Great Sparklers for Any Occasion

Great Sparklers for Any Occasion

This week we taste through some great Italian, French and Californian sparklers. Its hard to pick a favorite as they were all great. Try them all and let us know which ones you find enjoyable. Cheers!

Laurent-Perrier Brut NV
Smooth, round and sexy with lemon, kiwi and pear. Nice acidity with a hint of smoke. Great long finish. Drink now through 2015. Rating: Excellent (91) | $40 | 12.5% ABV

2004 Laurent-Perrier Brut Millésimé
An equal blend of Pinot noir and Chardonnay; the Pinot noir is sourced from the Montagne de Reims: Verzy, Mailly, Verzenay, Ay, Bouzy; and Chardonnay from the Côte des Blancs: Avize, Cramant, Oger, Mesnil sur Oger, Chouilly. It’s a very round and complex sparkler with peach and pear notes followed by a tinge of minerality on the finish. Crisp and well-balanced. Rating: Excellent (91) | $100 | 12.0% ABV


Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé Brut NV
Delicate and bright Rosé made from 100% Pinot noir grapes sourced from Grand Cru villages. Lovely cherry and raspberry flavors carry through to the finish. Good acidity and well balanced; finish is long and racy with a slight smokiness. Rating: Excellent (90) | $65 | 12.0% ABV


2000 Krug Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne Clos du Mesnil
Stand up and take notice! This charismatic Blanc de Blancs really likes to take center stage. Its expressive flavors will keep you coming back for more. It is a spectacular sparkler with layered, mineral driven sensations of peach, graphite, hazelnut, brioche, coffee, honey and a tinge of candied fruit, which really stands up against its competitors. Rating: Superior (96) | $859 | 12.0% ABV

Krug Grand Cuvée NV
This Cuvée is the archetype of Krug’s philosophy of craftsmanship and savoir faire: A blend of around 120 wines from ten or more different vintages, some of which may reach 15 years of age. Bright and fresh flavors of hazelnut, apple, and white flowers lead to a touch of honey and brioche in the long finish. Simply lovely. Rating: Excellent (94) | $160 | 12.0% ABV

Candoni Prosecco DOC Brut Italy
A fun light sparkling brut with aromas and flavors of lemon-lime citrus and white flowers; Good acidity and nicely balanced. Rating: Good (84) | $14 | 11.0% ABV

Roederer Estate Brut MV Anderson Valley
This multi-vintage (MV) cuvée is vibrant and crisp with apple and vanilla that finishes with mineral and almond flavors that dance in the glass. This is a great value sparkler with lots of personality. Rating: Very Good (89) | $20 | 12.0% ABV

Roederer Estate Brut Rose MV Anderson Valley
A round, smooth vibrant sparkler made of 60% Pinot noir and 40% Chardonnay. Strawberry and cream flavors finishes clean and fresh. Rating: Excellent (90) | $28 | 12.0% ABV

2004 Roederer Estate L’Ermitage Anderson Valley
L’Ermitage, Roederer Estate’s special Tête de Cuvée, is a sparkling wine made only in exceptional years from pre-selected, estate-grown grapes. Layered and elegant style with apple, ginger and raspberry notes leading to an almond and brioche finish. Rating: Excellent (92) | $47 | 12.0% ABV

j sparkler

J Vineyards Cuvee Brut 20 California
The grapes that make up this lovely and lively Cuvee come from a cool-climate vineyard in the Russian River. The bright acidity and honeysuckle notes take center stage with pretty yeast and hazelnut and macadamia playing in the background. Rating: Excellent (90) | $25 | 12.5% ABV

J Vineyards Brut Rosé Russian River Valley California
Winemaker Melissa Stackhouse really pulls out all of the stops with this rose producing a flirtatious sparkler with exuberant personality. Tangerine cream and maraschino cherries carries the flavor profile to a backdrop of crushed raspberries leading to a crescendo of layered deliciousness on the finish. Rating: Excellent (90) | $38 | 12.5% ABV

François Pinon Vouvray Brut

François Pinon Vouvray Brut Loire France
François Pinon’s main focus is “to keep the typicity of both the appellation and the vintage” in all his wines and with this in mind, he certainly met that goal with this sparkler. This creamy Vouvray Brut is nutty with apple and pear notes; medium-bodied with light effervescence. Grilled or fried shrimp would work well with this as well as Chef Greenwald’s Prawn, Celery Root and Apple Spring Rolls. Rating: Good (87) | $21 | 12.5% ABV

ferrari sparklers

2006 Ferrari Perlé Trento
The Chardonnay grapes sourced from a hillside vineyard in Trento produced a crisp sparkler that is creamy and nutty finishing with lemon tart goodness. On a side note, it is great to see a disgorgement date on this sparkler. There has been a lot of debate on whether labels should carry this information and this is why I support disgorgement dates on sparklers. This one was disgorged 2013. Rating: Excellent (91) | $35 | 12.5% ABV

Ferrari Brut NV Trento
This sparkler consists of 100% Chardonnay sourced from various communes of the Province of Trento in the Val d’Adige, Val di Cembra and Valle dei Laghi. It is stunningly clean and dry producing lively aromas and flavors of citrus and white flowers. Disgorged 2013. Rating: Very Good (88) | $25 | 12.5% ABV

Ferrari Rose NV Trento
Hand harvested, this is a blend of 60% Pinot noir and 40% Chardonnay. The aromas are lively and fragrant, with flavors of almonds and raspberries. It’s great acidity plays center stage with notes of musk finishing long and strong. Disgorged 2013. Rating: Very Good (89) | $37 | 12.5% ABV

Are you curious how champagne is made? Then check this out!


About the Author:

Editor and co-founder of, Pamela is a sommelier and former restaurant manager and wine buyer with Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), Court of Master Sommeliers & Center for Wine Origins certification. She has contributed to or been quoted by various publications, including the Los Angeles Times, Sommelier Journal, Vegetarian Times, VIV Magazine, UC-Berkeley Astrobiology News, The Washington Post, the Associated Press, NPR and USA Today. True to her roots, she seeks varietal and appellation integrity and is always passionate about finding the next great bottle of wine.


  1. Barbara Candoni De Zan November 26, 2013 at 8:54 AM - Reply

    Dear Pamela,

    Thank you for tasting our Prosecco and for writing the nice review.

    If you come to Italy, we hope that you come to visit our winery.

    Salute from the Candoni De Zan Family

    • enobytes November 28, 2013 at 10:34 PM - Reply

      We’ll let you know when we are in the region. It would be an honor to visit the Candoni De Zan Family.

  2. Brenda H November 28, 2013 at 2:44 PM - Reply

    I adore Laurent-Perrier and Krug! Which reminds me I have to go Champagne shopping for the holidays!

    • enobytes November 28, 2013 at 7:31 PM - Reply

      Champagne shopping? Sounds like a new hashtag ~ #CS

  3. Brenda H November 28, 2013 at 10:55 PM - Reply

    I love the #CS hashtag! I’ll use this when shopping for sparklers. Thank you Enobytes :)

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