Bubbles Sparkling Malbec

The only Sparkling Malbec made in California using the méthode champenoise process with fruit from our Iconic 2008 Malbec harvest.

Eater Magazine Review

One California producer was inspired by Australia's most serious sparkling shiraz, but via a different grape. Turning to another French variety that has found a new identity in the New World, Sonoma’s Williamson Wines produced one vintage of sparkling malbec — France’s côt grape, which shows up in places like Bordeaux for blends and the Loire Valley for both varietal and blended wines — in an ode to Australian sparkling. Made the Champagne way, too, and kept completely dry, for a mix of still malbec taste invigorated by a sparkling texture.

A five-year-long production process, and the unlikelihood of being made again, this is a celebration sparkling red, a suitable replacement for that champagne. Concentrated plum and blackberry flavors, with toffee and leather notes: this aged, sparkling malbec is a dry, bubby deep red wine.

Susan Gordon earned her MFA from the New School and is currently learning too much about wine for her WSET Diploma. See Eater article

Tasting Notes

A wonderfully balanced wine the color of dark garnet with port aroma and notes of stone fruit. It comes to the palate with toffee apple and typical Malbec berry flavors. It has a medium palate length and is a perfect starter or dessert wine.

Pure on the palate with a juicy texture and a wealth of happy bubbles under which the floral fruit emerges. This wine has great substance and a lovely presence. Try it alone over a period of 15 minutes in a champagne flute (don't swirl) and watch it evolve right there in your glass.

Production Notes

400 cases - never likely to be repeated

Winemaker Notes

How to make a full-bodied sparkling wine that retains flavor through the méthode champenoise process and then can be served cold?

We chose to start with Malbec, picked at full ripeness and made into a fine quality still wine resting two years in French Oak. Then bottled in champagne bottles using a removable metal cap and a little liquer de tirage added and the wine was placed en tirage to undergo secondary fermentation inside the bottle, developing carbon dioxide which creates the bubbles.

Next remuage, a slow and laborious process collecting the finished yeast cells into the neck of the bottle. Finally the wine is disgorged by inverting the bottle in a cold glycol solution to freeze the yeast sediment and form a "plug" that is then ejected when the cap is removed.

At this point most sparkling winemakers choose to go to dosage, the process of adding sugar or brandy to offset acidic dryness but we wanted the authentic flavor profile of the original Malbec so we did not add anything except a cork and wire basket.

This long, labor-intensive and costly process has resulted in 400 cases of absolute bottled pleasure. No doubt this was a technical and flavorful success but one that is unlikely to be repeated because unfortunately it has taken five years to produce at a cost of twice the selling price.

Cooperage Notes

Two years in French Oak about 40% new then fours years in triage.

$105  ·  Add To Cart
StyleSparkling Wine
AppellationSonoma County
PairingThis wine is ideal for any celebration or a refreshing summer wine. Think of harissa spiced lamb chops on a grill followed by a tiramisu dessert.
Drinkable2014 - 2020
Harvest Date2008-10-13
Harvest Brix27°
ph Level3.4
Residual Sugar.056