Varietal: 70% Chardonnay; 30% Riesling
Cost: ~$15-17 (SRP)
Winemaker’s Notes: Made in the charmat method, the Salton Intenso Brut is a blend of Chardonnay and Riesling. On the nose: citrus fruits and green apple. On the palate: a fresh creamy flavor with tropical fruit, melon, pineapple and wet stone.
My Review: So, cards on the table – we like sparkling wine (or “bubbles” if you prefer) in my house. We don’t reserve them for special occasions, often opening them as an evening sipper and pairing them with our meals the way we would any other bottle of wine.
I say these things because I want you to understand why the review of this wine doesn’t focus on some special event in my wife and my lives, or why we didn’t pair the wine with some spectacular meal that truly deserved a special wine. Sparkling wine is wine just like any other bottle, and deserves the same treatment – regular openings and enjoyment with friends and family.
Ok…on to my thoughts on this bottle.
I’ll admit that I was a bit wary of the wine when I received it. I like bubbles, but I like dry bubbles. Nothing sweet please. While the bottle was labeled “Brut”, it also features 30% Riesling, and my experience with Riesling from Brazil is non-existent, so I wasn’t quite sure what I was getting into.
To that end, my wife and I went with a food pairing that we felt was safe and secure no matter the flavor palate of the wine – Chinese take-out. Seriously, it’s one of the best sparkling wine pairings out there, and I’ll have a long argument with anybody that disagrees.
The wine itself was a nice pale color, and on the nose I picked up mostly apple notes. In the mouth the bubbles were of medium size, and the wine was dry and crisp, with flavors of yeast, pear, and pineapple.
This is not a sweet wine.
Paired with some General Tso’s Chicken and Singapore Rice Noodles the wine was crisp enough and light enough to balance the spiciness of our dishes, while being perfectly adequate for sipping on when we’d finished eating.
Adequate is probably the best way to describe this wine, and I don’t use that as a way of condemning or belittling the wine. Far too many strive to be more than that and end up being far less. While I don’t think you’ll be popping the cork on this wine for that special occasion, it’s perfectly adequate for that Tuesday night dinner of take-out when you want something different than the bottle of Pinot Grigio that’s been hiding in the back of your fridge for a month.
Editor’s Note: I received this wine as a free sample for review.