Sparkling wines are not uncommon among Long Island’s many wineries. What is uncommon is a winery that produces nothing but sparkling wines. Southold’s Sparkling Pointe fills that niche.
This unique winery, which was voted Dan’s Best of the Best, was founded in 2001 when owners and champagne lovers Tom and Cynthia Rosicki purchased land on the North Road to start their own vineyard. The Rosickis teamed up with award-winning French winemaker Gilles Martin, who had previously worked with Macari, Martha Clara Vineyards and Sherwood House, and Sparkling Pointe was born.
Sparkling Pointe produces sparkling wines by the méthode champenoise. This is an extremely delicate, time-consuming and labor-intensive process that relies on fermentation to produce bubbles rather than injecting the wine with CO2. All of this effort has paid off, though, as they have received numerous awards and accolades, including a score of 90 points from Wine Spectator for their 2001 and 2003 Brut Seductions.
Sparkling Pointe features two tasting rooms, as well as a large outdoor patio area, all of which can be reserved for weddings and events. The spacious main room is not only elegant and modern, with its crisp, white walls and original Brazilian art, but it actually sparkles, thanks to its crystal chandeliers and sconces. The VIP “Bubble Room” is more chic and intimate—perfect for private get-togethers—and it offers a fascinating view of Sparkling Pointe’s production area.
When tasting at Sparkling Pointe, guests can either taste by the glass, flight or bottle at the bar, or they can take advantage of table service. My flight began at the bar with the 2009 Brut. This blend of chardonnay, pinot noir, pinot meunier and reserve wine is crisp and complex, with notes of citrus and pear on the nose and an acidic finish with hints of oak and grapefruit.
Next up was the 2009 Blancs de Blancs. Made entirely from chardonnay, this sparkling wine was bright, both in color and in character. The floral aromas complemented the flavor, which began with a hint of lemon that gave way to a creamy finish.
Contrasting with the Blancs de Blancs was the 2008 Blanc de Noirs, which received 90 points from Wine Enthusiast. This blend of pinot meunier and pinot noir has a pale pink color and a surprising fruitiness, accented by aromas of cherries and ripe berries. The flavor is marked by a well-balanced acidity, with notes of black raspberry and toasted nuts.
It’s hard to compete with such an elegant and well-crafted wine as the Blanc de Noirs, but the award-winning 2005 Brut Seduction has what it takes. This masterful blend of pinot noir and chardonnay is aged for seven years prior to bottling and truly deserves its prestigious title, Tête de Cuvée, or head blend. The Brut Seduction is rich and complex with a deep gold color and aromas of wild berry and toasted almonds, and the long aging process makes this sparkling wine extra bubbly.
After the Brut Seduction, I tried some of Sparkling Pointe’s newer wines. First up was the 2010 Topaz Impérial, which is a wine club exclusive. A blend of chardonnay and pinot noir, the Topaz Impérial has a light pink color with intense aromas of citrus and watermelon that perfectly complement its strawberry and sour cherry flavors.
Following the Topaz Impérial was the non-vintage Cuvée Carnaval Blanc, which is a blend of chardonnay and pinot noir with just a touch of merlot. This sweet sparkling wine has hints of orange, apricot and peach on the nose with flavors of tropical fruits and strawberries on the palate.
Lastly, I tasted the non-vintage Cuvée Carnaval Rouge, which was just released this year. Generally, when I taste wines I start with the whites and move to the reds. Since I was only tasting sparkling wines, I thought reds were out to of the question; so, I was pleasantly surprised with the Cuvée Carnaval Rouge. This blend of merlot and chardonnay is deep red in color and is alive with notes of orange, peach and cherry on the nose, and sweet strawberry and tropical fruits on the palate, making it as unique as Sparkling Pointe itself.
Sparkling Pointe is located at 39750 County Road 48 in Southold. Call 631-765-0200 or visit sparklingpointe.com.