Ahhh, those great memories of Napa in the spring, on that first truly warm day, finishing an appointment with Mumm Napa, then buying a bottle and simply sitting on the patio. At that moment we thought, gosh, these sparkling wines are so good. Why don’t we drink them more often? Why do we just save them for celebrations? I should be drinking these all the time!
It’s a wonderful revelation and once you start exploring domestic sparklers, you’ll find that Napa has a lot of options, both from known names (like Schramsburg and Domaine Carneros) and smaller producers who make high quality favorites.
Looking to recapture that day in Napa from your own living room? We’ve found a few new favorites, a little off the beaten path. They’re well worth seeking out.
NV Decoy Brut Cuvee Sparkling Wine ($25)
This little gem is a perfect treat for the holidays—or any day. It’s become one of my favorite new wines of the year. Napa’s Decoy was founded by the well-known Duckhorn family and its pedigree shows in this wine made from the traditional Champagne grapes of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and Chardonnay. Almost a pale pink in the glass, this lush wine is crisp with apples, pears, moderate acid, and just a touch of sweetness. With perfect light bubbles (and an equally pleasing price point), it’s quickly becoming a weeknight drinker at my house.
2015 Frank Family Brut Rose ($55)
I recently brought a bottle of the 2014 Frank Family Brut Rose to a dinner with wine lovers and instead of popping it before dinner with snacks, we held it back for food. It was the right decision. This wine, from Calistoga’s Frank Family Vineyards, is robust with big flavor, a great nose, and strong bubbles. Its savory notes and long finish make it more of a rosé that happens to bubble instead of a bubbly that happens to be a rosé. Lemon, green apple, and a hint of red rose paired with the finish of a good red wine make this something you could serve with any holiday dinner. Made with Carneros Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, 2015 is the current release.
2015 Priest Ranch Brut Rose ($50)
This stunning sparkler is 100% Syrah which explains the lovely contradiction of lemon and full-bodied bubbles on the palate and a festive turn to tangy strawberry and red raspberry on the mellow finish. Now part of Somerston Estate, Priest Ranch is known for its high quality Napa Valley Cabs and famous Coach Gun Bordeaux-blend. With their expertise, this sparkler doesn’t disappoint.