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All of the major California sparkling wine producers now produce still Pinot Noir and the wines have become quite good. For more than 20 years, Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards was the first sparkling wine house in the Sonoma Carneros region. Owned by the Ferrer family, (the founder was Jose Ferrer) whose wine experience is rooted in 19th century Spain, the winery is a vibrant blend of Catalan and California mission design. Fruit for the premium quality sparkling and still wines comes from 335 acres of estate vineyards.
José, his wife Gloria, and son Pedro, came to California and bought a pasture in 1982 in Carneros, planting Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes in their Home Ranch and Circle Bar Ranch estate vineyards. They incorporated their Spanish winegrowing traditions and winemaking practices in creating exceptional sparkling wines. Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyard opened in 1986 as the first sparkling winery in Carneros.
The vineyard manager Mike Crumly and winemaker Bob Iantosca, both of whom have worked for Gloria Ferrer from its inception, have devoted more than two decades to identifying the diverse soil types, microclimates and specific needs of every vine in their care. Today, Iantosca as Executive Winemaker is joined by Steven Urberg as Winemaker.
In 1991, inspired by the quality and character of our estate fruit, Gloria Ferrer began crafting still wines from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. As pioneers of sparkling wine-based clonal research, they studied more than 40 different clones, and purchased new land for vineyards specifically designated for estate varietal wine grapes. The four estate Pinot Noirs are distinctly different due to site-specific terroir. Gravel Knob and Rust Rock Terrace are vineyard-designated wines produced from the 128-acre Circle Bar Ranch Vineyard and the 207-acre Home Ranch Vineyard. The José S. Ferrer Selection Pinot Noir is a blend of the best blocks from the estate vineyards. The Carneros Pinot Noir is a blend from many different soil types, terrain, clones and selections.
The winery produces seven diverse sparkling wines from over 50 individual wine lots as the blending palette. The wines take two to ten years to produce. They have been consistently excellent, among the best for their price level in California.
The winery was Wine & Spirits Magazine Winery of the Year in 2013.
Gloria Ferrer is located in the picturesque Sonoma Carneros region and the winery’s sun-drenched Vista Terrace overlooks breathtaking estate vineyards—providing the perfect place to enjoy a glass of sparkling or still wine with the savory Spanish and local cheeses, meats, almonds and other delicacies that are available from the tasting room.
The tasting room is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., with wine service available until 4:45 pm. 707- 933-1917. Guided tours are available of the production facilities and cave overlooks.The sparkling wines enjoy wide retail distribution, but the still wines are only sold at the winery. Multiple wine club options are offered.
NV Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Blancs Carneros Sparkling Wine
12.5% alc., pH 3.35, TA 0.75, dosage 13.3 g/L, $22. Exclusively Chardonnay. Whole cluster pressed, fermented in stainless steel, proprietary yeast for secondary fermentation in bottle. Final blend contains 6 different base wines. 2015 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition Sweepstakes Award for sparkling wines. Aged 16 months en tirage before disgorgement. · Pale straw yellow color with a fine bead in the glass. Nicely perfumed with aromas of fresh apple and pear. The flavors of green apple, pear, Meyer lemon and white peach are satisfyingly bright. Slightly creamy on the palate, with a crisp, dry, mineral-imbued, soprano finish. Score: 90. Reviewed January 23, 2015 ARTICLE »
NV Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs Carneros Sparkling Wine
12.2% alc., pH 3.07, TA 0.73, $22. Predominantly Pinot Noir (92%) with a small amount of Chardonnay (8%) and a small addition of Vin Gris blended into the base cuvée. Many different clones and selections. Whole cluster pressed, proprietary yeast used for secondary fermentation. The wine is a blend of 18 different base wines fermented in stainless steel. 5% to 7% coldsoaked Pinot Noir juice (Vin Gris) is blended into the base wine for color and texture. The wine was aged en tirage for 18 months. · Light salmon color in the glass. Inviting aromas and flavors of strawberry, cherry and red currant. Plenty of fruit intensity and zip to satisfy, with a creamy mouth feel and a tight, dry, mouthwatering finish. Score: 91. Reviewed January 23, 2015 ARTICLE »
