Domaine Carneros, Brut Rosé $35.99
58% PN, 42% CH
Domaine Carneros is Taittinger’s California arm, so this is sparkling made in the méthode champenoise using the traditional pinot/chardonnay blend as well. When we want rosé Champagne but can’t afford it, this is our happy compromise. Wild strawberry, white peach and a little dried leaf shine through on this brut rosé.
Mumm, Napa $19.99
With vineyards in Carneros and one of the most relaxing tasting rooms in Napa, Mumm is a favorite among those who have visited California wine country and finished their day in Mumm’s beautiful tasting room or deck situated along the Silverado Trail with the Howell Mountain AVA as a backdrop. Mumm Napa produces a rich wine with aromas and flavors ranging from honey to fig.
Roederer Estate, Anderson Valley, Brut, $27.99
60% CH, 40% PN
Located in Mendocino County, Roederer was one of the first Champagne houses to establish itself in California. Unlike the others, Roederer bought land not in Napa or Carneros, but further north in Mendocino’s Anderson Valley, an AVA with a cool climate allowing for a long, slow ripening of the berries. Roederer blends across vintages, uses the méthode champenoise, and ages the wine on its lees at least 24 months before releasing it. Roederer’s elegant, racy style foregoes malolactic fermentation. The result is a rich (lees time) but fresh (no malo) sparkler with flavors of hazelnut and quince in a medium-bodied wine with a refreshing finish.
Gruet, Brut $13.99
Wine from New Mexico? Started by a Champagne house and definitely a “maverick.” The sparkling wine displays green apple and lemon-grapefruit citrus flavors. It spends two years aging on its lees, so there is also some creaminess in the mouth.