The Tourner Sparkling Brut is a $6.99 ALDI exclusive produced in the Traditional Method from grapes grown in California. And that is just about everything I know about this Bubbly. The back label has a few words concerning tasting notes, but nothing that would give clues as to the grapes used.
The number one important detail about this wine, at least to me, is that is made with the Traditional Method, the same techniques used to produce Champagne. They even make sure to show Method Champenoise prominently on the artwork.
There are 2 major ways that modern winemakers use to get bubbles into wine, the Traditional Method, and the Charmat Method. The Traditional Method (Champagne) is 16th-century technology and the Charmat Method (Prosecco) is 19th-century technology.
With the Charmat Method, the wine is fermented once then transferred into a huge pressurized tank. They add a measured amount of yeast and sugar and anywhere from a couple of weeks to a few months (the more expensive Charmat wines tend to take more time) you have Bubbly. It is a less expensive and quicker way to make Bubbly, basically from the more modern technology.
The Traditional Method is more detailed after the wine is fermented the first time the wine is bottled. They do not fill the wine to the top, they leave some space and add an exact amount of yeast and sugar to each bottle. They place the bottle in a rack with the neck angling down, they want the spent yeast to congregate in the bottle neck.
But they have to give the bottle a quarter turn every couple of days or so to stop the spent yeast gunk from sticking to the glass. In the Champagne region, they do this for 18 months, usually longer. Every other region shortens the time to 9 months or year, longer if they choose.
Now they have to get the yeast out of the bottle, so they freeze the neck to pop the spent yeast plug out. They now have to fill the bottle to the top and they add additional Bubbly. They can adjust the sweetness of the Bubbly at this point by adding sweet or dry Bubbly. Now that add the cork and cage and age the wine for some additional time.
If you are making Bubbly in the Traditional Method you are making a commitment. Nobody complains if you $7 Sparkling wine is made in the Charmat Method, it is actually very popular. You have to want to make cheap Champagne-style Bubbly. Yes, modern advances have made using the Traditional Method far easier than years ago. But the Champenoise Method in value-priced Bubbles is an unexpected treat.
ALDI’s $19.99 Champagne was one of my favorite wines from 2019 so I have high hopes for the Tourner Brut Bubbly. As a quick refresher Brut means dry, not sweet. The alcohol content is 12%.
Tourner Sparkling Brut Tasting Notes
The color is pale gold with a decent amount of bubbles. The nose is Champagne-like, lemon, green apple, bakery bread, and tart, crisp grapefruit. My first impression is, “not bad at all for $6.99”.
It tastes of lemon/lime, but not soda sweet, Anjou pear, a little Sweet Tart candy, again more tart than sweet. The mid-palate offers a little yeasty bread, peach, and stone fruit. The acidity is on the sharp side of balanced, but nothing to complain about in a 7 buck Traditional Method Sparkling wine.
- Tasty cheap Bubbly. What’s not to like.
- The Tourner Sparkling Brut provers a solid drinking experience at a bargain price.
- ALDI has a very weird selection of wines for sale, there does not seem to be a reason for which wines are available, it’s a mishmash. But do not dismiss their wines there are some excellent bargains in there.