Over the holiday weekend I had the pleasure of taking lunch at Bouchon in Yountville. If you’ve never dined there I wholeheartedly recommend it – from the oyster bar to the brandade fritters, from the steak frites to the moules frites — it’s just plain delicious.
Their wine list is quite good as well, and on Sunday we chose a bottle of 1999 S. Anderson Blanc de Noir to start our meal. I was especially pleased to see the S. Anderson sparkling on the list, as this is something of an endangered species nowadays. For a variety of reasons, not the least of which were a change in ownership — the winery is now called Cliff Lede Vineyards— S. Anderson bubbly will no longer be produced.
Always one of my favorite California sparkling wines by dint of its depth, complexity, and value for money, I will be sad to no longer find it on the shelves. That time is, at least, a little ways off. I have it on good authority that there is still a fair amount of sparkling wine resting in the caves in Yountville waiting for degorgement (for a nice overview on sparkling wine production, click here). Given that the 1999 vintage bubblies are currently being released, we’ve got a bare handful of vintages left before they go the way of the Dodo.
While it is disappointing to see an old favorite falling by the wayside, I am happy to at least know of it far enough in advance to be able to lay some down in the cellar for future enjoyment.
The non-vintage Brut and Blanc de Noir can be found, I believe, at Trader Joe’s for around 25 dollars. The vintage sparklers I usually purchase through the winery at www.cliffledevineyards.com. Enjoy them while they last — on the beach with friends this summer, or back at Bouchon over a boudin noir. Cheers!

The end of a bubbly era 5 July,2005Bay Area Bites

  • cucina testa rossa

    one of my most memorable meals ever was at bouchon. it was simply champagne (or sparkling wine as the case may be), moules and frites. heaven.


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