Best Made in the USA Sparkling Wines 2016
This year, we made a commitment to find the best sparkling wine made in the USA. The first step was to identify some of the best wine producers that make sparkling wines. To make the contest fair – all of the wines were covered. The sparkling wines all had to be bruts. (It is sometimes hard to compare a rose with a brut – it is like comparing apples and oranges). From the biggest sparkling producers, we went with their top of the line products which are often not available to the public. The exception was Mumm Napa Brut Prestige instead of their DVX line – the reason – Wine Spectator had rated the Brut Prestige higher than their DVX products. The price listed is the winery price.
So, this is the list from cheapest to most expensive:
- Gruet Brut (New Mexico) $17
- Kenwood Cuvee Brut (Sonoma, CA) $18
- Scharffenberger Brut Excellence (Anderson Valley, CA) $20 (WS 90)
- Mumm Napa Brut Prestige (Napa, CA) $22 (WS 91)
- Breathless Brut (CA) $25
- Iron Horse Classic Vintage Brut 2010 (Russian River, CA) $42 (WS 93)
- Laetitia Brut Coquard (Arroyo Grande, CA) $48
- L’Ermitage Brut (Roederer Estate) 2007 (Anderson Valley, CA) $48 (WS 93)
- Lichen Blanc De Noir (Anderson Valley, CA) $55
- Gloria Ferrer Carneros Cuvee (’04) (Sonoma, CA) $59 (WS 92)
- Etoile Tete De Cuvee (Domaine Chandon)(06) Napa, CA) $80 (WS 93 for ’03)
- Le Reve (Domaine Carneros) 2009 (Sonoma, CA) $110 (WS 93)
- J. Schram (Schrambsburg) 2006 (Calistoga, CA) $120 (WS 93)
The WS means the Wine Spectator rating of the wine from 70-100.
These are the bottles after being wrapped up.
The result: For the novice drinkers, they preferred the sweeter and cheaper Kenwood Brut. For the more seasoned drinkers, the winner was L’Ermitage made by Roederer Estate. A close second and a surprise was Laetitia Brut Coquard.