Tastings - Wine & Spirits Magazine


92             Donkey & Goat     $45     2022 Mendocino Fizzy Izzy
This is pét-nat from grenache gris, delivering bright fruit with an herbal edge. It’s a floral, natty wine in the brisk and refreshing mode of Donkey & Goat. Orangey red in color, pale and dry in its citrus acidity and pithy fruit, this finishes clean. For pâté. (130 cases) Donkey and Goat, Berkeley, California

91             Gloria Ferrer     $72     2015 Carneros Royal Cuvee
Austere in its pear and pear-blossom scents, refined in its bubbles, this is a brashly dry sparkler that lasts on pear-skin flavors, finishing clean. (2,720 cases) Freixenet Mionetto USA, White Plains, NY

91             Iron Horse     $75     2018 Green Valley of Russian River Valley Brut Rose
The color is coppery fizz, the flavors berry and pink grapefruit, bringing some bitterness to the finish in balance with the savor of the fruit and CO2 of the bubbles. The lasting impression is of refreshingly sweet citrus. It will add elegance to grilled fish this summer. (550 cases) Iron Horse Vineyards, Sebastopol, CA

91             Roederer Estate     $35     Anderson Valley Brut
A purely California sparkler with rich flavors of Rainier cherries, ripe apricots and peaches, all held in a savory structure. It’s markedly clean, with clarity to the cherry-skin flavor that lasts. Maisons Marques & Domaines, Oakland, CA

90             Etude     $60     2018 Carneros Blanc de Noirs Grace Benoist Ranch
A steely sparkler with green notes edging its soft peach flavors, this is earthy, dusty and pleasantly sweet in the end. It finishes clean, lovely with fish and chips. Treasury Wine Estates, Napa, CA

90             V. Sattui     $50     2018 Napa Valley Brut Rose Prestige Cuvee
Predominantly pinot noir, with 16 percent chardonnay, this offers gentle red-apple, red-cherry and red-currant flavors, feeling as ample as sweet whipped cream while remaining completely dry. (1,100 cases) V. Sattui, St. Helena, CA

88             Domaine Carneros     $45     Carneros Brut Cuvee de la Pompadour Rose
Saturated in its strawberries-and-cream flavors, this wine has some savory notes of rose hips and Earl Grey tea. The bubbles are delicate, the finish simple. For aperitifs. Domaine Carneros, Napa, CA
93             Raventos i Blanc     $49     2018 Conca del Riu Anoia Textures de Pedra
Scents of pine nuts lead into tangy and pale flavors of Ruby Red grapefruit zest and green apple skin. This is a brisk, cool sparkling wine with seashell minerality—with the particular fattiness of fresh-shucked oysters, and a mouthwatering accompaniment to a dozen. Skurnik Wines, NY

92             Alta Alella     $38     2019 Cava Laieta
Pale sesame seed and miso flavors meet in this clean, savory sparkler. Completely dry, it presents xarel-lo under the light influence of chardonnay and pinot noir. An austere Cava to pour with cracked crab. Avant Garde Wines, NY

92             Avinyo     $30     2020 Cava Brut Rose Reserva
A delicate wine for sushi, or for something more substantial, like a saffron-scented seafood paella, this pinot noir–based Cava has floral spice and a toasted whole wheat character. Clean and subtle. De Maison Selections, Chapel Hill, NC

92             Juve y Camps     $65     2016 Cava Brut Gran Reserva
Austere scents of chamomile flowers and sweet wheat lend this wine flavor clarity. Its structural stamina looks to a meaty dish, like white beans with veal sausages. Vintus, NY

92             Raventos i Blanc     $28     2020 Conca del Riu Anoia De Nit Rose
Lovely structural integration gives this a soft, cushioned feel. There's a coppery hint to the pink color and the white peach scents. The acidity and leesiness is finely integrated, giving a lasting sense of smoke, or stone on stone flintiness. Skurnik Wines, NY

91             Alta Alella     $38     2021 Cava Celler de les Aus Bruant
There's sweetness to this xarel-lo's underripe strawberry flavors and caramelized baked-apple notes. The texture is creamy, even as the acidity provides lasting freshness. For caviar-topped fried oysters. Avant Garde Wines, NY