NV Gloria Ferrer Sonoma Brut Carneros Sparkling Wine
12.5% alc., pH 3.21, TA 0.68, dosage 13 g/L, $22. This wine is dominated by Pinot Noir with added Chardonnay. Whole cluster pressed, 20% to 25% of first press used, proprietary yeast drive the second fermentation. A blend of 20 different base wines fermented in stainless steel. The wine spent 18 months en tirage. · Very pale pink diamond color in the glass. Lovely aromas of black cherry, Granny Smith apple and croissant. Vivid and lively on the palate with flavors of cherry, cranberry and citrus fruits. Completely dry, with inviting fruit goodness and length on the upbeat finish. Score: 90. Reviewed January 23, 2015 ARTICLE »
NV Gloria Ferrer VA DE VI Carneros Sparkling Wine
12.0% alc., pH 3.30, TA 0.75, dosage 25 G/L, $22. A blend of Pinot Noir (89%) and Chardonnay (8%) with a trace of Muscat (3%). Whole cluster pressed with use of 20% to 25% of the first press. Proprietary yeast used for the secondary bottle fermentation. Fermented in stainless steel tanks. Aged 18 months en tirage. · Pale pink salmon color in the glass. Shy aromas of apple, peach and lemongrass. Slightly sweet on the palate with juicy flavors of peach, berries and tropical fruits. The Muscat definitely peaks out. Score: 88. Reviewed January 23, 2015 ARTICLE »
2015 Gloria Ferrer Carneros Estate Chardonnay
14.1% alc., $25. Estate grown. Whole cluster pressed, barrel aged 9 months in French oak barrels. · Light golden yellow color in the glass. A very nicely composed wine, with pleasing aromas of apple and lemon oil, and flavors of citrus, apple and pastry cream. Slightly viscous in the mouth, yet crisp and juicy with no oak intrusion in a balanced style with charm. Score: 91. Reviewed October 19, 2016 ARTICLE »
2013 Gloria Ferrer Carneros Estate Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., pH 3.72, TA 0.58, $27. 21st release for this wine. 100% de-stemmed, 2-day cold soak, aged 9 months in 96% French and 4% Hungarian oak barrels, 14% new. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Earth-kissed aromas of black raspberry with a tag of toasty oak. Mid weight flavors of black cherry and black raspberry with a hint of dark chocolate and tobacco from barrel aging. Nicely balanced, with good structure and a modest finish. Score: 88. Reviewed October 19, 2016 ARTICLE »
2012 Gloria Ferrer Carneros Chardonnay
13.5% alc., pH 3.45, TA 0.68, $25. Barrel fermented in French oak. · Moderately light gold straw color in the glass. Aromas and flavors of lemon-lime, Asian pear and Fuji apple with a hint of tropical fruits and toasty oak. Solid, with a good grip of acidity on the juicy finish. Score: 88. Reviewed January 23, 2015 ARTICLE »
2012 Gloria Ferrer Estate Grown Carneros Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., pH 3.75, TA 0.55, $27. Aged 9 months in 94% French oak and 6% Hungarian oak with 25% of barrels new. A variety of Pinot Noir clones and selections planted in this 365-acre estate vineyard. · Moderate reddish purple hue in the glass. Lovely aromas of spice, black cherry and pomegranate. Forward-drinking and juicy with a luscious core of dark cherry, purple berry, cola and spice flavors. The mid palate attack is tenacious, the tannins are fine grain and supportive, there is enviable integration of oak, and a satisfying finish. A terrific wine at this reasonable price. Score: 91. Reviewed December 10, 2014 ARTICLE »
2012 Gloria Ferrer Dijon Clone Selection Carneros Pinot Noir
14.5% alc., pH 3.76, TA 0.54, 100 cases, $50.Gloria Ferrer has 16 clones of Pinot Noir in production on the winery’s 333-acre estate. Almost 11 acres are planted to Dijon 115 and in this vintage was chosen for the winery’s first single vineyard and single clone bottling. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Very aromatic, with an intense perfume of black cherry, dark raspberry and spice with toasty oak. Very polished with bold flavors of black cherry and black raspberry complimented by notes of earth, anise and spice. Generous and welcoming now, but will easily age several years. Score: 90. Reviewed March 16, 2015 ARTICLE »
2011 Gloria Ferrer Carneros Chardonnay
