Gruet Winery Update: A Premium Sparkling Producer in New Mexico, “French Roots and American Dreams”
A Tasting with Gruet Winemaker, Cyril Tanazacq
About Gruet Winery
Do not miss a chance to visit the Gruet Winery, located in Albuquerque, New Mexico on your next trip to nearby Santa Fe or Taos. Founded in 1984, Gruet Winery specializes in Méthode Champenoise sparkling wines and is the best-known winery in New Mexico. Family owned and run, the New Mexico-based winery produces Pinot Noir and Chardonnay-based sparkling wines and a small collection of still wines. Thank you to WSET® certified wine professionals, Wendy and Brian Hatfield, for their recent tasting notes and winter view of the Gruet Santa Fe tasting room.
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Gruet Winery Roots and Acclaim
This winery has roots originating from Gilbert Gruet’s Champagne house in Bethon, France. More than 25 vintages later, Gruet Winery has achieved unprecedented acclaim and remains a favorite of the nation’s top sommeliers as it remains a quality value wine to serve by the bottle or the glass. Gruet’s high altitude climate is ideal for making sparkling wines. They produce approximately three million bottles a year. Their winemaker, Cyril Tanazacq, and I had a tasting in November of 2021 at the winery, and now the Hatfields have updated me with their tasting impressions.
Gruet Winery was a nominee for “American Winery of the Year,” Wine Enthusiast, 2019. The Gruet Brut Rosé was named Wine Spectator, Top 100 Values, December 2018. The Gruet Sauvage Rosé won a GOLD Medal, 2020 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.
2023 Gruet Winery Focus
In 2023 Gruet Winery and winemaker Cyril Tanazacq are focusing on their sparkling wines exclusively. They will continue to offer still wines, but they will be made by their sister companies. The winemaker’s intense focus this year includes selecting the perfect yeast strains, increasing the percent of Chardonnay grapes used in the blends, and offering more single-variety Pinot blends by 2024. Gruet intends to increase its volume over the next several years to meet increasing demand. Truly more green! Gruet is bottling all its wines going forward in green bottles to prevent light erosion in the wine and are using more and more recyclable material.
About Cyril Tanazacq, Winemaker
When the time came to appoint a lead winemaker outside of the Gruet dynasty, the search required finding someone who understood every nuance of sparkling winemaking, just like the founding family. In Cyril, Gruet Winery gained a professional with more than 20 years of winemaking experience, most of that time spent directly in the Champagne region of France.
Cyril Tanazacq was born in the Champagne region of France and literally grew up with sparkling wine. Born in Reims, one could say Cyril has Méthode Champenoise in his blood: his grandfather was a grape grower in the region, and, for a while, he ran his family’s namesake Champagne house in the small town of Mailly-Champagne. Working so closely with Grand Cru-designated grapes for so long underscores Cyril’s pedigree of excellence in winemaking. Philosophically, Cyril prefers to let nature dictate the wines, allowing the grapes to speak for themselves in the final cuvée. He elegantly combines the best traditions of Méthode Champenoise production with cutting-edge technology at Gruet, and describes his winemaking as “a mix of passion and patience.”
Cyril has embraced the goal of expanding Gruet’s “French Roots & American Dreams” into its next chapter. Cyril and his family spend their time happily embracing the cuisine and vistas of the Southwest.
“Mes sincères salutations effervescentes.” - Cyril Tanazacq, Winemaker
Gruet Winery: Best of Tasting
This wine is 100% Chardonnay with notes of dried apricot on the nose and hint of brioche and toasted almond. This wine features a long creamy, rich round mouthfeel with notes of citrus and minerality.
Tasting Panel, 90 Points
Lovely garnet-colored rosé, with a number of aromatics from simple floral notes to mouth-watering strawberry. The wine features a zesty acidity and delicate finish.
NV Gruet Brut, $17
Wine Spectator, 90 Points
Aromas of green apple and citrus mineral notes offer a bright wine with crisp acidity and a touch of yeast on the long finish.
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