Reviews: Our Favorite Sparkling Wines for 2021

For our latest wine panel of 2021, we asked panelists to taste and rate sparkling wines. Fall season is the time that beverage alcohol retailers start submitting their bubbly orders ahead of the holiday push.

As always, these selections include brief tasting notes, a rating and the wine’s retail price (which varies from store to store and market to market). If you’re a retail beverage professional who would like to learn about participating in our panel, contact Editor Kyle Swartz at

Rating System

Five Stars (100-92): A top-flight wine, superior in taste and character, and providing a superior price/value ratio.

Four Stars (91-86): A very good wine and an excellent value. A wine for which customers will keep coming back.

Five Star Wines

(96) Herdade de Rocim Mariana NV (Portugal)

This blanc de blancs, produced from the arinto grape variety, is clean, elegant and focused. A great aperitif wine. Perfect match for shellfish and other seafood, as well as poultry. Certified as organic and vegan. An outstanding price/quality ratio. ($18.50)

(95) Campolargo Espumante Bruto Rosé 2017 (Portugal)

This 100% Pinot Noir rosé, shines in the glass with a delicate salmon hue. The nose is primarily red fruit, with hints of spice from the extended aging. The finish is well balanced, and tapers off with notes of lovely baked fruit. ($28)

(95) Piper-Sonoma Brut Reserve NV (CA)

Piper-Sonoma is one of the very first wineries where a Champagne house decided that California could provide the conditions for world-class sparkling-wine production. The reserve is a prime example of how correct they were. Mostly chardonnay, the partial fermentation in barrel adds complexity to the nose and palate. The tree fruit and subtle spice elements are an integral component of the long and luxurious finish. ($25)

(95) Dr. Konstanin Frank Brut 2017 (NY)

This pioneering upstate New York winery is famous for planting some of the more esoteric wine varieties. This sparkler is produced, however, from the traditional champagne varieties. Extended aging provides complexity, as well as finesse. Bright and clean on the nose and palate, the finish is exceptionally long and balanced. ($24.99)

(94) Domaine Carneros Brut Cuvée (CA)

A small majority of pinot noir adds depth and body to this lovely, balanced Carneros sparkler. Chardonnay and a touch of pinot gris provide brightness, and a touch of balance. Wonderfully food friendly, the fruit and touch of spice propel the wine to another level of quality. ($36.99)

(94) Gruet Blanc de Noirs NV (NM)

Gruet is one the great “surprise” wines. Who would have thought that a superb sparkling wine could be produced in New Mexico? For any skeptics, the Gruet Blanc de Noirs should be a revelation. Lightly spiced red fruit on the nose and palate showcase the pinot noir used to make up the cuvée, and the wine’s focus can be traced to the chardonnay component. A great value and dependable producer make this a real must-buy. ($16.99)

(94) Trouillard Brut NV (France)

Born from 100% estate fruit, this stunning wine flies under the radar of the big-name bubbles. An alluring nose of fresh peach, kiwi and baked brioche grabs your attention as arousing flavors of candied lemon, poached pear and buttered toast are released from their bubbles, giving way to a long, silky finish. One would be wise to seek out this hidden gem. ($34.99)

(94) Marie de Moy Grand Cru Champagne (France)

A striking wine that screams minerality and power that opens to smooth, toasty and rich flavors. The zesty initial energy melds into peach and apple fruit notes with nice structure. ($51.99)

(94) Antica Fratta Franciacorta Brut Chardonnay and Pinot Noir (Italy)

White flower and stone fruit with a hint of almond. Pear and white peach along with a hint of citrus complete the package. Traditional method as always, and an excellent example from Lombardy. ($39.95)

(93) Ferrari Brut Trentodoc NV (Italy)

Produced in northeast Italy, this chardonnay-based sparkling wine demonstrates what the mountainous region of Trentino contributes, in terms of flavor and elegance. Nearly two years of bottle aging provide complexity, and contribute to the long, delicious and balanced finish. ($26.99)

(93) Santa Julia Blanc de Blancs NV (Argentina)

