It's a shame that so many Americans put off drinking sparkling wine until New Year's Eve. I crave it most in the summer when the days are sunny and I want something refreshing to drink. It also complements the lighter menus of summer like salads, seafood and chicken.
And with all the weddings, anniversaries and graduations happening this time of year, you might want to stock up. For that reason, we shifted our annual report on United States sparkling wines from its traditional spot in December to summer.
It helps that domestic sparkling wines, especially those from California, continue to reach new heights as growers refine their vineyards and narrow in on the best grape clones for bubbly.
Just before the holidays last year I blogged about my favorite wines at the time. In our June 15 issue, I review the new bubblies released since then and speak with winemaker Eileen Crane about her latest wines from Domaine Carneros.
I highlight a handful of my favorite new wines below: two of the top wines, two values and one superb rosé. WineSpectactor.com subscribers can read more detailed reviews by clicking on the links.
J Brut Russian River Valley
Vintage Late Disgorged 2004 (93 points, $90)
Rich and mature yet still lively.
Mumm Napa DVX Napa Valley 2006
Shows great finesse and yeasty brioche aromas.
Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Blancs
Carneros NV (89, $22)
Luscious Asian pear and white chocolate flavors.
Piper Sonoma Brut Sonoma County
Select Cuvée NV (87, $18)
A fun quaff, with raspberry and cinnamon apple notes.
Schramsberg Brut Rosé North
Coast 2010 (92, $43)
Luxurious and crisply focused with notes of raspberry, yeast and orange zest.
What are some of your favorite sparkling wines to drink when the weather is warm?