This year, our favorites include Champagne from an iconic producer, Lambrusco for dinner, and cool-kid Tasmanian bubbles. Check out some of our favorite sparkling wines, ideal for sipping and gifting.
Louis Roederer 2014 Brut Rosé (Champagne); $89, 95 points. The Roederer style has become drier as the fruit has become riper and this finely balanced Champagne is an excellent example. Taut and textured, with great freshness allied to the mineral and fruit tones, this wine just hints at tannins as it moves towards maturity. Drink from 2022. Maisons Marques & Domaines. —Roger Voss
Paltrinieri 2019 Radice (Lambrusco di Sorbara); $20, 95 points. Made by carrying out the second fermentation in the bottle, this radiant, lightly sparkling wine opens with heady aromas of citrus, violet and a yeasty whiff of bread dough. Bone-dry and delicious, the energized palate delivers tart sour cherry, juicy pomegranate, pink grapefruit and white pepper alongside crisp acidity and a savory hint of saline. One bottle probably won’t be enough. Lyra Wine. Editors’ Choice. —Kerin O’Keefe
Paula Kornell NV Brut Méthode Champenoise (California); $22, 94 points. This inaugural release is stunning and incredibly impressive—a wine well worth stocking up on for the price and quality. A beautiful jasmine aroma leads to marzipan, peach and cherry flavors as lively acidity envelopes the palate. It’s a blend of 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir. Editors’ Choice. —Virginie Boone
Clover Hill NV Tasmanian Cuvée Méthode Traditionnelle Rosé (Tasmania); $30, 93 points. Clover Hill’s sparklers show off Tasmania’s prowess when it comes to serious, traditional method bubbly. With this golden, rose-tinted wine, the nose opens with yeasty, honeyed, baked pear notes with just sprinkles of ground clove, ginger spice and cherry blossoms. The creamy texture is lifted by persistent bubbles. There’s a slight bitterness to the finish, and it lacks a little depth of flavor, but overall this is quite the classy drop. Little Peacock Imports. —Christina Pickard
De Stefani NV Rive di Refrontolo Brut Nature (Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore); $23, 93 points. Radiant and loaded with finesse, this lovely sparkler opens with floral and fruit aromas of hawthorn, acacia and yellow pear. The bone-dry, linear palate delivers mature green apple, white peach and a savory mineral note alongside a foaming mousse. Bright acidity keeps it balanced and energized. Ethica Wines. —K.O.
Cave L’Aurance 2015 Brut Milléseimé (Crémant de Bourgogne); $24, 92 points. Notes of ripe Mirabelle and dried apricot point to some evolution on the nose. The fine foam and richness on the palate carry the same, presenting concentrated, mellow freshness and fine, smooth, salty and yeasty autolysis. While elegant and smooth, the palate has a spine of freshness. Allied Beverage Group. —Anne Krebiehl MW
Published: December 30, 2020