Saturday, January 25, 2014

Westport Rivers Brut Cuvee RJR 2006 (MA)

So, when we had a number of folks over the house a few week ago, we set out a number of sparkling wines. Many were popular But the first we served was Westport Rivers Brut Cuvee' RJR 2006. Never heard of Westport Rivers? Impossible!

In 1982 Bob and Carol Russell sought to re-enter the wine-growing business that Carol’s father, Herbert Grifenhagen, and grandfather, Max Grifenhagen, loved so dearly.  Herb and his father had grown their upstate New York Germania Wine Cellars brand into a nationally celebrated sparkling wine.  The Russell couple dreamed of returning to the family’s tradition of raising grapes and making champagne.  In 1982, after searching for the perfect place to farm flavorful sparkling wine, they chose Westport, MA.

Several years later, the vines arrived and oldest son Rob came aboard to plant and manage the vineyard. Rob and his crew planted the first vines in 1986. Since then, our vineyard has grown to 80 acres, the largest vineyard in New England.  Bill Russell, Bob & Carol’s second son, joined the team
in 1989 to begin making wine.

Hugo and Luis Quezada joined Rob in the vineyard during the 90′s.  And Paul Goodchild arrived in the cellar as team Westport’s defensive coordinator. The winery opened to the public during the summer of 1991 and has earned over 20 gold medals and endless praise. Boston magazine, Time magazine, the Boston Globe, and many others.

2006 Westport Brut “RJR” is their premiere sparkler which has been served in the White Houses of three different administrations. The wine  is golden yellow in appearance and has many, many bubbles in fine, small pearl-like strands. The first thing that comes across is a big, bready nose, filled with toast and fresh French baguette. The wine is a big mouthful of green apple and ripe pear, with a big whopping pop of lemon burst at the end. A nice mineral leanness makes it very well balanced.

The wine was a huge success, and if you haven't tried it, you are missing something. Fantastic sparkling wine!!!