2005 Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Blancs, Carneros
I don't drink much Californian wine. Maybe I need to pay more attention, at least to the sparkling wines. The climate works, right? They have no problem with ripeness, no problem with how to do it . . . so why aren't more people making Californian sparkling wine?
This particular one, a vintage blanc de blancs, is a fantastic example of that potential. Pale colour with a very fine bead. Very, very fine indeed, just a nonstop stream of almost imperceptibly tiny bubbles. Ripe fruit, punchy extract on the palate, very well integrated. Fine and elegant, very long - just a lovely wine all around.
So lovely in fact, that I finished the entire bottle. How can the Californians manage to make delicious sparkling wines in the mid-$20's, while Niagara doesn't seem to be able to do it under $30. Lots of potential for these types of wines in the New World. Maybe it's the costs associated, maybe consumer perception about bubbly, but people need to be drinking more sparkling wine, and appreciating the producers who are making them.