Unusual European Sparkling Rosé Wines Made With Native Grapes $30 And Under

Cathrine Todd

Volage 'Brut Sauvage' Crémant de Loire Rosé on the Rooftop of Manhattan in New York City

As a plethora of rosé wines flood the US market, many wine drinkers will try to sort out the interesting and authentic from the lackluster, and that is even true for those of the sparkling variety. But the below sparkling rosé wines from Spain, Italy and France not only come from thrilling, unconventional grape varieties, especially with regards to sparkling wine, but are authentically rooted in the history of each area, bringing a sense of terroir.

Volage 'Brut Sauvage' Crémant de Loire Rosé in Ice Bucket

It is impossible to speak about European sparkling wines without talking about France, but in this case, it is not Champagne but a Crémant, a sparkling wine made like Champagne in the traditional method yet from another region – a Crémant de Loire Rosé name Volage, made from 100% Cabernet Franc in the heart of Loire Valley, in the Val-du-Layon. Even as many American producers are discovering the charms of producing single varietal Cabernet Franc wines, it will always be associated with the acclaimed red blends of Bordeaux as well as those single varietal red wines found in the Loire Valley appellations such as Chinon, so when it comes to 100% Cabernet Franc, the Loire, known as the Garden of France, is its whimsical home.

The Volage ‘Brut Sauvage’ Crémant de Loire Rosé is made at Domaine du Landreau by the hands of a skilled female winemaker named Elodie Battais. The grapes are farmed from a single vineyard that is sustainable and low yields are employed to attain high quality grapes. The bottles age on the lees for three years with a miniscule amount of dosage – three grams per liter of residual sugar – and the ‘Brut Sauvage’ is an indication of it being a dry sparkling wine. Those who love Loire Valley wines may find the area of Val-du-Layon familiar as there is a famous sweet wine area nearby called Côteaux du Layon that can rival the sweet wines of Sauternes. But the particular pocket of Val-du-Layon is a cool place that is ideal for elegant Cabernet Franc and is well expressed in this sparkling rosé with white raspberry, chalky minerality, citrus blossom and a fine mousse that carries these alluring notes across the long finish. A fine sparkling rosé wine that over-delivers for $28 and can be purchased in NY here.

These rosé sparkling wines not only offer interesting aromas and flavors that are more unusual than what is found in every corner store but they are rooted in history, in a way of life, in the soul of a traditional wine growing area of the world that now has an opportunity to show a truer sense of place.

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