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Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs 

Carneros, California

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Retail $16-20

This award-winning sparkler is a complex and elegant wine from Gloria Ferrer, which was established in Carneros in California by the world's largest sparkling wine producer, Spain's Freixenet. Located across San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge at the southern entrance to Sonoma County, the Carneros AVA provides an ideal terroir for cool-climate grapes. Sun-splashed days, chilly breezes and foggy evenings — thanks to nearby San Pablo Bay — assure the development of the fruit and its balanced acidity. This cuvee from Ferrer's 340-acre estate is a blend of 92 percent pinot noir and 8 percent chardonnay. During the wine's second fermentation, it spent 18 months on its lees. In the glass, it offers bright red berry, apple and light toast aromas. On the palate, one tastes citrus, strawberry, raspberry, cherry, brioche and a touch of vanilla leading to a lingering finish. Drink it by itself or with everything from foie gras to fried chicken. Buy it at: Pearl Wine Co., Vieux Carre Wine and Spirits, Dorignac's, Martin Wine Cellar in Metairie, Acquistapace's Covington Supermarket, Saia's Super Meat Market and some Rouses locations. Drink it at: Hyatt Regency New Orleans, The Roosevelt New Orleans, P.F. Chang's and Cafe Lynn. — BRENDA MAITLAND


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