Champagne uses three grapes: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. It’s the former two that allow Oregon to clock in with a champagne contender. One of the veterans of the burgeoning Oregon Pinot and Chardonnay scene is Argyle vineyards, which produces vintage bruts that are becoming the most intriguing sparkling wines outside California — and thus a perfect pick for Fourth of July.
Argyle draws grapes from some of the best land in the Willamette Valley, and the winery has stayed true to its new world roots. The wine is fruity and lacks the layers of yeasty aromas familiar to old world wines like those from France. Argyle’s 2007 Brut, at $27, has a pale straw color and is loaded with the strands of bubbles typically found in notable vintages from Champagne’s revered houses. Normally, we’d never discourage anyone from imbibing a fine Champagne, but on this, the 235th anniversary of American independence, why not buy American?
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