Produced from 100% organic chardonnay grapes, the fruit is preserved by using the charmat fermentation and careful aging. A pale gold in the glass, the nose is dominated by tree fruit, with touches of spice. The finish mirrors the palate, with plenty of fruit, and elegant effervescence. ($14)

(93) Marie de Moy Premier Cru Champagne (France)

An impressive white flower- and pear-laden nose that is fun and deep. The crackling texture lights up the pear/citrus fruity palate and drives from first sip to the crisp finish. ($48.99)

(93) Marie de Moy Rosé Champagne (France)

Bright floral and cherry aromas jump out of the glass while the red fruit is complemented by stone fruit and a touch of spice on the finish. As the wine opens, the smooth fruit melts more and more into the energetic texture. ($49.99)

(93) Marie de Moy Blanc de Blanc Champagne (France)

Elegant with a toasty vein that runs through the layers of ripe apple and pear flavors. From start to finish the wine is dynamic, velvet-textured and powerful with acidity that dances across your tongue. ($49.99)

(92) Colligny Pere & Fils Brut Champagne (France)

Bright with fine bubbles and ripe apple notes that are complex and give this champagne a smoothness. The zesty acidity pushes energy into the velvety texture and gives a finish that delivers. ($24.99)

(92) Colligny Pere & Fils Rosé Champagne (France)

Light, delicate strawberry flavors are laced into this champagne and give it character. The fun bubbles, green apple and peach blossom notes provide a nice canvas and elegance for the ever-present, distinct red fruit layers. ($24.99)

(92) Borrasca Premium Cuvee (France)

Big flavored and smooth, with ripe toasty green apple notes all over the nose and palate. This wine is ambitious and delivers a full finish that continues on for quite a long time. ($24.99)

(92) Borrasca Premium Cuvee Rosé (France)

Full, rich and approachable, this elevated rosé shines with light raspberry and juicy cherry notes. The mouthfeel is fun and smooth, with a balanced acidity binding everything together. ($24.99)

(92) Colmant Brut Reserve NV (South Africa)

A great place to look for sparkling wines that gets overlooked is South Africa. What a shame. Starting with an enticing nose of exotic fruits and toast. A frothy mouthful of dried mango, ripe apple and pear flavors shine through on the long, luxurious finish. A wonderful wine worth seeking out. ($34.99)

(92) Chanoine Heritage Cuvée Brut Grande Reserve Champagne (France)

Powerful and balanced, this pinot noir-heavy blend has hints of cherry and sweet spice on the nose. The rich fruit flavors are backed by a good acidity to provide a zip and snap to the finish. ($38.99)

(92) Duntze Brut Reserve Champagne (France)

Smooth and rich pear and golden apple flavors are prominent all over this powerful wine. A beautiful floral nose and white pepper element on the finish give this wine layers and layers. ($36.99)

(92) Marie de Moy Brut Champagne (France)

Zesty and ripe, with green apple and a coating of honeysuckle in the background. The acidity, texture and bubbles grip the inside of your cheeks while the fruit notes power on to the outstanding finish. ($46.99)

(92) Mionetto Prosecco Rosé DOC 2020 (Italy)

Rosé prosecco is a new category approved by the Consorzio. In this case, the 10% pinot noir is fermented in the same method of the glera, which makes up the balance of the wine. The Mionetto rosé enjoys clean and bright fruit, more fresh than baked. The fruit dominates the palate, as well as the lingering, clean finish. ($15)

(91) Poema Cava Dulce NV (Spain)

Pale golden color. Ripe green apple and hints of banana on the nose. Honeyed apricots, peaches and other dried fruits on the palate. Nice and balanced, with a touch of dryness on the moderate finish. Enjoy with funky cheeses, chocolates and other desserts. ($11)

(91) Schramsberg Mirabelle Brut, North Coast Sparkling Wine (CA)

A sparkling wine with great body. Just a touch of biscuit notes on the body, almost a touch of a savory quality, solid acidity. Can be enjoyed with or without food. Traditional method. ($31)

