You can say Jacqueline Leonne is Champagne personified for the “New World” market. Her Papa taught her all she needed to know to capture the sparkle in a bottle for the cherry pie drinker. I interpret these styles of wines with a personal motto: “Don’t Think Just Drink”. Now more than 25 years later, she runs the family Champagne house in France while her kinfolk run the winery in Albuquerque, New Mexico U.S. There must be a Juju coming from Taos channeling sparkling wines since the 1980s starting with the Icon of Icons, Gruet. Gruet is trusted to have put New Mexico Sparkling Wine on a universal radar, Jacqueline Leonne.  Most U.S. states would begin with the obvious style of still wines, not New Mexico, sparkling wines are the business of the day there. Just like Gruet, Jaqueline Leonne is how American success stories are born, minus the crazy Taos rituals.


It has been New Mexico’s official state nickname initiated in the mid-1930s to encourage tourism to the state. The phrase is translated “Tierra del Encanto” in Spanish because of New Mexico’s scenic beauty and prosperous history. Spaniard influence on viticulture can’t be overstated with plantings of the underwhelming Mission grape. Spain’s attempt to colonize the Americas had countries and states satisfying the Church’s thirst for wine made from this grape, but also to make wine that would not compete with the Spanish Crown. The last laugh was on them since everyone eventually embraced their independence and ultimately left their prejudice of quality wines that are made from European Vinifera grapes!  


New Mexico doesn’t resonate with wine any more than the Church resonates with pornography) ( although that has happened; LOL)  However, the enchanting state represents some of the most interesting and prosperous high elevation vineyards at an astonishing 4K FT.  New Mexico’s exit from the days of the Mission grape into a contemporary wine industry is based on traditional European varieties. There are currently over thirty thriving wineries throughout the state. Proudly,  New Mexico and along with the “Lone Star” Texas, is credited for the first US states to produce wine from the Vitis Vinifera species, beginning around the 1600s. To be precise the Vitis Vinifera grapes are not American Vines and they are of European origin brought into America by our Forefathers and European immigrants alike. To go into it in detail as to the “WHY?” would be irrelevant to the review.  For now,  just know using Vitis vinifera grapes for the production of quality wine is essential. They contain a copious amount of phenolic compounds that result in wines with complex flavors and ageable potential.


Try finding the backstory about Jacqueline Leonne’s wine and you’ll be left scratching your head. That’s because it’s not a winery, but a label. She does exist, but as the proprietor to her wine under the umbrella of Grape & Grain. Jacqueline Leonne joins the multitude of global vignerons searching for representation. The wine industry is a vastly competitive market in anyone’s backyard let alone on an international level. It’s an extremely passionate-driven business unless you’re in sales. Sales are just sales in any industry, it’s all for one, one for all mentality, so I wouldn’t include it fairly. Unless the producer is liquid in money, it’s difficult to expose their wines to any degree. The majority of wines made are labor-intensive, time-sensitive, and ultimately limited in production. Here is where collectives such as Grape & Grain come to the rescue

Collectives such as Grape & Grain are springing up everywhere worldwide. They own winemaking facilities and tasting rooms in five American states, including New Mexico. They also have expanded in a few peppered locations overseas. They are also committed to research and development to facilitate virtuous winemaking. I do support companies such as Grape & Grainwho have are bringing to the consumer, unique wine diversity that would not otherwise be assessable. 


Well, what do I think Jacqueline Leonne American Made Sparkling Brut, simple. It’s composed of 75% Chardonnay and 25% Pinot Noir grown on sand/ clay Albuquerque soils. From the glass, the color is a medium gold with fading hues of dusty pink. The Effervescence is aggressive and tight-knit straight from the bottle, but quickly the bubbles become congested and slow down. On the nose, bruised red and yellow apples, brown butter toast, spiced ginger, and toasted cocoa nibs. On the palate the apples are more pronounced, the citrus fruit hits the mid-palate with a prickly mousse, followed by creme brulee french toast, leads into a granite mineral edge, and ends with a bitter toasted black walnut medium finish. 

I found it to be pleasant to drink, however, from beginning to end, it had an oxidative nuance. I’m not sure if it was a winemaking decision, the vintage, or a unique dodge added at the end. Anyway, you be the judge. This wine is also produced in a rose and semi-sweet style perfect for Mimosas or Bellinis!  If you really need this bubbly pronto, Drizzly has you covered, give or take depending on your area, max ten minutes! If you utterly can’t get enough of it, it travels well too as it comes in a four-pack in cans. With the Albuquerque population’s medium age being 35…… It may either be attributed to all of Tao’s spiritualism or simply the juicy wine POPPING up all over the enchanted state!



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