“The good times keep rolling for American sparkling wine, and consumers are showing no signs of popping the bubble. The rise of Prosecco, seemingly out of nowhere 10 years ago, continues to drive interest in all things sparkling…
“… And California sparkling wine is more than ready for this broader consumer attention, earned after years of experimentation and polish. Wine lovers know that California bubbly offers value, but Champagne chauvinists are still reluctant to give the state’s luxury têtes de cuvées their due. Tapping into the tastes of such connoisseurs remains the final hurdle.
“Since my lase report on the category (“Bubbling Up,” June 15, 2015), my colleague Harvey Steiman and I have casted dozens of current releases from California, Oregon and Washington. Of the 89 wines reviewed for this report, 30 earned outstanding scores of 90 points or higher on the Wine Spectator 100-point scale. (A free alphabetical guide to all wines tasted is available at www.winespectator.com/061516.)
“The top wines are all familiar names, including the refined and impeccably dry Gloria Ferrer Extra Brut Carneros Reserve Cuvee Late Disgorged 2008 (93, $47) and the rich and expressive Schramsberg Rose North Coast J. Schram 2007 (93, $150). Domaine Chandon Brut Yountville Vintage 2009 (93, $45) is polished and graceful, with floral aromas of Asian pear and fresh ginger, while Iron Horse Brue Green Valley of Russian River Valley LO 2000 (92, $110) is beautifully structured and aging gracefully…”