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Sips of Recently Tasted White Wines

Gloria Ferrer, Carneros

The four sparkling wines represent the core of the Gloria Ferrer portfolio. All are crafted using methodé champenoise.

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

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

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

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

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

More Wineries

2013 Big Table Farm Wirtz Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Gris

11.2% alc., 145 cases, $32. This is an orange wine that defies description. This white grape was left on its skins to add color and texture to the wine, then pressed and fermented to dryness in neutral French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Light copper salmon color in the glass. The aromas are primarily floral including gardenia while the flavors are fruity including poached pear and hints of strawberry, cherry and vanilla. Lighter in weight, soft in texture and easy to drink. Should be chilled and paired with shellfish. Score: 87

2013 Briceland Vineyards Humboldt County Chardonnay

13.5% alc., $26. No oak or malolactic fermentation. · Moderately light golden straw color in the glass. Aromas of lemon curd, apple tart and mountain air. Driven by crisp and steely acidity, this wine features flavors of lemon and yellow apple. Slightly viscous in the mouth with a juicy finish. Fine, but doesn’t hold my interest over time. Tasted twice. Score: 87

2013 Briceland Vineyards Spirit Canyon Vineyard Mendocino County Arneis

13.6% alc., $21. An unusual California bottling of a white Italian grape known as “white Nebbiolo.” Planted by Glenn McGourty. Less than 100 acres in California. · Light golden straw color and clear in the glass. Shy aromas of lemon tart and wildflowers. Pleasant and smooth on the palate with flavors of lemon, dried herbs and floral note. With its lip-smacking acidity, this wine is a good foil for shellfish. Not as good as previous vintages of this wine. Score: 88

2012 Press Cellars Bacigalupi Vineyard Russian River Valley Chardonnay

15.3% alc., 100 cases, $38. Partial whole cluster with native yeast fermentation. Aged 10 months in 50% new American oak and 50% neutral French oak. · Light golden straw color and clear in the glass. Bold aromas of lemon-lime and toasted oak. A bit unusual in flavor, with notes of cut apple, poached pear, grilled pineapple, toast and burnt toffee. Creamy in the mouth, with noticeable fruit ripeness and fullness, made for the California palate. Score: 86

2011 Mount Eden Vineyards Estate Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay

14.5% alc., 1,692 cases,$60. · Light golden straw color in the glass. Appealing array of aromas including white peach, Asian pear, lychee, buttery oak, chalk and flint. Tight, with good tension, offering defined flavors of lemon, poached pear and very subtle oak. Beautifully configured and sophisticated with impeccable balance and a refreshing cut of acidity. A connoisseur’s wine with many nuances made in a French style that will benefit from more time in bottle. Score: 93

2012 Smith-Madrone Spring Mountain District Napa Valley Chardonnay

14.2% alc., 779 cases, pH 3.32, TA 0.69, 779 cases, $32. Average age of dry-farmed vines is 39 years. 100% barrel fermented in 100% new French oak barrels for 8 months. Winemakers and winegrowers Charles and Stuart Smith. · Bright golden straw color and clear in the glass. Scents of lemon curd, poached pears and green apples lead to a soft and creamy core of citrus, pear and banana flavors with a hint of smoky oak and iron-driven minerality. Somewhat reserved in a French style that is well-crafted. Score: 91

NV Smith-Madrone Spring Mountain District Napa Valley Riesling

12.6% alc., 1,288 cases, $27. From 5.5 acres of dry-farmed estate grapes. Cool mountain temperatures, rocky volcanic soil. · Inviting scents of lemon-lime, pine, grass and petrol. Juicy lemon-lime, green apple, pear and tropical flavors in a crisp style with a slightly creamy textural tone. Impressive finishing length and palate-cleansing acidity. A perfect match with oysters or southern fried chicken. Score: 93

2013 Sonoma-Loeb Envoy Carneros Chardonnay

14.9% alc., pH 3.60, TA 0.64, $38. Sourced from low-yielding Wente, Hyde and Robert Young clone fruit from the best blocks at Sangiacomo Vineyard. Harvest Brix 23.5º-24.9º. Barrel fermented, 100% malolactic fermentation, aged 8 months sur lie. · Light golden straw color and clear in the glass. Welcoming scents of lemon curd, buttery brioche, peach and chalk dust. Delicious and decadent with waves of citrus fruits including pineapple and lemon, with notes of Asian pear, nectarine, buttery popcorn, and toast. A take no prisoners, barrel fermented charmer made in an opulent and well oaked California style. Score: 90

2013 Truchard Carneros Napa Valley Chardonnay

14.1% alc., 4,955 cases, pH 3.34, TA 0.66, $30. Harvest Brix 24.0º. Vines range from 17 to 39-years-old and benefit from the various marine soils, gently slopped terrain and cooler temperatures. Whole cluster pressed, 100% barrel fermented sur lie with battonage in 100% French oak, 33% of which was new for 10 months. 30% malolactic fermentation. · Very light golden straw color and clear in the glass. Pleasant aromas of lemon curd, pear, apple pan dowdy and apple blossom. Light and refined on the palate and very refreshing, with lemon, pear, apple and nutty toffee flavors backed by bright acidity. The wine picks up flavor intensity and interest over time in the glass, offering a finishing kick of lemon-driven acidity. I continue to be very impressed by the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from this iconic Carneros winery. Score: 92

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