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NV Sophora Sparkling Rose 

New Zealand

Retail $19

New Zealand doesn't make much sparkling wine and not much of what it does make reaches the U.S. This sparkling rose is crafted from chardonnay (52 percent) and pinot noir (48 percent) fruit grown along the North Island's east coast in the Gisborne and Hawke's Bay regions, both of which began grape cultivation in the 1850s. Both areas get abundant sunshine and cooling breezes from the Pacific Ocean. The juice is gently separated from the skins and undergoes full malolactic fermentation, staying in constant contact with yeast lees to build the wine's texture. The cuvee base wines are blended, and sugar and yeast are added to produce the sparkling wine's effervesence. The bottled wine is stored in a temperature-controlled cellar for six to eight weeks, and the cuvee matures on its lees in the bottle for a year or more before yeast is removed. In the glass, it offers aromas of ripe red fruit, floral notes and a hint of orange rind. On the palate, taste strawberry and touches of pink grapefruit and cranberry. Drink it with canapes, brunch, barbecue, roast or fried fowl, ham, mild cheeses, desserts and salty snacks. Buy it at: Philippe's Wine Cellar.

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