October has been dreary in Northern California, with more than the usual rain and bluster in the air. We expect that sort of weather in January, but October is usually sweater season, with powder-blue skies, easy breezes and a splash of color in the trees and grapevines. So on a recent soggy Friday night, I needed a taste of summer and opened a bottle of Gloria Ferrer's Blanc de Noirs NV ($20).
It’s fun and festive, not the sort of sparkling wine that needs much analysis, but it charms you with its light rosy hue, boldly floral and fruity aromas and creamy strawberry and crisp citrus flavors.
The base blend of the Blanc de Noirs is predominantly Pinot Noir, with a touch of Chardonnay for added crispness; then winemaker Bob Iantosca blends in a Vin Gris (or Rose) for additional of color and freshness. The bubble typically scores in the 87- to 89-point range when I taste it blind, and on that stormy night I rated it 88 points, non-blind. It lightened my mood.
WineSpectator.com members: Get previous scores and tasting notes for bottlings of Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs NV.