New Year’s Day is close at hand as I write this column—and there’s every reason to enjoy the sparkling wines that wonderful season inspires. So, in the past month I made it my mission to seek out reasonably priced sparkling wines to extend your holiday celebrations. I used the criteria of a price of $15-$30 per bottle, and a 90+ point review from a respected wine magazine. I tried six, and this column reviews the top three wines I tasted.
As with every other bottle of wine one tastes, the subjective biases of the taster affects the review. I definitely have my preferences, and they are shamelessly reflected in these notes. I can, however, say that each of these three wines are reasonably priced and would be a wine I would be pleased to share with anyone during a celebration.
Schramsberg Mirabelle Brut ($26.99)
I have always enjoyed the wines from California’s Schramsberg, and Mirabelle is no exception. I’m a sucker for the flavors of citrus in a wine, and Mirabelle has a hint of apple and tangerines. Well chilled, it’s incredibly refreshing with a pleasant finish. 90 Points from the Wine Advocate.
Villa Marcello Prosecco 2015 ($16.99)
Too much focus gets put upon French champagnes, and their price point is therefore elevated. In this search, I deliberately avoided French sparkling wines in favor of their American, Spanish, and Italian brethren. Villa Marcello was a wonderful representative for Italian proseccos, with a fresh opening flavor, a hint of peach and lemon (love that citrus!), and a nice finish. 87 Points from the Wine Spectator.
Gramona Cava Imperial 2011 ($26.99)
This Spanish wine, a 2011 vintage, opens with a lot of zest, and has a really nice hint of apples as the flavors open up. Perhaps reflective of its age, the wine has an exceptionally smooth finish with a pleasant aftertaste. 90 Points from the Wine Advocate.