When it comes to California sparkling wine, Gloria Ferrer produces some of the most exciting values on the market. Along with a series of vintage sparklers, the Sonoma producer offers a $20 non-vintage Blanc de Noirs that could easily become your go-to bottle of bubbly for holiday celebrations and beyond.
As the term blanc de noirs suggests, the wine was produced primarily from the red Pinot Noir, with a small percentage of Chardonnay in the blend. It was made in the traditional Champagne method, undergoing its secondary fermentation (which produces the bubbles) in the bottle. The grapes are from a variety of different clones and vineyard sites in Ferrer’s estate in the Carneros district of Sonoma, which, among other distinctions, is famous for its sparkling wines.
Gloria Ferrer’s Blanc de Noirs is refreshing and delicious with aromas and tastes of green apple, fresh strawberry, lime and orange, all framed by a layer of cream and some herbs on the long finish.
With its zesty acidity, this American sparkler is great on its own, and will be perfect with all kinds of appetizers as well as seafood and sushi. It makes the case beautifully for sparkling wines as food wines, a fact that still hasn’t caught on with many wine drinkers.
Although I think of Gloria Ferrer as a quintessentially California brand, its roots are in Spain. It was established in 1982 by José Ferrer, head of Freixenet Group, the world’s largest producer of sparkling wines, who named it for his wife Gloria.
The average price of Gloria Ferrer’s Blanc de Noirs is listed at $19 on Wine-Searcher, but you’ll find it at many retailers for less. It’s one of the best American sparkling wine values out there, and is worth having on hand for both your special occasions and everyday drinking.