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Thornton 1999 Brut Reserve Natural

Our Selection for Wine of the Week April 12, 2010

Thornton 1999 Brut Reserve Natural sparkling wine

A Brunch Sparkler
1999 Brut Reserve Natural


Thornton definitely offers something unique for a California winery. The family-run operation is the only sparkling wine house in Southern California's Temecula Valley. Although they started out making strictly sparkling, the Thornton family’s wine portfolio expanded over time to include still wines from traditional, European varietals. Today, the winery produces Blanc de Noirs, Brut, Brut Reserve and Rouge sparkling wines. Still wines include Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet, Syrah, Zinfandel, Nebbiolo and a rosé. The 1999 Brut Reserve is a fresh and inviting wine. A good choice for an aperitif for a lazy, Sunday brunch, the wine offers tart lemon and yeasty flavors with faint sweetness and a touch of minerality on the finish. It lacks the refinement we would like to see of a wine in its price range. Its bubbles, although made in the traditional méthode Champenoise, are large and a little rough on the palate. However, its flavors are delightful, and we find it to be a particularly food-friendly wine. Serve with brunch basics like eggs and ham, French toast or lemon ricotta pancakes. The wine will also show nicely with goat’s and sheep’s milk cheeses, light fish dishes with lemon, roast turkey or chicken and even lightly sweet cookies like ginger snaps and almond or pistachio biscotti.

Rating: 14/20

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