Domaine Carneros’ latest sparkling wines have hit the market. We received a three-pack of the winery’s most noteworthy new bottlings. Thoughts on each of these expressions follow.
2016 Domaine Carneros Ultra Brut – The minimal dosage on this rare expression hits just 0.5 grams of sugar/liter, making it an absolutely bone dry experience. Notes of brioche and lemon peel are heavy on the attack, with crisp green apple and an almond paste note emerging as the palate picks up steam. The finish is dry and steely to the point where its sharpness stabs at the tongue and cheeks, leading to a powerfully acidic conclusion. A- / $46
2016 Domaine Carneros Brut Rose – 58% pinot noir, 42% chardonnay. One of the main wines I think of when I think of Domaine Carneros. This is, as always, a straightforward pink sparkler, balancing zippy, yeasty fizz with notes of red berries, pink flowers, and a squeeze of lemon atop all of it. Crisp and vibrant, it’s a sparkling rose with absolutely universal appeal. A- / $39
NV Domaine Carneros Brut Rose Cuvee de la Pompadour – This nonvintage version of the Brut Rose offers a slightly sweeter and more earnestly fruit-forward experience, rose petals and strawberry jam all mixed into a slurry of fizzy decadence. It’s not as crisp as the brut rose but there’s still ample acidity to give it a refreshing quality, but it nonetheless works best with dessert. B+ / $39