Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards was established in 1986 making it the first sparkling wine house in the Carneros region of Sonoma County. The Gloria Ferrer vineyards, which were actually planted in 1982 and encompass 335 acres, are planted with mostly Pinot Noir grapes along with a handful of Chardonnay. The Ferrer’s have been growing grapes since the 1500s and are the family behind La Freixeneda (producers of Freixenet Cava) in Catalonia, Spain. Their goal is to bring their Spanish wine growing knowledge and tradition into the Gloria Ferrer wines. Gloria Ferrer Winery was among the first in California to implement the Code of Sustainable Winegrowing Practices according to our Gloria Ferrer wine guide. Their portfolio of wines includes 9 sparkling options, ranging from the value Blanc de Blancs and Blanc de Noirs up to their top tier Carneros Cuvee, and over a half a dozen still wines also made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Both the sparkling and still wines consistently receive high ratings in our Wine Enthusiast Gloria Ferrer ratings.
Royal Cuvée is usually Gloria Ferrer’s best bubbly, and so it is with this bottling, a worthy followup to the past several vintages. Very finely structured, it shows appealing flavors of cherries, citrus fruits and vanilla, and is so rich, it’s almost like a table wine. Addictively good now. Watch it change as it warms in the glass.
A luscious and superior California bubbly, this blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay shows an irresistable richness of raspberry purée, cherry skin bitterness, vanilla, yeasty baked bread and something unidentifiably smoky-sweet. Yet it’s bone dry. With a long, complex finish, it should continue to age beyond this, its tenth birthday.
Great Carneros Pinot. Fabulously ripe fruity flavors range from raspberries through cherries and currants, sprinkled with cinnamon and nutmeg. Sweet and earthy, like espresso with brown sugar. Totally dry, and silky all the way down.
Held back for eight years, this wine tastes like it was bottled yesterday. It’s fresh and doughy, with lime and vanilla flavors; the bubbles are still fierce, as are the acids. It’s a clean, lean machine of a sparkler, elegant now, but should age flawlessly for years to come.
The ’96 Royal Cuvée has provided years of excellent drinking, and so will this worthy followup. It’s a rich, complex bubbly, two-thirds Pinot Noir and the rest Chardonnay, with full-bodied cherry vanilla, egg custard, yeast, smoke and spice flavors. The tension between the creamy texture and the high acidity is really interesting.
Made primarily from Pinot Noir with a little Chardonnay, this has a subtle color of the first blush on a peach, and is fragrant and delicious. The fruit flavors of raspberries and cherries have a lime tinge, and the finish is dry and impressively long. Really easy to like, just filled with charm and finesse.
Manages to find a resemblance to Champagne in its toast and chalk-dust aromas allied to lime fruit. The fine bead and creamy mousse result in a lush, silky mouthfeel that’s very California-ripe but flows seamlessly into a long finish. Fine texture and excellent balance mark this as one of California’s best sparklers.