Summer is officially here, and it’s already brought some rather hot and humid days. But what better way to escape the heat than with a bottle of bubbly on ice? To help, we’ve picked some of our favorite bottles from the United States, France, Germany and Italy you’ll want to have on hand for the summer months.
Von Buhl 2015 Riesling Brut Sekt Sparkling (Pfalz); $45, 94 points. Delicate biscuit and brioche accent concentrated yellow apple and pear in this dazzling Riesling sekt. Made in the traditional method, its petillance is fine and persistent, filling the palate with a rich but yielding mousse. Racy lime and lemon acidity guides a piercing finish. The finish is exceptionally long, lingering with a silken honeyed cling. Editors’ Choice.—Anna Lee C. Iijima
Casa Setaro 2014 Metodo Classico Caprettone (Vino Spumante); $22, 93 points. Made with the native grape of the same name, this enticing sparkler from Campania opens with delicate, intriguing scents of spring wild flower, citrus and white stone fruit. Mirroring the nose, the vibrant palate doles out ripe pear, apple, candied nectarine peel and bread crust framed in bright acidity and small elegant bubbles. Lemon and mineral notes linger on the close.—Kerin O’ Keefe
Domaine Carneros NV Cuvée de la Pompadour Brut Rosé Sparkling (Carneros); $37, 92 points. From estate-grown Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, this sparkler is dry, nutty and spicy, with a creaminess of brioche and baked apple. In the glass it evolves to show high-toned acidity and a freshness of citrus, with grainy texture adding to its complexity.—Virginie Boone
Planeta 2013 Metodo Classico Brut Carricante (Sicilia); $40, 92 points. Made with native grape Carricante, this lovely sparkler offers heady scents of Spanish broom, ripe orchard fruit and Mediterranean scrub. On the fresh, savory palate, notes of tangerine and lemon drop underscore yellow apple and ripe pear set against a refined persistent perlage. Tangy acidity lifts the rich flavors. Palm Bay International.—K.K.
Jean-Noël Haton 2013 Blanc de Blancs Brut (Champagne); $55, 92 points. This spring-flower-perfumed wine is crisp with citrus while having a soft backdrop of ripe apples. It is an intensely textured wine, mineral and zesty. Those elements contrast with the rich fruitiness and good acidity. The wine could be aged longer, and will be better from 2020.—Roger Voss
Liebart-Régnier 2012 Excélia Brut (Champagne); $60, 92 points. This elegant blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay is the top Champagne from this Marne Valley producer. It has a good balance between its acidity and zesty texture. The mineral character along with citrus fruit give this still-young wine aging potential. Drink from 2020.—R.V.
Soter 2013 Mineral Springs Vineyard Brut Rosé Sparkling (Yamhill-Carlton); $65, 92 points. From estate-grown, barrel-fermented grapes, this lovely wine appeals to all the senses. Its sunset hue is striking, as is the fine bead and inviting cherry and cocoa aromas. On the palate, it’s an elegant and sophisticated sparkler with tart cherry fruit and bracing minerality.—Paul Gregutt
Pol Roger NV Réserve Brut (Champagne); $50, 91 points. Pol Roger’s nonvintage cuvée is perfectly in the house style with its great balance and poise between crisp dryness and a softer character. That makes for a very drinkable wine, rich, stylish and ready to drink now.—R.V.
Strange Family Vineyards 2015 Blanc de Blancs Sparkling (Sta. Rita Hills); $55, 90 points. Sourdough aromas meet with preserved lemon and chalk on the nose of this bottling from a newer estate project north of Highway 246. Lemon and grapefruit pith make for a tangy palate, with more yeasty elements reminding of Old World grower bottlings.—Matt Kettmann
Kokomo 2014 Peters Vineyard Blanc de Blancs Sparkling (Sonoma Coast); $58, 90 points. This is an earthy, nutty and dry sparkling wine, made from Chardonnay, that tastes of apple skin and lemon zest. Textured tight acidity buoys the flavors and provides lasting freshness in the glass.—V.B.