Home Reviews Côte Orelia Blanc de Noirs, Bargain Bubbly

Cote Orelia

A few weeks ago I was reviewing some wines from Lidl. They sent me a few samples from their holiday collection to check out and I have one here to share with you.

This one is a sparkling wine called Côte Orelia, Blanc de Noirs. In my opinion, no holiday should be celebrated without sparkling wine. It’s festive. It pairs well with food. And it’s delicious!

When you see the name of this wine you might think it’s a French wine, but this one is made in America. I did a little digging to try to find some background on this wine but I couldn’t find much. It appears as though this wine is made exclusively for Lidl. The only mention I could find of this wine online is on Lidl’s website. And when I try to find any info about Côte Orelia I can’t find a winery operating under that name but I do find a trademark filing from Precept Brands, filed just a couple months ago, to use the name. Precept is a privately-owned wine producer based in Seattle, Washington.

The back of the bottle says this wine was produced and bottled by Côte Orelia Cellars, Albuquerque, New Mexico. I cannot find a Cote Orelia Cellars in Albuquerque but Gruet, which is owned by Precept, does produce sparkling wine in Albuquerque. So, I think I’ve connected the dots regarding where this wine originated.

Another thing I don’t know for certain is exactly which grapes were used in this wine. As a “blanc de noirs” it would be produced using red grapes. Typically a blanc de noir is made from pinot noir and/or pinot meunier. The fact that they include the “s” at the end of noir suggests multiple grape varieties used. If this is consistent with other Gruet-produced blanc de noirs it would be pinot noir and chardonnay.

You might be wondering why the wine isn’t red if it’s made from red grapes. Blanc de noir translates to “white from black.” The red color of a red wine made from these grapes comes from the skin. In the case of a blanc de noir the grapes are pressed gently to keep the color from getting into the juice. You will notice a slight copper tint to the color, which differs from the straw color a blanc de blancs would have.

In terms of taste, a blanc de noir tends to have a fuller body and is not quite as dry as a blanc de blanc.

This one is produced using the traditional method where carbonization of the wine is achieved through a secondary fermentation in the bottle. This is versus the less expensive charmat method used for Prosecco.

Although Lidl hasn’t let me down with the quality of their wines yet, I have to admit I was skeptical before tasting this wine. There was just so much mystery about the wine that I was suspicious. But the taste did not let me down. This is a nice sparkler for the price.

Toasted almonds, pear, yeast and yellow delicious apple aromas give this wine a pleasant and interesting nose. The palate delivers much of the same: pear, yellow delicious, yeast and nutty flavors. There’s also a bit of saltiness. It has a moderately bubbly mouthfeel, which is nice but I would like a little more creaminess. The acidity is bright and mouthwatering. The finish is super long with salted pear flavors.

Once again, Lidl comes through with a fantastic bargain.

Wine: Côte Orelia, Blanc de Noirs
Varieties: Assumed to be pinot noir and chardonnay
Vintage: Non-vintage
Alcohol: 12.5%
Rating: 88
Price: $11.99
Disclosure: This wine was provided as a media sample.

Review overview
Appearance
Aromas
Complexity
Flavors
Fruit
Balance
Mouthfeel
Vibrancy/acidity
Finish
Overall impressions
Value
Author

Tim is the founder and chief reviewer at Cheap Wine Ratings since 2007.

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