91             Poema     $15     Cava Brut Rose
Tart wild-strawberry flavors fill this lacy sparkler, its potent acidity holding the sweet fruit to a firm, crisp line. It has trepat’s delicious Catalàn distinction. Kobrand, Purchase, NY

90             Alta Alella     $95     2017 Cava Mirgin Exeo
Rich and not overtly sweet, this blend of xarel-lo and chardonnay has a peach melba flavor to its toasty fruit, clean and fresh. Tinged in pink. Avant Garde Wines, NY

90             Alta Alella     $28     2019 Cava Brut Nature Mirgin Rose Reserva
Rustic austerity takes this monastrell rosé toward tannins in its red fruit flavors that last. Dried cherries and Ruby Red grapefruit hold to the sense of austerity. For cured duck sausages Avant Garde Wines, NY

90             Jané Ventura     $23     2019 Cava Brut Rose Reserva de La Musica
Melding grapefruit and almond flavors, this pale pink wine lingers on crisp acidity and puff pastry notes, a clean sparkler for a savory almond tart. Copa Fina, Oakland, CA

90             Mestres     $25     2019 Cava Brut Reserva 1312
Scents of jasmine rice give this a sake-like tone. Its mild bubble doesn’t get in the way of the substantial, lush texture. Clean and integrated, with touches of sweetness in the end. Think Global Wines, Santa Barbara, CA

89             Alta Alella     $28     2022 Spain Celler de les Aus Pet-Nat
Scents of green grass carry through this xarel-lo, its tannic leesiness reading as floral rice, along with a touch of creaminess. Pour it with raw clams. Avant Garde Wines, NY

89             Avinyo     $45     2016 Cava Brut Nature Gran Reserva La Ticota
Balanced between warm peach and cool CO2 crispness, this xarel-lo has a bright prickle of acidity, lasting on pale spice. De Maison Selections, Chapel Hill, NC

88             Codorniu     $13     Cava Brut Rose Limited Edition
A rustic sparker, this is a blend of red grapes: garnatxa (50 percent) with pinot noir and trepat. A bit raw in its tannins and CO2, this has citrus and peach flavors that last. Crisp and clean. Raventos Codorniu NA, Cambridge, MA

88             Naveran     $29     2021 Cava Perles d'Or
Underripe pineapple and white-grape flavors give this a simple, saturated fruit depth. It's dense and creamy without leaning into sweetness. Chill it well for razor clams roasted with Parmigiano. Ole & Obrigado, New Rochelle, NY

88             Raventos i Blanc     $39     2019 Conca del Riu Anoia De la Finca
With its neutral scent and firm bubbles, this has a saline, soda-water impact, with yeasty, dough-like scents and yellow fruit. For grilled chicken and basil sausages. Skurnik Wines, NY

88             Raventos i Blanc     $95     2015 Conca del Riu Anoia Manuel Raventos Negra
Bristling with acidity, this tastes candied and stylized. There's lactic richness to the flavors, ornate rather than fresh. Skurnik Wines, NY

87             Codorniu     $15     Cava Ars Collecta Rose
Coppery-pink, light in its brisk yeastiness, this wine carries the pleasant bitterness of peach skin and pink-grapefruit pith. For a picnic Raventos Codorniu NA, Cambridge, MA

84             Jané Ventura     $23     2018 Cava Brut Nature Cava Reserva de La Musica
With its scents of orange and almond oil, this is perfumed and sweet, balanced for the spice of a Moroccan tagine. Copa Fina, Oakland, CA

84             Carlos Serres     $20     2019 Rioja Brut
Sweet grape flavors carry through this mild-mannered birthday-cake wine. For now, the sulfur is present, masked by a good dose of residual sugar in a gentle, honeyed white. Winesellers, Niles, IL

            Mas Fi     $13     Cava Brut Rose
Fuchsia in color, and in flavor (if fuchsia had a flavor), this has a little bitter grapefruit pith to give it a Ruby Red sense. For a summer picnic. Winesellers, Niles, IL
92             JCB by Jean-Charles Boisset     $45     Cremant de Bourgogne Brut Caviar Blanc de Blancs
This is a pale, vinous sparkler, focused by scents of spicy chamomile and high-toned lime-pith bitterness. It lasts on notes of salt, lemons and white cherries, a broad wine with tension and length. Boisset Collection, St. Helena, CA

