Duc de Valmer Blanc de Blancs Brut Méthode Charmat non-vintage sparkling wine

France; 11% ABV
$7 at the Berkeley, CA, store on 29 Dec.  Also at Richmond.

DucDeValmer_NV_BrutI was intrigued by the pretty label, but stayed away until weinish recommended it.  Actually, he just said it was better than the La Croix du Pin, which was apparently not a huge compliment.  I thought this wine was fine but not that exciting.

I found no clues on the label as to what kinds of grapes went into this wine, or where in France they were grown, and since it’s a non-vintage wine, that probably changes from bottling to bottling anyway.  The wine inside was very dry and had full white wine grape flavors, mostly yellow, some green, and had a very solid, fairly simple character.  So solid, indeed, that I wished it had a bit more acid and carbonation for balance.  Still, it was quite yummy with uni (raw sea urchin roe), rice, soy sauce and wasabi (Japanese horseradish).


5 thoughts on “Duc de Valmer Blanc de Blancs Brut Méthode Charmat non-vintage sparkling wine

  1. weinish

    I concur. We tend to like dry sparkling, so considering this was completely inoffensive, and didn’t have any real flaws, it was a win for us. Was surprised by the pastic cork because the one review we found said it was a natural cork. Hard to find info on it.

  2. lim13

    Brave man, BW…for trying this bubbly…and for eating uni. I’ll likely pass on any future GO sparklers unless I find the occasional true Champagne. And I tried uni for the first time a few years ago at a very good sushi restaurant nearby. I love almost all kinds of raw fish in sushi and sashimi, but I just couldn’t handle the texture of the uni I had. And I grossed out everyone at the table as they watched it squish into my mouth and onto my fingers. : ~) You go, guy!

    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi Lim13. Sorry to hear about your uni experience. My theory is that many people’s aversion to squishy foods is an evolved defense against bacterial putrefaction, should they somehow be unable to smell that.

      1. lim13

        Putrefaction is now my word for the day, BW. Never had occasion to use it. Looked it up and it’s now leaving some pretty disgusting images in my head. Thank God I never really smelled the uni. This is all making me thirsty. Think I’ll go have a drink. Zombie anyone?

    2. Darrell

      You guys are cracking me up here. I was mulling over the difference in tastes concerning the bell pepper component in Bordeaux varietals that was recently discussed and was looking for something to analogize this with and uni came to mind. It grows on you and you learn to like it. While abbing along the Sonoma coast, you get hungry so just smash one of those sea urchins open with the ab iron, wash contents of the urchin away with sea water and scoop out the uni and snack on this expensive stuff. When fresh it smells of the sea. If I understand BW correctly, things squishy reminds one of putrefaction. I, like Seedboy, at least I think anyway, am saving my bucks for an end of bin disposal of Champagne from a better known House as opposed to Champagne that GO brings in en masse.


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