The Apothic Sparkling Winemaker’s Blend is a limited release, non-vintage Sparkling wine sourced from vineyards in California. Apothic is one of E & J Gallo (largest family owned winery in the US) multitude of wine labels. The Apothic Sparkling, $12 in Chicago and for some reason $23 on Amazon wine, this is I believe the first Sparkling wine for the Apothic family of wines. They do not issue a great deal of information about this Bubbly, actually almost nothing, the wine was made with a blend of Red and White grapes and that is about as technical as they get. The alcohol content is 11% and without any additional wine facts to go on, I will head straight to the tasting portion.
The color is a pale golden-yellow, with a multitude of vigorous bubbles that do not let up, some glasses of Bubbly have bubbles that slow down before too long, but not here. The nose is clean and fresh, citrus, a little yeasty bread, and tart apple, followed by lemon and pear. This is a crisp, seemingly dry Bubbly (if a Sparkling wine has enough acidity it is sometimes a little difficult to tell the difference between a little dry and a little sweet), with an interesting flavor profile. It tastes not unlike a Blanc de Noir (meaning white from red, basically they used Pinot Noir along with the Chardonnay) from Champagne, not that I am making a direct comparison with the Apothic and French Champagne, but the flavors do go in that direction. It starts with red berries, a little cream, green apple and a mild wash of minerality. There is a very light chocolate covered cherry flavor (not sweet) that floats in and out of the body of the wine that is quite tasty and unique.
I didn’t know what to make of the Apothic Sparkling Winemaker’s Blend at first, the tech information was so sketchy that when I saw the back label said to expect strawberry, pear and vanilla I thought it was one of those “infused” sparkling wines. But no, this is a straight up delicious Bubbly that kicks some serious butt at $12. I like the regular Apothic lineup, which to me is a solid interpretations of “The Prisoner” at 1/3 to 1/4 the cost, though I didn’t know where they were going with this Bubbly. The flavor profile allows it to stand out from the crowd and the glass has more bubbles than any Sparkling wine short of real Champagne. I should have known, Gallo also produces Barefoot Bubbly series of wines and they are a whole bunch of fun for under ten bucks. Give Gallo a few more bucks to spend on Bubbly production and they came up with something well worth drinking. Just don’t buy it on Amazon at @ $23, find it for $12.