Nonvintage wines don’t carry a year on the label, but that doesn’t mean they don’t ever change. We last looked at J Vineyards’ Brut Rose sparkling wine in 2011, and the recipe has been altered just a bit. Today, the wine is composed of 66% Pinot Noir, 33% Chardonnay, and 1% Pinot Meunier, and it is now aged for just two years before release. Residual sugar remains steady at 1.15%.
It remains a standout of the genre — though the price has shot up in recent years — an aromatic and expressive sparkler with notes of fresh berries, florals, and an almond note on the back end, lingering through to the finish. A bit doughy on the back end, it does remind one of Champagne at times. But all told, it’s a wine that is predominantly both brisk and zippy, a classic example of California sparkling at its finest — all fruit and vibrancy and, you know, good vibrations.
A- / $45 / jwine.com