A while back I received an inquiry about a couple of bottles of wine that were discovered in the basement of a house, while the house was getting a thorough cleaning out. Two bottles of sparkling wine were found on a shelf, long forgotten about. The question pertained as to whether the wine would still be good. This tends to be one of the most common questions I get, right after what is the best wine should I buy? The two bottles in question were a Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut and a Henkell Cuvee Brut 2005. As I said earlier both were sparkling wines, one from Spain and the other from Germany.
I started off by addressing the black bottled Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut, which is a wine that I have often ordered and bought myself. This is a charming sparkling wine that is done Methode Champagne, meaning that it is fermented in the same process as the classic Champagnes of France. The major difference is in the varietals of grapes used in the production of this wine. There are three varietals that are used, as a side note for those attempting to get membership in the Century group; they are Macebeo, Xarel-lo and Parellada. The blending of these varietals and the eighteen months of fermentation combine to create a very fresh and charming wine, which my Bride and I have ordered for pre-dinner or after dinner wine. I suggested that since, the reader felt that the two bottles were bought probably around the same time, and since this was not a vintage bottle that I would get it well chilled and try it first. I wrote that it may not have much in bubbles, but it should still be a nice wine. It turns out that the wine still had the bubbles and was a charming wine for a get-together.
The other sparkling wine Henkell Cuvee Brut 2005, I had never had, so I did some research on this German wine. This wine is also produced Methode Champagne and is a blend of two classic Champagne varietals; Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc. I must confess that they are two varietals that I do not immediately associate with German wine production, but my knowledge of German wines is not as deep as other areas, but they are great grapes for making sparkling wine. Since this was a vintage bottle, and I had to presume that it is similar to the concept of France, where a vintage year in Champagne is not always declared, I felt that it must have been a fine bottle of wine. This is why I suggested that the reader try this bottle after the Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut. I had to presume that they were both stored relatively well, and since one was good, I was sure that the second would have positive results as well. The reader informed that the second bottle was recently opened among some friends and that it was sound and enjoyed by all. I do enjoy a happy ending, and I must say that the reader sent me photographs of the two wines by email, in hopes that I could write about them. I thank the reader for being so gracious and am glad that the wines were sound and resulted in a good time for all concerned.