2011 Lieb Cellars Reserve Blanc de Blancs: My Lake Tahoe Wine of the Moment


The first weekend of May 2017, I finally crossed Lake Tahoe off my bucket list with my first trip there. It seemed only fitting to celebrate my inaugural visit with a sparkling wine. Instead of choosing Champagne or a California sparkling wine, my usual go-tos, I selected the 2011 Lieb Cellars Reserve Blanc de Blancs (sample, $30 SRP). Similar in style to a Crémant d’Alsace, this bubbly is made from 100% pinot blanc from the North Fork of Long Island, New York, and is aged for 48 months prior to disgourgement (dégorgement). On the palate without food, it shows bright, tart, citrus flavors, such as lemon, lime, grapefruit complemented a yeasty quality that I likened to fine, French brioche. The refreshing acidity begged for food, so my travel companion and I, while enjoying our warm, inviting fireplace after an unexpectedly snowy, wet day, decided to have some fun with this wine, trying out pairings such as Kettle brand Salt and Pepper and Sea Salt and Vinegar potato chips, dry roasted sea salt almonds, and beef jerky. Of course, we had to revisit these options a few times (poor us), but we both concluded that bubbles and potato chips are always a winning combination, and in this case, specifically the Kettle Krinkle Cut Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper potato chips, whose thick texture and simple flavors of potato, salt, and pepper intensified the wine’s fresh fruit qualities. Less is indeed more. To learn more about Lieb Cellars and to purchase, visit their website, or better yet, visit in person.


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