Last Call for Holiday Bubblies
’Tis the season for sparkling wines, as much a part of the holidays and New Year season as fruitcake, rum punch, and holiday ham — and we’ve tasted a dozen of them.
Here is the fourth and final review of holiday sparkling wines; it’s now all up to you to choose which ones you’ll pop to toast the New Year and ring in the holidays of your choice. There is quite a range of choices here — sparkling wines from America’s East and West Coasts, bubblies from the prosecco and lambrusco regions of Italy, and a trifecta of fizz from France: Limoux, Alsace, and granddaddy Champagne itself.
Adami “Col Credas” Valdobbiadene prosecco superiore brut 2013 ($17)
Green fruitiness with lots of minerality, very fine bubbles, and long, penetrating, refreshing finish.
NV Adami “Garbel” Treviso prosecco brut ($16)
Quite floral, a little tangy, good body, and, as always with an Adami wine, a great finish.
NV Lamberti prosecco extra dry ($12)
Pastel fruitiness, lots of bubbles and cream and a good texture — rich and filling.
NV Biltmore Estate blanc de blanc brut ($25)
North Carolina’s Biltmore makes wines from grapes it grows and buys locally as well as those from California. I could find no heritage on this label, so it is most likely a southern comfort — pleasant apple-pear flavors, clean-tasting yet not as delicate as most blanc de blancs.
NV Cleto Chiarli Vecchia Modena premium lambrusco secco ($16)
A red bubbly — fruity with quince and apple flavors, yet light with a good finish.
NV Napa Mumm brut prestige ($19)
Complex flavors of dried strawberries, tingling yeastiness and flaky toast. Good structure and a crisp, minerally finish.
NV Mumm Napa reserve rosé brut ($20)
Tart red fruit flavors and a pleasant metallic finish — not as long or as elegant as the white.
NV L’Agapé “Emotion” cremant d’Alsace brut ($17). Bready, milled wheat aromas with creamy flavors of crushed white grapes. It does need more structure — a soft middle palate and a short finish.
2011 Saint-Hilaire Blanquette de Limoux semi-sweet ($12)
Sweet sparklers, I think, have a more limited range of appeal than drier ones, but this is a nice one — almond cookies with lots of mousse and a soft finish.
NV Laurent-Perrier Champagne brut ($45)
Big and bold apple flavors up front with a lemony finish. A firm, muscular, young Champagne that grabs your attention — and holds it.
NV Laurent-Perrier Champagne rosé brut ($73)
Another firm wine, yet very seductive and charming. Excellent creamy red fruits with a rich and satisfying finish.