Origin: Sacramento Delta, California
USNW Classification: Natural Primary Fermentation, Added Yeast+Sugar at Bottling
Varietal & Type: 100% Albariño
"Champagne is from France, Carboniste is California"
Sparkling wine and Champagne has been a difficult category for us to maneuver as a natural wine shop. I think despite it being inherently celebratory and fun, there has not been a lot in how it is produced and made that aligns with the core values of our offerings. I think often, people drinking Champagne are doing so to hit a very specific pallet need, whether that be the grapes from the Champagne region or the specific Yeast/Sugar flavors used there. And producers around the world are trying to match that taste profile almost exactly whether they are making Cava in Spain or Sparkling Wine in California. To me that doesn't seem to veer too far off from the Parkerization of 15%er Bordeaux style wines around the world, and hence is why we have avoided the category when possible.
Carboniste is different... They want to make a sparkling wine in California that shows a sense of place, and uses the sun and sugars California gives them as a utility vs. an obstacle. And their method of bottling and carbonation, although using added yeast/sugar, is thoughtful and purposeful, and unique to each of their wines. I've been extremely impressed and excited about everything I've tasted from them. The fruit presence in each wine is pronounced and wonderful. We are very happy they have made an appearance in Texas.
One of their most popular wines is Octopus. Albariño is not often used in sparkling wine, if at all and that's really a shame, because it is delicious. The 2021 vintage here is over-concentrated from droughts, but with that packs all the sought after flavors from the grape. It is electric in freshness, luscious with ripe tropical fruit, yet light on the palate.
I have all the tech details below, I hope you enjoy!
"After harvest, grapes were pressed whole cluster and settled for 2 days as juice. Clear juice helps to retain the purity and focus of this wine. The juice was fermented in tank with native yeast at 60-65°F for 3 weeks. The fermentation sediment was kept with the wine until bottling without the addition of sulfur dioxide or the presence of malolactic fermentation. The wine was bottled with fresh yeast and a small amount of sugar.
After 4 months in bottle, the yeast had consumed the sugar, the sediment was removed, and we added back a small amount of wine and sugar. After a light dosage, the bottles were capped again in order to preserve the natural youth and freshness of the wine."
About the Winemaker
We are dedicated to making sparkling wines that are modern and reflective of grape and place.
After meeting at UC Davis, Dan and Jacqueline Person worked around the world, then around California. These experiences informed their perspectives on winemaking. Dan worked for Schramsberg Vineyards for 3 years, making traditional sparkling wines from California grapes. Based on that experience, Dan decided there was a need for a new interpretation of California sparkling wine. Jacqueline was concurrently making still wines from a variety of terroirs across the Golden State, terroirs that have inspired the vineyard selections for CARBONISTE. In 2021, Mara Ambrose joined our team bringing years of experience working with sparkling producers in the UK and 5 years of making bubbles for Schramsberg. She still moonlights crafting rare small lot Sparkling Creatures with Forlorn Hope in the Sierra Foothills.
US Natural Wine ships once a week, every Wednesday. All orders should be placed by Tuesday at 10am in order to be picked up from our distributors and out on Wednesday's delivery truck.
Shipping cost is 18 bucks a box (up to 12 bottles) so we highly encourage picking up more than 1 bottle for the best value!
At $18, we have some of the most competitive shipping rates compared to other low-intervention wine e-commerce, which can range from $20-$25 a box. Ultimately, we eat the cost of shipping more often than not because wine can be damn heavy. As a small business, we are simply unable to offer free shipping. We can't thank you enough for your understanding!