While it’s always best to drink non-vintage sparkling wines within a year or two of release, I have a feeling this bottle was lost on a store shelf somewhere before I bought it – but it turned out to be wonderful. While recognizably slightly more aged than I expected, the wine had only improved. The yeast was toasted in the aroma. A great honeyed quality arose in both aroma and flavor as soon as the wine warmed up a bit. On the palate, there was a touch of creaminess and some peach-skin fruit, yet it was very refreshing. The finish was lemony-citric with some tannins too.

Drink as an aperitif, or with light dishes including plain meats and simple vegetable preparations.

Highly recommended: 91 – Becky Sue Epstein

WHO: Piper Sonoma

WHAT: 60% chardonnay, 25% pinot meunier, 15% pinot noir

WHERE: Sonoma County, California

HOW MUCH: $16 (average)

 

About The Author

Becky Sue Epstein
International Editor

Becky Sue Epstein is Palate Press’s International Editor. An experienced writer, editor, broadcaster, and consultant in the fields of wine, spirits, food, and travel, her work has appeared in many national and international publications including Intermezzo Magazine, Fine Wine & Liquor, Art & Antiques, Luxury Golf & Travel, Food + Wine, www.wine-pages.com and Wine Spectator. She began her career as a restaurant reviewer for the Los Angeles Times while working in film and television. Epstein is also the author of several books on wine, spirits, and food, including Champagne: A Global History; Brandy: A Global History, and Strong, Sweet and Dry: A Guide to Vermouth, Port, Sherry, Madeira, and Marsala.

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