entirely within the bottle.
The process starts with harvest decisions. We harvest Pinot Noir and Chardonnay earlier for sparkling wine, aiming for lower sugar and higher acidity.
Primary Fermentation creates the base wine and then a “Cuvee” is made by blending the base wines.
Tirage makes the bubbles happen! The cuvee wine is bottled with the “liqueur de tirage”, a yeast and sugar mixture, to start the second fermentation inside the sealed (with a crown cap) bottle.
Aging and ridling comes next. We age the wine on the lees in the bottle, in this case for about 4 years. Ridling is the process of rotating the bottles, so the lees settle at the top of the bottleneck.
Disgorging is the dramatic part! The bottles are exposed to freezing bath, the crown cap is opened, and the frozen lees eject out of the bottle.
Finally, dosage, a mixture of wine and sugar, is added to the bottle, and the bottle is corked, caged, and labeled by hand.
This sparkling was worth the wait! Matt Compton has made an exceptional Oregon Sparkling Brut. Tasting notes: clean, and well-meshed, with bright crisp acidity. A lively mix of lemon, tart green apple, and a hint of stone fruit. A perfect balance between freshness and delicacy with fruity flavors very present on the finish.
Join us at the Compton Tasting Room in November to get your hands on the new Compton Sparkling Brut and sip and shop a rainbow of wines for your Thanksgiving table.