After my visit to Museum Hill and lunch at the cafe, https://www.chowhound.com/post/museum... , I made my way into the historic center of town to Hotel St. Francis. Gruet Winery, the sparkling wine specialist, has a lovely tasting room there with indoor and outdoor seating.
I opted for the day's tasting flight of five wines. Later the staff sampled me on a couple other wines that were also open. They're well-made across the board. A factoid previously unknown to me . . . approximately 30% of the fruit used for Gruet's sparkling program comes from California.
My top pick of the group was the NV Extended en Tirage Rosé, $34 (75% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay, 36_ months en tirage). This showed a very perfumey nose with delicate expression yet deeper and more complex flavors on the palate. Creamiest mousse of the group, very dry, some bread dough notes with mouthwatering acidity. Harmonious and very persistent and long finish.
In fact I preferred it to the costlier vintage cuvees, 2014 Cuvee Danielle Grand Rosé and the 2014 Gilbert Grand Reserve. Yet, the wine that I felt was a great value and the one I bought was the NV Sauvage, $20 (100% Chardonnay). This zero dosage bottling spent 24+ months en tirage. Medium straw in hue, very fast tiny bead, fullish body and ripe Yellow Delicious apple flavors and scents, bright and refreshing through big finish.
I had planned to zip through a flight in 20 minutes to be on time for my next stop. But the quality of the wines and the additional tastes made me linger a bit longer. Definitely worth the time.
Hotel St. Francis
210 Don Gaspar Ave
Santa Fe, NM 87501
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