Gregory Dal Piaz

Location: New York, NY

Top 10 Sparkling Wines of 2012 Holiday Season

Rank Wine Rating Price
1 Naveran Cava Brut Reserva Blanc de Blancs (2009)
Comments: Gentle on the nose with a fresh floral top note over almost meaty citrus notes that flash hints of sweet peach, apricot and caramel. Very nicely balanced if a touch sweet on entry, this delivers tons of sweet peachy fruit with some candied citrus framing notes and solid depth of flavor. Air brings out complex notes of yeast, hazelnuts and candied apples. This is fairly dry, finely balanced and finishes with refreshing mineral and almost spicy herb suggestions over rich yellow apple fruit. A really nice and refined package. 89pts
Previously available for $14.94
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2 Weingut Schloss Koblenz Weisslack Trocken Sekt (NV)
Comments: Complex clay, green apple, and caramel notes greet the nose topped with some gentle green spice notes. A fine mousse and slightly creamy yet bright texture makes for an attractive mouthfeel that supports attractive lemon pith, green tea and polleny flavors. This turns rather citrusy on the back end and the acid supports these bright lemon flavors right through the long finish. A firm, dry style that is decidedly refreshing. 87pts
Previously available for $13.00
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3 Extra Brut Bianchi Prosecco (NV)
Comments: This is intense on the nose with powerful aromas of raw bread dough, white peach, lemon, blood orange and white mushroom. The mousse is just a touch coarse here but this packs in lovely lemon, blood orange and bitter almond flavors framed by light brioche notes and a fine mineral and white cherry undertone. A little creaminess appears on the back end along with beautiful patisserie notes that flow over the fairly long finish over pithy citrus fruits. Awfully good stuff. 91pts
Average price: $99.16 from 2 stores
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4 Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Heredad Cava (NV)
Comments: Sweet and slightly candied smelling with notes of lime, pineapple and watermelon on the nose. Hinting at sweetness on entry as well with flavors that mimic the nose. A rather fine mousse and creamy texture which makes this broadly appealing. The finish is a bit short, though it is nicely dry and shows a bit of yeasty character. 83pts
Previously available for $16.29
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5 J. J. Vincent et Fils Brut Cremant de Bourgogne (NV)
Comments: Lightly aromatic with some dried pork/bacon notes, a nice floral overlay and some waxy yellow fruits, with a touch of eraser. Rather enthusiastically effervescent, this none the less offers up a lovely blend of fresh yellow berry and lightly plummy fruit, with hints of flowers and a touch of toast. The finish is more yellow plum and berry fruit, with a nice kernel of sweetness on the finale. 87pts
Previously available for $19.99
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6 Ferrari Perle Trento Brut (NV)
Comments: Quite yeasty on the nose with some lovely, pithy citrus fruit notes that recall lime oil. Very fine mousse in the mouth with a touch of sweetness early on then more acid driven flavors of tart apples doused with lemon juice over a nice base of evolved, leery character. Finishes stingily with a return of a sweet edge and nice lifted inner mouth notes of flowers and brioche over a base of orchard fruits. Easy to enjoy and fairly complex and elegant at this price. 89pts
Average price: $24.99 from 9 stores
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7 Gruet Blanc de Blancs (NV)
Comments: Tart pears and apples greet the nose over a bed of fresh yeasty notes and a touch of strawberry cream. On the palate this is citrus at first, gaining nuanced apple and strawberry flavors across the mid palate, all paired with a gentle yeasty character. A hint of creaminess grows on the palate, along with a gentle underlying sweetness that lends this a fruity nature that slips back under the acidity on the finish, a finish which shows a lovely hint of herb and faint red fruit notes. Almost a rose and very good in the style. 87pts
Average price: $15.79 from 9 stores
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8 Laurent-Perrier Champagne Blend Champagne Brut Millésimé (2002)
Comments: This is fine and firm on the nose with chalky aromas, spicy floral and honey notes and a base of spicy, nutty almost meaty notes. This has knife edge balance with rich lemon, almond and apricot flavors early on and a really seductive interplay of acid and sweetness. From the nervous front this flows into a creamy and deeply leesy back end full of subtle cheesy complexity with faint hints of toasty spice. Finishing crisply and firmly if a touch subtle with lemon and mineral flavors, this is a beautiful expression of Champagne. 93pts
Average price: $76.69 from 1 store
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9 Pol Roger Champagne Blend Champagne Extra Cuvée de Réserve Brut (NV)
Comments: Complex on the nose with layers of blanched and raw nuts, white mushroom, grass, pineapple, lime and almond nougat with a hint of flintiness. A little sweet one entry, this is rich and creamy with a lovely lushness to it and early apricot fruit. The acidity pops on the back end, bringing the pineapple and lemon fruit flavors to the fore. The finish is subtle and long, spicy with a tangy minerality. I like this very much. 92pts
Average price: $40.89 from 8 stores
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10 Brut Reserve Champagne By Piper & Charles Heidsieck (NV)
Comments: Floral and cheesy/leesy on the nose this also shows off wonderfully fresh lemon fruit. Firm and super clean on the palate, this is clear as a bell with fine pithy lemon fruit over gentle but well-delineated almond, wildflower and citrusy flavors. This really pops on the finish where the flavors gain height in the mouth and depth. The finish is really quite long and driven by the fine citrus fruit here. A wine with a distinct purity about it. 93pts
Average price: $67.99 from 6 stores
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  • 81366West End Wine Snob I am surprised that not even one of the outstanding Italian Sparkling Wines made it on to this list. I would have included one of their finer Spumantes, or the wine we celebrated this Christmas with - Petalo Moscato, Il vino dell Amore.

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