Blanc de NOT

I have a bit of an apology to make here… I have wonked Korbel Natural rather hard on these pages and–as an aside–have also mentioned their Blanc de Noir as my second-favorite and one to look for. Since Brut Rosé was added to the roster over a decade ago, Blanc de Noir has dropped off in availability over the far sweeter–and easier to pronounce–version. Yes, moving from BdN to brut rosé is 1000% a MARKETING decision–Mumm Cuvee Napa did it too. Unlike Mumm though, Korbel still makes the BdN, but I hadn’t tried it for many years–honestly hadn’t seen it–today found a bottle and eagerly bought it. Here’s the bad news: It is now a sweet muss.

Amber golden in the glass, with vague bubbles, a nose dull and cloying with equally vague yeasty notes and cardboard-y nuances. Pear and applesauce glow from the bouquet–and not much else.

In the mouth, equally disappointing: A sweet syrupy mouth-feel devoid of character with good acidity but lacking depth and complexity. It’s just SWEET. So sweet. Practically Sprite in carbonated sugar. I can’t recommend this wine anymore as it bumps up against upper levels of *brut* allowances and has lost all relevance. In its defense, I suppose a bit of dusty soldiering grips the middle and finish, but that’s it. A mimosa wine–through-and-through. Never hitting on any levels of quality sparkling wine it formerly reflected. Also, the current make-up–according to the site–is a disaster NO ONE needs in their glass. I SWEAR a decade ago it was RRV Pinot and around 1%. Now it just needs to go away.

NV KORBEL ‘Blanc de Noirs’ PN/Gamay/Zin/Sangio California 15 g/l 12.0

www.korbel.com/

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