90             JC Calvet     $45     2020 Cremant de Bordeaux Brut
Tight, clean and oceanic, this has a semillon-like waxiness, an undercurrent of richness girded by lemon zest in a chalky mineral finish. A simple and rich sparkler for oysters. Aquitaine Wine USA, Berkeley, CA

88             Domaine Allimant-Laugner     $22     Cremant d'Alsace Brut Rosé
A clean and vinous rosé, this ripe pinot noir delivers rhubarb and sweet cherry flavors, lasting with clarity and gentle reduction. Vigneron Imports, Oakland, CA

88             Domaine Allimant-Laugner     $22     Cremant d'Alsace Brut
If you like Sekt, this is focused on riesling fruit (30 percent), the balance in mild-mannered pinot blanc and a little gris. There's an herbal complexity, like coarse-grained mustard, to balance the pronounced fruit. For wursts. Vigneron Imports, Oakland, CA

89             Domaine Barmes-Buecher     $32     2020 Cremant d'Alsace Brut Nature
With the green edge of a blade of grass, this is austere in its tough tannins and smoky reduction. A blend of pinot gris, auxerrois and chardonnay, this is a simple, easy, pleasant sparkler for crab. Fleet Street Wine Merchants, Moorestown, NJ

89             JCB by Jean-Charles Boisset     $30     Cremant de Bourgogne Brut No. 69
Light-pink in tone, this brings brisk pomegranate flavors and red-currant bitterness to the table for a tomato and goat cheese salad on a summer day. Boisset Collection, St. Helena, CA

88             Louis Bouillot     $24     Cremant de Bourgogne Brut Perle de Vigne Grande Reserve
This wine’s yeasty florals bring notes of elderflowers and bergamot, lasting with a bland richness of orange and toast, peach and brioche. For aperitifs. Boisset Collection, St. Helena, CA

88             Wolfberger     $26     Cremant d'Alsace Brut
Scents of lanolin and linalool give this wine a wooly, loopy sweetness, honeyed and quiet, deliciously different. Kysela Pere & Fils, Winchester, VA

87             Jean-Baptiste Adam     $30     Cremant d'Alsace Brut Rose
Clean and gentle, this is salty and underripe in its pink-grapefruit flavor, that salty sweet character lasting. Bring it to a party. The Sorting Table, Napa, CA

86             Louis Bouillot     $26     Cremant de Bourgogne Brut Perle d'Ivoire Blanc de Blancs
Christy Frank of Copake Wine Works compared this wine to "a dad-bodied Champagne"—oxidative with bruised-apple scents and broad, whipped-cream flavors. Boisset Collection, St. Helena, CA

86             Melanie Pfister     $35     2019 Cremant d'Alsace Extra Brut Breit
A lot of bubble brings an aspirin-like bitterness to this wine’s light honeysuckle and yellow-apple scents. A 50-50 blend of chardonnay and pinot blanc, it’s that yellow fruit that lasts. Vintage '59, Washington, DC
93             Adami     $22     2021 Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Brut Nature Col Fondo Sui Lieviti
This bottle-fermented Prosecco has a lightly cloudy appearance and delicate scents of lemon and bread crust. Tart at first, it gains flavors of raw oatmeal, almond and lemon curd. Fully dry yet with a rich texture and deep savory tones, it’s an elegant partner for seafood or light poultry dishes, and an excellent value for a wine at this level of complexity. Dalla Terra, Napa, CA

93             Adami     $26     2021 Valdobbiadene Extra Brut Col Credas Rive di Farra di Soligo
This Prosecco is linear and focused, almost austere in its laser-like acidity and cool salinity. Notes of lemon pith emerge, but the wine is more about precision and freshness than fruit. Ideal for oysters or grilled scallops. Dalla Terra, Napa, CA

92             Adami     $26     2021 Valdobbiadene Asciutto Vigneto Giardino Rive di Colbertaldo
Scents of tangerine and peach carry into the flavors, along with crushed apple and white cherry. Couched in a silky texture, its plush fruit is enriched by a hint of brown spice and lingers on the clean finish. Dalla Terra, Napa, CA

