This is a 100% honest review of Gruet Winery’s Blanc de Noirs. No one would ever actually pay me for my opinions, so you can rest assured I’m unbiased ?. Usually I review boxed wines in a much more informal format, but bottles deserve some love (or hate) too.
Gruet Winery: In The Heart of America’s First Wine Region
Gruet Winery is a winery in New Mexico that specializes in sparkling wines. I was always intrigued by their wines because New Mexico didn’t strike me as a great place to grow grapes. My mind conjured up images of arid deserts with little fauna and flora and lots of terrifying bugs.
As it turns out though, the high elevation, dramatic temperature changes between day and night, and sandy soil make it an ideal location for a vineyard.
It’s also the first established wine region in America, with a long history of winemaking dating back to the 1600s when the first vines were planted by Spanish monks. This means viticulture in New Mexico was 140 years ahead of California (take that, Napa).
Gruet’s wines are Chardonnay and Pinot Noir-based and are made with the Méthode Champagnoise, which means secondary fermentation takes place inside the bottle and they’re made using the same method as Champagne. Hon hon hon.
Gruet wines became super popular over the past few years, and I’ll admit I didn’t buy into the hype at first. Now having tried some of their products though, I can safely say I am a fan and that for the price point, the wines lived up to my expectations.
What is a Blanc de Noirs?
But we’re here to talk about their blanc de noirs, which raises the question… what is a blanc de noir?
A blanc de noirs (literally translated: white of blacks) is simply a sparkling white wine made with dark grapes. The skin is taken off of the dark grapes after they’re pressed, so no color is extracted from the skin and you’re left with clear juice.
These wines usually have a little bit more body and power than a blanc de blanc (a sparkling wine made with — you guessed it! — white grapes), and are a super fun change of pace if you’re a fan of bubbles. Which, who isn’t?
Gruet Blanc de Noirs Honest Review
Depending on your State, you’ll see it range between $15-$18.
Gruet’s blanc de noirs is made with 100% Pinot Noir, so I was expecting good body and fruit, and oooooooh did it deliver.
It pours a crystal clear, light golden straw color that’s exploding with fizzy bubbles. I was thrilled by the extreme bubbliness of this wine. It’s like… uuuuuuber bubbly. Those tiny bubbles just keep on comin’ and don’t stop even after the wine’s been sitting in a glass for a bit.
Sparklings don’t usually have a strong scent, so this wine isn’t mega aromatic. If you smell really hard, you’ll notice a subtle sweet breadiness with maybe a hint of raspberry.
The taste is pretty delightful. It’s nice and fruity (lots of apple, pear, and some raspberry) with a great lingering acidity and a perky tartness that you’ll find in many Pinot Noir-based whites and rosés.
It has a fantastic body and structure to it and more of the sweet breadiness that you get on the nose. I also thought there was a bit of a violet/floral quality to it.
Overall, this wine has a lot of flavor and is well-balanced between fruit, acidity, and yeastiness. It’s a wonderful wine to sip on its own, but also would compliment soooo many foods.
I would recommend pairing it with sushi (I had it with a California roll and it was incredible), shrimp tempura, fried fish, or fried chicken.
Overall Value of Gruet Blanc de Noirs: A
Since all rating systems are fairly arbitrary when it comes to wine, I’m choosing the US grading system because I don’t like numbers and letters mean more to my brain ?
Given the price point and how thoroughly enjoyable it is with or without food, I’m giving this bad boy an A. I rarely rate wines higher than a C, but the bubbles were in a class of their own and the wine itself is just really well done. For $17, I have no criticisms.
Even though I didn’t get the hype around these wines before, I will now proudly join the cult of Gruet and am really hoping their Brut is as good as the Blanc de Noirs.
If you’ve tried this wine and loved it, hated it, or you tasted something entirely different and think I’m a crazy person, let me know in the comments!