I’ve been a fan of Schramsberg and its sparkling wines for the 15 years or so I’ve been reviewing wine, and my recent tasting of the famed California winery’s Mirabelle Brut Rosé reminded me of why. I can’t think of another American sparkling wine house that delivers with the same quality and consistency.
Mirabelle is Schramsberg’s line of non-vintage wines, the equivalent of non-vintage Champagne in which wines from several vintages are blended (Schramsberg also makes a wide range of vintage sparkling wines).
Not only are vintages blended, but so are appellations. The Mirabelle Brut Rosé is 57 percent Pinot Noir and 43 percent Chardonnay, and Schramsberg’s website says 43 percent of the grapes are from Napa County vineyards, another 43 percent from Sonoma, with the rest from Mendocino and Marin counties.
All of this adds up to a distinctive American sparkling wine of considerable complexity at a relatively affordable price. Wine Searcher puts the average price at $25, with plenty of stores selling it for less.
On first tasting, the wine “pops,” with bright yet subtle red fruit tastes and bracing acidity. There’s an herbal note, touches of bread and cream, and lemon and orange accents on the finish.
This wine, light copper in color, is truly refreshing, a great opener for a Valentine’s evening or just about any other celebration. It was just right when I poured it the other night with a little pâté and Spanish manchego.
And I wouldn’t rule it out with a bowl of popcorn watching the Winter Olympics — or your latest Netflix fixation.