Wine of the Day: 2009 RARECAT Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut Lieu Dit “Vinum Deus”

It’s refined and harmonious with a delicate mousse, vibrant acidity and a brioche, apple, Asian pear, citrus (lemon and a kiss of tangerine), white peach, white flower and hazelnut character

RARECAT is thrilled to work in partnership with one of the oldest, most respected families still producing champagne.  The Michel Gonet family has produced champagne since 1802 with over 40 hectares of vines located in the Côte des Blanc region of Champagne and Côte de Sezanne.  RARECAT has selected a special cuvee from an estate vineyard produced and bottled for RARECAT by Michel Gonet.  RARECAT Champagne is a vintage, blanc de blanc brut…(Source)

92 pts – 12.5% abv| SRP – $79 |Sample purchased for review

Pair with: We paired this wine with Japanese food(including sushi) and friends on a Friday night after a long week.  Consider pairing with fried chicken, or fish, your favorite triple cream cheese, raw oyster, grilled or seared scallops, or (let’s not forget brunch) Egg Benedict!

About RARECAT Wines

Sharon Kazan Harris is the only female American vintner to produce wines in Bordeaux, Champagne and the Napa Valley!  Here’s her story: 

While majoring in Economics at UCLA,  she spent her junior year in France at the Université de Bordeaux.

Sent went to France, ostensibly to study French.   She hoped to go to Paris or Grenoble, but as fate would have it, she landed in Bordeaux because she was an Econ major.  While in Bordeaux she befriended  the wife of the University’s president, who took her under her wing.  That connection lead her, at age 20, being taken on a personal tour of  the renowned Chateau Haut Brion – a producer of one of the world’s greatest wines.

The tour was led by the legendary Monsieur Delmas (Senior) himself, who kindly let her taste the renowned 1982 vintage out of the barrel, followed by the 1966. That moment changed her life, and sealed her interest in wine and the Bordeaux region itself.

After graduating from UCLA she bought a one-way ticket to France.  Upon her arrival she took a job at a two star restaurant.  As an intern.   You want to talk about starting at the bottom? Her boss was a 16 year-old kid!

After running out of money, she returned to California.  She looked for a job in the wine industry, but there was none to be found.  Under the burden of student debt and little cash, her focus shifted to finding steady employment.

After a very successful career in technology and publishing, she decided to pursue her dream of making wine.  She helped to launch a small winery in 1992 that became commercially viable in 1996.  She purchased a significant share of that winery.   Thereafter, she purchased a winemaking facility and a vineyard in the late 90’s.

Sharon applied and was accepted to the famous DUAD program (the Diplome Universitaire d’Aptitude a la Degustation des Vins) offered through the Universitié de Bordeaux’s Oenology department.

In 2004,  with her family in tow, Sharon returned Bordeaux.   She completed the DUAD program and graduated with honors.  

She returned to California,  and moved to St. Helena in the Napa Valley, and embarked upon her Rarecat journey in 2008.

Bordeaux is very provincial, but thanks to connection to some extraordinary people who opened doors for her, she was given access to  half of a vineyard in Saint-Emilion.  Working with a consulting winemaker there, she began importing wine under the Rarecat label ( from the 2010, 2011, and 2012 vintages) last year.

Related post you may be interested in reading:  An American In Saint-Émilion 


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