In anticipation of the summer season, Wine Spectator published an article: Sparkling Summer ~ As consumers thirst for bubbly, U.S. producers continue to shine. Here’s a list of U.S. Sparkling Wine from Wine Spectator with rating and release price:
Included in the article are the Top Values ~ sparkling wines that won’t break the bank. I will try as many of these sparklings that are available to me and will report back here.
Mr. Bill’s Wine Cellar brought in the Korbel Brut California Organic Grapes NV for me. http://mrbillswinecellar.com/
It rated a score of 90 on the Wine Spectator Top Values list. They describe it as crisp and luscious, this is a winning bubbly for a party. Aromas of cinnamon, ginger and citrus lead to flavors of pear and blanched almond. $14
I enjoyed the tiny bubbles in the glass and the honey notes and a bit of earthiness in this sparkling wine. Somehow I can’t get away from the Korbel brand and my memories of “graduating” from Korbel to finer champagnes in my twenties. The “organic” on the label helped to sell me on this bottle and the $14 price point was appealing.
I freely admit that I arrived at this glass with a positively jaded life experience. Nonetheless this is a nice effort at the price point and is the best Korbel I’ve tasted.
Korbel bottles have the term “California Champagne” on the label…how can they legally include champagne as part of their label?
The French organization Comite Interprofessionel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC) regulates the use of Champagne on wine labels outside of Champagne region. The European Union protects the Champagne designation and limits its use on wine labels to wines from Champagne. Many countries signed the agreement and do not use champagne on their wine labels. The United States entered such an agreement as well, but with a grandfather clause. Wineries who were operating and producing sparkling wine before the agreement was signed in 2005 are legally (according to US law) able to use the term “champagne” on their label. One wine company that continues to use the term champagne on their label is Korbel.
Korbel has been producing “California Champagne” since the late 1800s. They have continued to label their sparkling wine as champagne and because they are grandfathered in the agreement they legally they have no reason to change this practice.