92             Nino Franco     $37     2021 Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Primo Franco
An opulent style of Prosecco, this wine offers a wealth of yellow fruit flavors wrapped in a creamy texture. Notes of mandarin orange and succulent peach provide a juicy sensation with a slight bite of almond skin. Terlato Wines Int'l, Lake Bluff, IL

91             Nino Franco     $30     Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Brut
Aromas of lemon, elderflower and quince lead into crisp apple and pear flavors. The wine’s silky mousse and dry, saline freshness would pair well with oysters. Terlato Wines Int'l, Lake Bluff, IL

91             Perlage     $23     Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Extra Dry Quorum
Subtle aromas of pear, melon, and white peach carry into well-defined fruit and a plush texture, with lingering spice notes. USA Wine West, Sausalito, CA

90             Adami     $22     Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Brut Bosco di Gica
This firm and stony Prosecco opens on salinity and mineral notes, gaining flavors of crisp apple and pear along with a lemon pith brightness. Fresh and floral, with a delicate yet persistent mousse, it’s a great by-the-glass option for serious Italian restaurants. Dalla Terra, Napa, CA

90             Perlage     $28     2022 Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Extra Dry Col di Manza
This Prosecco has a clean and pithy profile, with lifted aromas of peach skin, lime zest and white flowers. A slight bite of citrus skin balances its satiny texture. Notes of spice lend richness even as the wine finishes fresh. USA Wine West, Sausalito, CA

89             Perlage     $23     Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Brut Canah
Cool salinity propels the crushed apple flavors in this floral and spicy Prosecco, with hints of fennel bulb that linger on the finish. USA Wine West, Sausalito, CA

88             Cursive     $13     Prosecco Dry
This is a rich and spicy Prosecco, with flavors of white cherry and red apple skin accented by notes of bitter peach pit and hints of dried herbs. Cursive Wines, Livermore,

88             Le Contesse     $15     Prosecco Brut
Zippy and refreshing, with lemon zest notes softened by a touch of residual sugar, this Prosecco offers flavors of white cherry and lemon curd. A solid pick for brunch or apéritifs. Ethica Wines, Miami, FL

88             Villa Sandi     $20     2022 Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Brut
Scents of acacia and honeysuckle lead into flavors of lemon, pear and fresh-picked peaches that show a pleasant tangy edge. Hints of bergamot emerge on the refreshing finish. Folio Fine Wine Partners, Napa, CA

88             Villa Sandi     $25     Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Extra Dry
Scents of honeysuckle and fresh-cut herbs open into plush flavors of melon and peach. Perfect for aperitifs. Folio Fine Wine Partners, Napa, CA

87             Albino Armani     $22     Prosecco Extra Dry
A hint of fresh spearmint brightens this wine’s flavors of grapefruit, white cherry and lime. It’s fleshy enough to drink on its own, and a good match for salty appetizers. Saranty Imports, Stamford, CT

87             La Gioisa     $15     Prosecco Treviso Brut
A hint of residual sugar combines with a honeyed waxiness in this wine, balanced by bitter almond notes. The finish lingers on flavors of spearmint and honeydew melon. Ethica Wines, Miami, FL

87             Mionetto     $15     2021 Prosecco Extra Dry Rose
Tart cherry flavors mingle with ripe strawberry and peach in this lightly sweet pink sparkler. Freixenet Mionetto USA, White Plains, NY

87             Villa Sandi     $19     Asolo Prosecco Superiore Brut
Light and spritzy, with soft flavors of lime and lemon pith, this is a match for mild, flakey fish. Folio Fine Wine Partners, Napa, CA

86             Bervini     $19     2022 Prosecco Extra Dry
Soft and sweet flavors of white cherry and peach are balanced by zippy acidity and lime zest bitterness in this easy drinking wine, built for summer gatherings. Bottle Diplomacy, Gaithersburg, MD

Joshua Greene is the editor and publisher of Wine & Spirits magazine.

is the Italian wine editor at Wine & Spirits magazine.

Corey Warren is the Tastings Editor in addition to covering the wines of the Loire, Southern France, Argentina and South Africa.

This story appears in the print issue of February 2024.
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