13.5% alc., pH 3.42, TA 0.66, $25. Numerous Chardonnay clones and selections grown in a variety of soil types. Whole cluster pressed, 100% barrel fermented, lees stirring in barrel every 4 weeks for 6 months, aged in 100% French oak barrels for 9 months. 50% malolactic fermentation. · Moderate golden yellow color in the glass. The nose offers primarily oak-driven aromas with notes of baked pear and peach in the background. Slightly creamy on the palate, with flavors of pear, peach, nut oils, citrus and spice with a good underbody of citrus-driven acidity. More appealing the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 88. Reviewed May 15, 2014 ARTICLE »
2011 Gloria Ferrer Carneros Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., pH 3.76, TA 0.55, $27. Estate grown and bottled. A blend of about 7 clones, planted on both hillsides and flats in 11 soil types. Smallest yields in the history of the winery’s vineyards. Harvest was delayed by as much as two weeks. Aged 9 months in 96% French oak, 4% Hungarian oak, with 27% new oak. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Initially, the nose is quite fruity with aromas of dark cherry, blueberry and pomegranate. Over time oak takes over. Mid weight, satisfying flavors of black cherry and dark red berry with oak driven notes of tobacco and toast in the background. Polished, juicy and well structured, with a generous charge of darker fruits on the pleasing finish. Score: 89. Reviewed May 15, 2014 ARTICLE »
2010 Gloria Ferrer Estate Grown and Bottled Carneros Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., pH 3.65, TA 0.61, $18. Nineteenth Carneros Pinot Noir produced. 100% de-stemmed, partially crushed, exclusively free run juice, barrel aged 9 months in 33% new French oak barrels and bottled unfined. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Inviting aromas of oak-infused black cherries and a hint of dried herbs. Mid weight core of dark red cherry fruit with complimentary oak. A real cherry bomb that makes an impression on the mid palate and finishes intense and long. A very soothing, easy drinking wine and an incredible value. Very good. Reviewed February 27, 2013 ARTICLE »
2008 Gloria Ferrer Estate Grown Carneros Pinot Noir
13.9% alc., pH 3.78, TA 0.59, 14,420 cases, $22. 17th Carneros Pinot Noir produced here. Made exclusively from free-run juice. Barrel aged for 9 months in 33% new French oak barrels and bottled unfined. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of spiced dark red berries, seasoned oak, and graham. Tasty core of dark berries and fresh plums with hints of smoky oak, earth and savory herbs. Medium-weighted with well proportioned tannins and a welcoming crispness on the dry finish. Good. Reviewed January 11, 2012 ARTICLE »
2008 Gloria Ferrer Estate Jose S. Ferrer Selection Carneros Pinot Noir
13.8% alc., pH 3.83, TA 0.58, 538 cases, $40. A barrel selection from the most exceptional blocks in the estate vineyard. Primarily Dijon 115, Colmar 538, Trefethan/Wente, and Martini. 100% de-stemmed, aged for 9 months in 38% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Approach this wine with patience as it needs time to open in the glass, gradually becoming more expressive. Aromas of dark berries and cherries, spice and old wine cellar. Dense and dark, featuring earthbound flavors of black cherries, blackberries, black plum, mushroom and tar. Firm, balanced tannins and a very long finish. A brooding wine on day one, but two days later from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine was transformed, becoming alive aromatically and more giving on the palate. Suggest decanting if you open this wine now. Very good. Reviewed February 27, 2013 ARTICLE »
2006 Gloria Ferrer José S. Ferrer Selection Carneros Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., pH 3.72, TA 0.54, 1,000 cases, $35. A selection of the most exceptional blocks from the estate vineyard. Meticulous cluster and shoot thinning are employed. The winemaker chose the 43 best barrels among these special lots to compose the blend. Clones include 115, Comar 538, 2A and Martini. All lots were de-stemmed and cold soaked for 3 days before fermentation. Only free-run juice was used to create the final blend. The wine was aged for 9 months in 36% new French oak barrels and bottled unfined. · Moderately light reddish-purple hue in the glass. Aromas of dark berry reduction sauce, underbrush, forest floor and oak. Soft and seductive on the palate with earthbound flavors of black raspberries and black cherries with a hint of anise and spice. Very polished with gossamer tannins and a smooth, velvety finish of some length. This wine has benefited from the extra time in bottle and is drinking beautifully now. Very good. Reviewed January 11, 2012 ARTICLE »
