Sips: Enjoying Schramsberg’s superb sparkling rosé

Just before going out to dinner last night, we broke out a bottle of Schramsberg’s 2006 Brut Rosé with friends, and we wereSchramsberg brut rose not disappointed. I’ve become a real Schramsberg fan over the  years  -- the winery’s all-chardonnay Blanc de Blanc is a  favorite --and I would put the Brut Rosé right up there in terms of complex and rewarding sparklers. Pale salmon in color, the wine reveals enticing aromas of bread and citrus. In the mouth, the bubbles are very fine and the tastes include red berry, lemon-lime and an herb touch that gives it an interesting end note. The citrus also lingers as it goes down. The wine is nicely balanced with zippy acidity, which makes it truly refreshing and an excellent companion for food. It matched particularly well with a smoked trout cream spread. The blend is 68 percent pinot noir and 32 percent chardonnay. The grapes come from Carneros, the Anderson Valley and the Sonoma and Marin County coastal areas. Alcohol is 12.6 percent. The suggested price is $41, which isn’t exactly a bargain, but when you think of all those lesser $10-a-glass wines at restaurants and wine bars, it kind of puts things in perspective. Besides, on a clear summer evening with a cool breeze, the wine seemed just perfect for the season.  (Received as a press sample.)

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