As we’ve noted in earlier articles and reports, California is making sparkling wines that compete well against the international benchmark—Champagne. And new sparkling wine ventures making exciting wines appear with increasing frequency. One of those ventures is Breathless Sparkling Wines in Northern California.
Penny Gadd-Caster makes these wines; she has previously made both still and sparkling wines at Jordan and J Winery in Healdsburg and also makes wine for clients at the custom crush facility Rack & Riddle in Hopland CA, which is where the Breathless sparkling wines are crafted.
Breathless NV Brut North Coast ($25) 89 A blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir aged 12 months on the lees, this is a very easy drinking California sparkler with a creamy palate and light pear and yeast aromas and flavors. Compared to Brut Champagne, this wine is a little sweet but just right as an aperitif drink.
Breathless NV Blanc de Noirs North Coast ($30) 90 Oeil de perdrix color with an abundant, fine mousse. This 100% Pinot Noir is one of California’s better Brut de Noir sparkling wines, with the perfect dosage for the American palate—neither bone dry nor sticky sweet. The mouth feel is what wins us over—it’s super creamy, well balanced with good acidity and minerals and light red cherry skin and fresh bread notes. Aged 30 months on the lees.
Mike Potashnik & Don Winkler