Feature Coverage

Bubbles for the Holidays – Taking a look at Champagne and Sparkling wines

‘Tis the season for sparkling wine and I don’t hear anyone complaining. Ok, so I do hear some complaints. I’m hearing that there are just too many great choices out there, and people want help sorting through the billions of bubbles. With 49 million bubbles per bottle I think I may be understating the situation here.

California has made great strides towards improving the overall level of sparkling wines produced in the state since Schramsberg bottled theirs, and the states, first Methode Champenoise Chardonnay Blanc de Blanc sparkling wine way back in 1965.

While I still rank Schramsberg as the best domestic producer they face increasing competition from many of their neighbors as the industry as a whole recognizes that vineyards that are best suited for the production of sparkling wines.

Schramsberg Vineyards 2001 Reserve
92 points
“A subtle yet complex nose that reveals layers of yeast, dried orchard fruits, peach, and hints of cinnamon spice. In the mouth this is big and rich with lots of deep fruit tones laid upon a creamy, toasty frame with spicy top notes. The finish is long and complex with layers of spicy and nutty tones.”

Schramsberg Vineyards 2001 J. Schram
91 points
“Minerally and buttery on the nose with a real creamy appeal. In the mouth this has an elegant texture and fine mousse with flavors of green melon and citrus delivered in a very linear style that is layered and richly flavored. Great length on the finish, which shows a hint of red fruits on the final.”

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Gregory Dal Piaz, December 23, 2009
Bubbles for the Holidays – Taking a look at Champagne and Sparkling wines