2005 Gloria Ferrer Gravel Knob Vineyard Carneros Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., 210 cases. · Dreamy perfume of crushed black cherries, flowers, oak and hay. Substantial raspberry attack on the palate. Softly textured throughout with powdery tannins and a clean and tangy finish. A pleasure to drink and definitely preferable to the 2004 bottling from this vineyard. Reviewed July 19, 2008 ARTICLE »
2005 Gloria Ferrer José S. Ferrer Selection Carneros Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., 1,067 cases. · Deep, dark stone fruits, cranberry and a touch of herbs on the nose. Plenty of sweet dark fruit extract with retains an appealing suppleness, Primarily fruit-driven with some earth and cedar notes. Beautifully balanced with fine-grained tannins and brisk acidity on the refreshingly clean finish. Reviewed July 19, 2008 ARTICLE »
2005 Gloria Ferrer Rust Rock Terrace Vineyard Carneros Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., 372 cases. · Very complex aromatic profile consisting of bright black cherry, marzipan, baked cookies, smoke and violets. Earth-dusted black cherry and raspberry fruit which is a touch brambly and tar-infused. Appealing fullness and richness yet elegant in the mouth. Slightly tart on the finish. This one is quite exotic and fun to contemplate. Reviewed July 19, 2008 ARTICLE »
2005 Gloria Ferrer Estate Carneros Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., 16,962 cases, 993 cases 375ml, $28. Barrel aged for nine months in 25% new oak. Made exclusively from free-run wine. · Lovely red cherry, wild herbs, earth and pine on the nose. Light but satisfying raspberry and cherry flavors with hints of tar, forest floor, herbs and char. Velvety texture, gentle tannins, clean and crisp on the finish. A nice daily drinker. Reviewed July 19, 2008 ARTICLE »
2004 Gloria Ferrer José S. Ferrer Selection Carneros Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., 1,067 cases, $36. A reserve bottling representing a tribute to the Gloria Ferrer founder, José S. Ferrer. Bob hand-selects the 43 best barrels from the estate Carneros vineyards. · Demure scents of black cherry, forest floor and dark chocolate. Beautiful black cherry core with a savory herbal sidecar. Rich but not cloying with polished tannins and a lingering finish. Similar to the Rust Rock Terrace Vineyard wine but with less elegance and more backbone. Excellent. Reviewed July 19, 2008 ARTICLE »
2004 Gloria Ferrer Gravel Knob Vineyard Carneros Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., 347 cases, $40. Sourced from a rocky part of Home Ranch with well-drained soils. Comar 538 and clone 32. · Requires some time in the glass to open revealing wild berry, black cherry, oak and hay scents. Dusty dark fruits, earth, tobacco and herbs lend interest. Very soft in the mouth. A bit sour on the finish. I could not warm up to this one. Reviewed July 19, 2008 ARTICLE »
2004 Gloria Ferrer Rust Rock Terrace Vineyard Carneros Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., 124 cases, $40. · Very seductive aromas of cinnamon dosed red cherries. Tenacious red berry and red stone fruit highlighted by carob and sweet spice flavors. Terrific Pinot delicacy in a complete package. Reviewed July 19, 2008 ARTICLE »
2003 Gloria Ferrer José Ferrer Select Carneros Pinot Noir
11,400 cases (1,900 6-packs), $35. All of the major California sparkling wine producers now produce still Pinot Noir and the wines have become quite good. This Pinot Noir is a reserve bottling sourced from the winery’s 335-acre Carneros vineyard. It is composed of the 43 best barrels in the cellar and made in honor of the founder, José S Ferrer. The wine is available at the winery which is open daily for tours and tastings. The website is www.gloriaferrer.com. · Dark ruby in color, this plush wine starts with aromas of crushed blackberries, black cherries, and mocha and carries the theme through to the finish. The texture is noticeably silky. Moderate dusty tannins arrive with a rush at the back end. Reviewed January 22, 2007 ARTICLE »
2003 Gloria Ferrer Rust Rock Terrace Vineyard Carneros Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., 375 cases, $40. Rust Rock Terrace consists of five blocks situated on the uppermost hillside of Circle Bar Ranch Vineyard. Clones are 115, Wente, Colmar 538, and Wädenswil. · This bottle seems slightly oxidized. The aromas are evolved to a secondary bouquet of cigar box and prune which carries over into the flavors. Soft in the mouth with a mildly dry finish. For lovers of older Pinot Noirs. Reviewed July 19, 2008 ARTICLE »