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Spring sparkles, and so does wine

“Give me a bowl of wine. In this I bury all unkindness.”

— William Shakespeare

Now that bud break has occurred in the vineyards, we delight in the flowering blossoms of May. As the vines awaken, their new leaves shimmer with dewy, spring moisture, and the blossoms open with a burst of vibrant sparkling energy to the warming sun.

The world is renewing itself, and a new vintage of wine has begun. It’s time to celebrate, and what better way than with Southern Oregon sparkles. Sparkling wines evoke the spirit of spring.

Here are some Rogue Valley wines to glisten your glass, accompanied by spirited words from William Shakespeare.

Jean-Michel Jussiaume of Maison Jussiaume makes his wines in traditional Méthode Champenoise. Now offering three sparkling wines, this Frenchman says of his new 2018 vintage of Blanc de Blancs, “This wine opens with concentrated and expressive aromas of green apple and tropical fruit. The mouth is dynamic, vibrant with appealing tension and textures revealing citrus and toast bread from the extended three years of lees aging.”

Shakespeare, I believe, would proclaim, “You have witchcraft in your lips.”

Maison J’s sparkling rosé, Oeil de Perdrix, meaning Eye of the Partridge, was given 99 points and awarded Best of Show in the Sunset International Competition — the first Oregon wine to win in this category.

Shakespeare’s words, “Oh, wonderful wonderful and most wonderful wonderful” describe this wine.

“This blend of 50% pinot noir and chardonnay is peach in color, has plenty of weight on the palate and bright acidity that delivers vibrant tension,” Jussiaume says. “Fine bubbles with wild strawberry aromas and flavor of nectarine.” This wine is of limited supply, with the next release scheduled for 2024-2025.

Sipping the 2015 Cuvée Millésimée, Shakespeare might say, “We are such stuff as dreams are made of.”

An extremely limited release, this Extra Brut wine completed 5 years of lees aging. “It captivates with its citrus characteristic, its crisp and long, elegant mouthfeel reveals fresh almond and brioche taste,” says Jussiaume.

Naumes Suncrest Winery uses the Industrial Method, aka forced-carbonation, with no added sugar, to create its sparkling wines.

Offering four wines, each with light effervescence, they show, from Shakespeare’s view, “The golden age is before us, not behind us.”

Naumes’ Diamond #2 Blanc de Noirs is an experimental blend of 2018 - 2020 pinot noir vintages. It shows soft notes of pear and green apple. Its 2019 Blanc de Noirs is part of this blend, but on its own expresses light oak, with delicate notes of apricot and pear.

The 2019 Blanc de Blancs surprises with green apple, melon and a hint of caramel. Presenting a charming punch of cherry and rose petals, the 2019 Sparkling Rosé is a spritzy treat.

Joe Chepolis, winemaker and co-owner of Sound & Vision Wine Co., decided to do a blend, not of wine, but of methods. The soon-to-be released 2021 sparkling zinfandel was created in a “slightly altered” fusion of tank and “(un)traditional” methods.

“I was shooting for a Lambrusco-y kind of vibe … bright red fruit, a pretty cool herbal/anise-y component,” Chepolis says. “Tons of acid … tannins are pretty dialed back, but present. Soft, but persistent fizz (I think the Italians would call it Spumante) … pair with cheese/charcuterie, pizza, flamingo floaties in a pool, etc.”

Shakespeare’s take on this might be, “Though this be madness, yet there is method in ‘t.”

On Troon Vineyard’s 2020 FIZZante, there is no cork. It’s so cool with its jaunty soda pop cap that you get to open it with a bottle opener, just like an old-fashioned bottle of soda, only better. This dry, saucy, fruity sparkler is naturally bottle fermented, vivacious and bright in spirit, artisan crafted of biodynamic grapes in Metodo Ancestrale.

“Joy delights in joy,” as Shakespeare might say.

Reach Paula Bandy at pbthegrapevine@gmail.com and connect with her on Instagram at @pbthroughthegrapevine.