(91) Cleto Chiarli Centenario Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro DOC Amabile (Italy)

Dark-grape purple in color, easy light bubbles, fresh flavors. This is a touch sweet (Amabile) and a perfect pairing with spicy food or charcuterie. This is really balanced between the sweetness and the acidity; makes you wonder why you don’t drink more of this with dinner. ($14)

(91) Decoy Brut Cuvee (CA)

This debut offering pretty much completes the overall Duckhorn portfolio — what bridge have they not crossed? Expanding their horizons one more time, they use the time-proven success for the shared winemaking teams and shared sourcing from prime site all over California. Classic blend of 49% pinot noir, 47% chardonnay and 4% pinot meunier. Vinified in the methode champenoise. Final dosage is French oak barrel-fermented Napa chardonnay for a final elegant touch. Toasted apple, pear, citrus and yeast dominate the nose. Good acidity with a hint of sweetness. Exceptional value for this category. ($27.99)

Four Star Wines

(90) Juve & Camps Gran Reserva Brut Cava 2017 (Spain)

Fresh and vibrant with aromas of peach blossom and green apple. Generous notes of guava and citrus zest dance on the palate. A great value from Spain ($19.99)

(90) Borrasca Brut Cava (Spain)

A bright, fun wine, with green apple and citrus from top to bottom that gives the wine energy. A toasty round mouthfeel carries the fruit from the mid-palate to the finish. ($9.99)

(90) La Vostra Prosecco Rosé (Italy)

Slight cherry and strawberry notes on the nose and palate drive this plush sparkler. Sweet, ripe peach flavor and a zesty character give this wine structure and fun. ($10.99)

(90) La Vostra Prosecco (Italy)

Peach and slight honey aromas become flavors on the palate, along with a nice green apple note that brightens the wine. Approachable and round, with an easy-to-enjoy, smooth, bubbly texture. ($10.99)

(90) ReaLuna Prosecco (Italy)

Round with peach and lychee notes covering all facets of this wine. The sweet fruit and smooth mouthfeel are complementary, and stood up by the energetic bubbles that make it even more fun. ($10.99)

(90) ReaLuna Prosecco Frizzante DOC (Italy)

A bright wine packed with peachy mango aromas and flavors. A slight sweetness makes this fizzy wine approachable and brings a balance to the fruity overload. ($10.99)

(90) Depreville Brut (France)

Toasty with white flowers and bright green apple notes that are prominent and make this wine pop. The value is in the smooth mouthfeel that lets the fruit outshine everything else. ($11.99)

(90) Depreville Rosé (France)

A bright strawberry aroma and taste is well integrated into this smooth sparkler. The wine is fun, and opens with red fruit and some citrus notes driving it from beginning to end. ($11.99)

(90) Cruse Brut (France)

An easy-drinking sparkling wine that has nice pear notes. All the acidity and smooth texture serves to brighten it. Easy and light, the bubbles are nice and peppy, giving this wine energy. ($10.49)

(90) Cruse Rosé (France)

Light with bubbles that lift cherry and raspberry notes, making the wine more fun. An approachable sparkler that overdelivers, embracing the rosé notes to the fullest. ($10.99/0

(90) Bisol Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Brut 2018 (Italy)

This is a super special prosecco. Fine bubbles, great aromatics, with lots of vibrant green apple on the palate. Long finish. ($20)

(90) Andre Delorme Blanc De Blance Chardonnay Burgundy NV Brut Reserve (France)

Fresh, brisk and a lovely mousse with light citrus and apple overtones.  A touch of almond and serve all your friends.  You can afford it! ($12)

(90) Perelada Cava Brut Garnacha Trepat and Pinot NV (Spain)

Luscious berries with plenty of mineral support from the trepat create a wonderful wine for tapas or dessert. Try it with a raspberry tiramisu! ($16.95)

(86) Saint-Hilare Blanquette de Limoux Brut Estate Bottled 2019 (France)

Fresh aromatics, creamy mouthfeel, almost savory, with a long finish. A great partner to a first course. ($14)


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