Been a while since I posted one of these… They are in regular rotation–loyal followers know what a fan I am–but don’t find the need to blog them regularly. Haters will immediately condescend the Korbel label, only because they are drinking the WRONG Korbels. ‘Natural’ is the purest form of this heralded and long-standing producer, and although Brut and Extra Dry get the supermarket shelf-acreage and hold a dear space in the 99%’s mimosa- and house-wife-grip marketing, you NEED to experience vintage Natural.

Although these get amber and toasty with age, this 2013 is sitting at a STUNNING spot. Clear goldenrod in the glass, generous bubbles fading with air, a nose of hazelnut, almond and an almost fishy sort of raw ahi savory umami. Polished plum and ripe strawberry, the dirtiness of everything wonderful is the high-note of the bouquet. Crushed floral, discrete herbs and the vanilla of toast and popcorn lay down serious vibes surrounding rich honeyed tea.

On the palate, bright fruit reigns supreme. Petrol and toast create expectations the sprite jams into each pore despite the disappearing mousse. Layered and complex, little sugar to sully the mouth-feel, it is a dry, wonderful drop placing *natural* austerity against a body rich in wonderment and depth. Not the world’s most fabulous Champagne: OF COURSE NOT! This stuff is 15 dollars! But a serious contender in the game. Shake your head all you want: have you actually HAD Korbel Natural? You don’t have an opinion unless you have.

2013 KORBEL ‘Natural’ PN/CH 70/30 Russian River Valley Sonoma 12.5


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