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11 Bright California Sparklers

New reviews of festive bubblies from the Golden State

Tim Fish
Posted: September 16, 2013

Tasting Highlights bring the best wines from our editors’ most recent tastings to WineSpectator.com members.

With summer winding to an end, it’s an ideal time to uncork a little bubbly. There’s something about that festive pop and tasty fizz that helps make the sunshine even more enjoyable.

This week’s selection of new releases offers a cross section of what California’s best producers have to offer. You’ll find big and voluptuous wines fit for a special occasion, value sparklers and bone-dry rosés.

Most of these wines are produced in large quantities, so finding them on your local shelves shouldn’t pose a challenge.

I’ll continue tasting new California sparkling wines as the holiday season approaches. Look to future Tasting Highlights for my recommendations.

MUMM NAPA Brut Rosé Napa Valley Reserve NV Score: 92 | $38
Beautifully floral strawberry and spiced vanilla aromas lead to crisp, layered raspberry, shortbread biscuit and citrus flavors that have a zesty finish. Drink now through 2014. 1,400 cases made.—T.F.

MUMM NAPA Rosé Napa Valley DVX 2007 Score: 92 | $70
Offers laserlike focus, with spicy citrus and strawberry aromas and a vibrant backbone of crisp acidity and fresh mineral balanced by watermelon, blanched almond and ginger. Drink now through 2014. 1,000 cases made.—T.F.

ROEDERER ESTATE Brut Rosé Anderson Valley NV Score: 92 | $28
Sleek and rich, with floral strawberry and sugar cookie aromas and elegant, layered citrus, tart cherry and mineral flavors that linger toward a vibrant, lightly spicy finish. Drink now through 2015. 5,200 cases made.—T.F.

SCHRAMSBERG Brut Rosé North Coast 2009 Score: 92 | $43
Luxurious strawberry and yeasty cinnamon bun aromas lead to crisp yet rich cherry, spice and ginger flavors that end on a zesty note. Drink now through 2014. 8,999 cases made.—T.F.

GLORIA FERRER Brut Carneros Carneros CuvÈe Late Disgorged 2001 Score: 91 | $60
Voluptuous and rich, with bold aromas of lemon tart, cinnamon and fresh ginger that open to soft, layered flavors that suggest a good tiramisu. This could use a hint more crisp acidity, but hard to complain. Drink now through 2014. 1,400 cases made.—T.F.

GLORIA FERRER Brut Carneros Royal Cuvée Vintage Reserve 2005 Score: 91 | $32
A bubbly with broad shoulders and a crisp, minerally backbone. The aromas balance apple and citrus with accents of fresh ginger and rubber. Structure suggests the flavors will bloom with food. Drink now through 2015. 4,900 cases made.—T.F.

GLORIA FERRER Brut Rosé Carneros 2008 Score: 91 | $42
Vibrant and floral, with rose petal and strawberry aromas that lead to sleekly focused raspberry, cinnamon and cream flavors. Drink now. 3,000 cases made.—T.F.

SCHRAMSBERG Brut Blanc de Blancs North Coast 2010 Score: 91 | $38
Enticing aromas of Asian pear and spiced cinnamon lead to rich, layered flavors of lemon curd, mineral and fresh almond. Drink now through 2014. 25,331 cases made.—T.F.

SCHRAMSBERG Brut Blanc de Noirs North Coast 2009 Score: 90 | $40
Balances richness with delicacy, offering aromas of cinnamon pear and fresh ginger that lead to focused flavors of Meyer lemon, cherry and creamy vanilla spice. Drink now. 10,719 cases made.—T.F.

GRUET Brut Rosé American NV Score: 86 | $17
Fairly simple, with creamy strawberry, dried cherry and spice flavors. Drink now. 20,000 cases made.—T.F.

KORBEL Blanc de Noirs California NV Score: 86 | $14
Perfumed strawberry and spiced nut aromas open to juicy citrus and anise flavors. Drink now. 18,000 cases made.—T.F.


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