The Trader Joe’s RSVP Brut is a $6.99 TJ’s non-vintage exclusive, sourced from grapes grown in California and produced with the Traditional Method, the same techniques used to make Champagne. CWF reviewed this wine way back in 2010 and then it was a blend of “92% Chardonnay and 8% shhh…it’s a secret“. Why they felt the need to “shhh” us, I don’t know, what could the mystery possibly be? This may or may not be the same blend. The label says this Bubbly was produced by RSVP Vineyards out of Ceres, California. Ceres, Ca. happens to be the headquarters of Bronco Wines, the makers of “2 Buck Chuck” a Trader Joe’s staple, so there may be a connection.
I went to Trader Joe’s looking for an inexpensive Holiday party wine, I recalled them having some decent Cremant Bubbly from Burgundy in past years. Cremant is the French term for a Sparkling wine or Bubbly made in France, but not in Champagne. I checked the Bubbly section and they had a few to choose from, but none of the bottles said Traditional Method on the label. Now, this isn’t by law or is scientific, but I have found that when a Sparkling winemaker produced the Bubbly with the Traditional or Champagne Method that put the information on the label front and center. If the Bubbly was made in the Charmat Method or the Prosecco Method they don’t mention it.
It’s just me, but I want my value-priced (cheap) French Bubbly made in the Champagne style and my inexpensive (cheap) Italian Bubbles made in the Prosecco style. So, anyway, this isn’t a value-priced French Burgundian Cremant write-up, It is a super cheap California Traditional Method Sparkling wine. Judging from my review from Christmas 2010, I thought it was a very tasty bang-for-the buck Bubbly. The alcohol content is 12%.
PS: If you want to know what RSVP stands for check out the upper left corner of the front label, turns out RSVP is French, who knew?
The color is a pale golden yellow with a flurry of bubbles. The nose is a crisp green apple, lemon, a little brioche, Anjou pear, peach, and lime. This a well-balanced Sparkling wine, the acidity stays in control (often very inexpensive Traditional Method Bubbles can be acid bombs) along with some flavors that caused me to pause to figure out what was happening in my glass. It tastes of slightly sour lemon, a drop or two of lime, crisp apple and melon. The mid-palate adds some Ricola cough drops (mix of herbs and lemon), apple core (seeds and all), stone fruit, and pear. The acidity does not bite and the herbal, apple core flavors take a moment to get used to, but once you adjust it becomes a pleasant surprise for a $6.99 Sparkling wine. The finish is full and long.
- I seemed to have enjoyed the 2010 version of the RSVP Brut more than the 2019 version. The 2010 RSVP seemed to be a typical Chardonnay-based Sparkling wine, just very inexpensive. The 2019 edition has some challenging flavors, not bad flavors, it is just that herbs, minerals, and apple core are not often seen in cheap Bubbles.
- This is a very drinkable Bubbly, but may not be the first choice to pour for non-wine people at a Holiday party. Something light and breezy may be a better choice.
- It is not a bad Bubbly by any means and is actually quite interesting, it is just that I am not so sure interesting is the best choice for a Holiday party.