Schramsberg Vineyards Blanc de Blancs Brut 2012
Fresh and well structured, this was Schramsberg’s first wine, produced in 1965. Small amounts of malolactic and barrel-fermented wines are added for complexity and nuance. An ideal pairing with appetizers and seafood or as an aperitif. Lee’s Discount Liquor, $28.
Somm Notes: “America’s first serious 100 percent chardonnay méthode Champenoise wine, its elegant, rich, full-bodied style was made famous by President Richard Nixon’s visit to China during the Toast to Peace.”
Roederer Estate Anderson Valley Rosé Brut NV
Subtly salmon in color, this rosé is composed of 55 percent pinot noir and 45 percent chardonnay—all estate fruit. The mouthfeel is full and round with persistent bubbles and a delicate fruitiness. Total Wines & More, $28.
Somm Notes: “Roederer’s ethereal, lacy style of Champagne comes through in its New World sparklers. Any wine lover knows it is all about both Roederer’s French and American brut rosés.”
Gruet Méthode Champenoise New Mexico Brut NV
Celebrate the Southwest with aromas of green apple, citrus and mineral notes. On the palate, the 75 percent chardonnay and 25 percent pinot noir brut offers bright acidity with a touch of yeast on the finish. Valley Cheese & Wine, $19.
Somm Notes: “One of New Mexico’s secrets is its ability to grow chardonnay and pinot noir in the Albuquerque desert. The Champagne-born Gruet family discovered this sacred place and produce great-valued, crisp, refreshing sparklers from its terroir.”
Thibaut-Janisson Monticello Blanc de Chardonnay Virginia Brut NV
Claude Thibaut and Manuel Janisson bring generations of tradition from the Champagne region of France. After you’ve had a chuckle over the name, enjoy their 100 percent chardonnay from Virginia’s Monticello appellation, with aromas of pear and apple. Snooth.com, $42.
Somm Notes: “The Monticello AVA is home to the East Coast’s best version of blanc de blancs méthode Champenoise wines. This American sparkler has unexpected finesse with a vibrant effervescence reminiscent of Champagne.
Domaine Chandon Étoile Tête de Cuvée 2005
Meanwhile, back in Napa, the American arm of Moët et Chandon makes a top-of-the-line domestic sparkler that is aged on the lees for no fewer than seven years, imparting character. Aromas of ripe white peach, orange blossom, apple and baking spices lead to fresh raspberry, apple and Asian pear flavors and a long finish. Chandon.com, $99.
Somm Notes: “This domestic ‘star’ sparkler is comprised of chardonnay and pinot noir picked from the best vineyards in Napa and Sonoma, crafting an American version of Dom Pérignon Œnothèque.”