Taste masthead.

HOME > TASTING NOTES > AMERICAN SPARKLING WINES


AMERICAN SPARKLING WINES

November 8, 1999 • The Daily planet

Tradition among producers of Sparkling Wine is that each brand develop and maintain a "house style," with consistency dependent primarily upon the tasting and blending skills of the winemaker. Roederer Estate's Dr. Michel Salgues certainly has demonstrated his mastery to the PfW tasters. His non-vintage Anderson Valley Brut also stole the show at our previous sparkling wine tasting. The winning characteristics shared by the most popular wines were clean aromas and flavors and harmonious balance that made an overall impression of elegance.

Brand
Vintage & Varietal or Type
Appellation -$ price
Consensus Tasting Notes
#Rank
Buying Advice

Roederer Estate
(nv) Brut
Anderson Valley -$18.00

Clean aroma with a hint of yeastiness; complex, controlled apple-like flavors with a creamy and persistent mousse; very harmonious balance and a medium-long finish. A clear winner.

#1
Very Highly
Recommended

Domaine Carneros
1995 Brut
Napa - Carneros -$18.00

Clean aroma with a hint of flint; very light mouthfeel and pleasing flavors with a nice lemony tartness; tiny and very persistent bubbles. Probably would show well matched with light foods.

#2
Very Highly
Recommended

Pacific Echo
(nv) Brut
Mendocino -$15.

Clean, slightly fruity aroma with touches of almond, vanilla, bread dough or toast; nicely layered, although light flavors are smooth, round, soft; low acid; pleasant, somewhat short finish.

#3
Very Highly
Recommended

J
1995
Sonoma County -$25.

Very light aroma, slightly flinty; very clean, very light, floral and faintly citrussy flavor; balance is almost sweet; very persistent and tiny bubbles and a medium-length finish.

#4
Highly
Recommended

S. Anderson
1995 Brut
Napa Valley -$21.

Faint vanilla aroma with initial matchstick; very rich, soft mouthfeel with pleasant citrus and tart apple flavors, almost sweet/sour; medium-full bodied; harmonious balance and good length

#5
Recommended

S. Anderson
1985 Brut (Late Disgorged)
Napa Valley -$30.
(winery only)

Full, yeasty, leesy, toasty, baked apple, complex aromas; very big and flavorful with elements of yeast, minerals, apples and hints of Amaretto, oak and caramel; very rich; good length. Very well-developed older style.

#6
Recommended
(although stylistically controversial)

Jepson
(nv) Blanc de Blanc
Burney Hill Vnyd, Mendocino -$17.

Big, ripe, fruity aroma with a sweet, floral and banana peel (linalool) character; unusual sweet and sour and perfumey flavor; very lively bubbles.

#7
Recommended
(although controversial)

Jepson
1994 Blanc de Blanc
Burney Hill Vnyd, Mendocino -$17.

 

Aggressive, yeasty, toasty, somewhat cheesy aroma; complex segmented flavors mix cheese, coffee, rye, almonds, apples, honey and citrus; slight bitterness and noticeable acescence mar finish.

#8
Recommended
(although controversial)

Jepson
1992 Blanc de Blanc
Mendocino -$17.

Obvious fruit, with vanilla, yeast and bread dough aromas; expansive, almost "thick" mouthfeel; very light green apple, caramel and toast flavors show some oxidation; clean, crisp, but short finish.

#9
Recommended
(although controversial)

One additional bottle was distinctly "corked" and therefore not rated. Although not previously noted, this was our fourth tasting out of the past ten where a bad cork ruined a bottle. This problem has increased over the past decade and is no longer tolerable. PfW gives its wholehearted endorsement to synthetic corks, in hopes the wineries are listening...


This panel included Deanna, Glenn, Diana, Roy, Marlene, Jon, Jim, Chris, Ron, and Greg.
About Sparkling Wine

TASTINGS

TOP
METHODS

VARIETALS

Includes: Why Wine? | Wine & Health | Social History | Sensory User's Manual | Grape Growing | Wine Making | Varietal Profiles | Sparkling Winebullet.Information on Reading Labels, Selecting and Buying Wine, Serving and Storing, etc.bullet.Taste includes the compiled tasting notes from our monthly panel, as well as reports on public tasting events, wherever we attend them, and notices of recurring wine events in Central California. There is also a Food & Wine section with a few wine-friendly recipes.bullet.In Aftertaste, see if you agree with our opinions and editorials in Wrath, find our Reading List and pages of links in Bacchanalia, to discover additional sources of wine information. You might also visit our Sponsors, who support this site.bullet.Contact information, short bios of the PfW tasting panel and the stories of PfW's formation and the web site genesis.


SEARCH: Match: Any All Exact (Spelling?)

 


Page updated October 5, 2001
Except as noted, site design & content © 1999-2002 by
Jim LaMar, WebDrone. All rights reserved.