Bird in Hand, Sparkling Pinot Noir 2015
As the festive season approaches, our thoughts turn to Christmas parties, entertaining and family reunions, and if mine is anything to go by, our palates tend to recalibrate themselves away from the heavy reds of winter in favour of cold, refreshing, crisp whites and at times, a salutary (and at times, celebratory) glass of bubbles. And if a sparkling white whets your whistle, you’ll find it hard to go past the Bird in Hand Sparkling Pinot Noir 2015 which is on the shelves of most major outlets and selling at around $25 to $30 a bottle. I’m told that it’s, in fact, Bird in Hand’s biggest selling wine and having tried the 2015 vintage, I can well understand why.
A short period of skin contact has made it a light, if not salmonesque, colour that seemingly blushes in the glass; perhaps it’s embarrassed that such a high-quality drop should be priced so cheaply!
On the nose, the strawberry and cream aromas become more prominent before the tightly bound Pink Lady apple and cherry notes ingratiate themselves to the front palate and then give way to flavours of kiwifruit, blood orange and honeydew all wrapped up in a slightly citric finale.
It’s not the dry, yeasty style that can make some champagne’s less approachable, but it still retains enough natural acidity to enable it to finish cleanly and with Granny Smith crispness. Graced by a persistent fine bead, the fruit flavours keep coming at you from the first sip to the finish and make it an enjoyable apéritif, or even as a partner for any entrée that has a slightly sweet edge or conclusion.