Ratings & Reviews

Non Vintage Brut Excellence

Wine Spectator

Rating: Smart Buys

"A delightfully racy sparkler, with tart apple and floral anise aromas leading to zesty lime and lemon flavors, presenting accents of cinnamon and spicy ginger."

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Wine Enthusiast

Rating:

"This lovely Mendocino sparkler, crafted from two-thirds Chardonnay and one-third Pinot Noir, has lilting apple and honey aromas buoyed by a thick head of mousse. There is a pleasing follow-through from aroma to flavor and a core of ripe apple. Dry, soft with a long finish, this is a hard-to-resist food-friendly wine ready to pair widely."

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Wine Enthusiast

Rating:

"A blend of two-thirds Chardonnay and one-third Pinot Noir, this emits an inviting whiff of caramel apple. On the palate, the frothy mousse is dry and balanced."

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Wine Spectator

Rating: Top Value

"Crisp and lively, offering appealing cinnamon, apple and ginger aromas, with supple citrus, toffee and spice flavors."

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The New York Times

Rating: Best Value

"Balanced and graceful with lingering rich, creamy, toasty flavors. It showed restrained power and finesse."

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Wine Spectator

Rating: Smart Buy

"Bright aromas of green apple and lime lead to vibrant, layered flavors of citrus, anise and creamy vanilla."

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Wine Enthusiast

Rating:

"A delicious Chardonnay and Pinot Noir blend from coolly grown Mendocino grapes that is equal parts golden apple and honey in both aroma and flavor. Creamy from full malolactic fermentation, this sparkler is full-bodied and plenty fruity with a caramel, vanilla tone on the finish. Will pair well with creamy, full-bodied foods."

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The Tasting Panel

Rating:

"Rich, inviting, smooth, with decidedly ripe appley and light mineral flavors; generous aftertaste."

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Washington Post

Rating:

A recommended good producer

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Wine Enthusiast

Rating:

Bargain Sparkler: "Great price for a brut this classically structured. Made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, it's dry and crisp, with a fine mousse that gives it a creamy smooth mouthfeel. The pineapple, raspberry and vanilla flavors are delicious."

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San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition

January 2010

Rating: Gold medal

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Food & Wine

December 2009

Rating:

"Apple and fennel flavored"

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Wine & Spirits

Rating: 90 points, Best Buy

"This is a pale, dry sparkling wine with a robust pinot noir scent. The yeastiness leaves an impression of smoky richness, with a stony mineral note."

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San Francisco Chronicle

Rating:

"Tex Sawyer's Pinot-dominant blend has a softness and ripe tree fruit flavors that define the Scharffenberger style, but the berry and orange highlights, toasty accents and high-acid precision are a sign of a more anchored, gastronomic wine."

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Wine Spectator

Rating: 88 points, A Top Val

"Fresh and easygoing, with aromas of green apple and fennel and crisp, lively citrus, mineral and toasty vanilla flavors that finish on a creamy note."

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Quarterly Review of Wines

September 01, 2009

Rating: Bubbly of the Quarte

"Scharffenberger Cellars Brut Non-Vintage ... is steely in color, with tight bubble activity, fetching brioche and pastry flavors, along with a creamy and engaging finish. The price is equally engaging."

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Press Democrat

Rating:

"Yeasty, nutty, with notes of vanilla, crème brulee and brioche. Aromas of cherry and plum. Rich and full-bodied."

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Wine Enthusiast

July 2009

Rating: Editors'

A value sparkler for summer sipping

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Consumer Reports

January 2009

Rating: A Bargain Bubbly

"Fruity, toasty..."

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Wine Enthusiast

Rating: 91 points, Editors'

"This is a beautiful brut, easily worth its price. It shows the fancy elegance of more expensive bubblies, with its refined texture and rich but subtle flavors of strawberries, peaches and brioche. Made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and easy to find, with 25,000 cases produced."

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Wine Spectator

Rating: 88 points

A recommended sparkling wine for New Year's Eve

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Washington Post

Rating: 2 Stars (Excellent)

"Arguably the best value in California sparkling wine. It is neither the best nor the cheapest. But it combines champagnelike quality with a budget price (it is often on sale for about $15) and so offers great bada bing for the buck."

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San Francisco Chronicle

Rating: 2.5 Stars (Good-Exce

"Scharffenberger's wines keep getting better. Crisp and lively, with mushroom, toast and touch of fino sherry with a hint of brulee on the nose. Some plum skin and berry lift the palate."

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Food & Wine

December 2008

Rating: A "Great, Affordable

"A blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, this California Brut is creamy and full-bodied with tropical flavors."

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Wine Spectator

Rating: 88 points

"Appealing for its sleek sense of focus and proportion. Nutty and spicy aromas blend with citrus and green apple, then open to zesty baked pear and lemon zest flavors."

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Wine Enthusiast

Rating: 90 Points, Editor's

"This lovely brut offers real Champagne-like finesse. It’s rich and dry, with yeasty flavors of pineapples, lemon chiffon and raspberries. The mousse is creamy and smooth. This polished bubbly will develop with five years of cellaring."

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Fort Collins Colorodoan

Rating:

Recommended U.S. sparkling wine

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Wall Street Journal

Rating: Recommended

"$15 to $25. At this price range, we'd look for California bubbly: Scharffenberger Cellars..."

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Wine News

December 2007

Rating: 92 Points

"Fresh aromas of butterscotch and croissant with yeasty, buttery notes. Bright peach and apricot flavors with a green apple tartness. Fresh, steely close with a mix of lemon drop and minerals."

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Shop Smart from Consumer Reports

December 2007

Rating: A Smart Pick

The editors recommended Scharffenberger Cellars NV Brut in their tasting of bubbly for $20 or less. They said it paired well with savory appetizers and seafood.

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San Francisco Chronicle

Rating: Recommended

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The Examiner, San Francisco

Rating: Recommended Anderson

"[T]he wine has remained tried and true and for the money — you cannot ask for a better sparkling wine made in California. Delicate and a little bit yeasty with vanilla, almond cream and briochelike flavors, keep this in mind for holiday celebrations."

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Food & Wine

November 2007

Rating: Recommended

"California sparkling wine is a great match with any crisp, salty, fried appetizer...This green-appley bottling is especially refreshing."

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Dallas Morning News

Rating: Recommended for Sush

"This elegant blend of two-thirds pinot noir and one-third chardonnay melds red-fruit richness with classic chardonnay tropical fruit for a balanced, fruit-forward sparkler. Its cleansing character and dry finish made it a match with the tuna and yellowtail as well as with sushi rolls coated in sesame seeds. 'The toasted, nutty character of the wine is a good complement to the toasted sesame seeds,' Mr. Wardlow said. Mr. Pinnell noted that it cuts through pickled ginger very nicely."

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Food Arts

Rating:

Sommelier Steve Hua, NobHill, MGM Grand, of Las Vegas recommends Scharffenberger Cellars NV Brut.

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Orange County Fair Wine Competition

January 01, 2007

Rating: Silver Medal

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Monterey Wine Competition

2007

Rating: Gold Medal

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Wall Street Journal

Rating: Very Good, Best of T

"Most notable was our old friend Scharffenberger, which was the clear best of tasting, with interesting layers of taste, some complexity and an intricate melding of bubbles and wine...Best of tasting. Classy, with true, clean tastes of minerals, toast and ripe grapefruit. Nutty, with a slightly buttery finish that's quite luscious and lasts."

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USA Today

Rating: Recommended sparklin

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San Francisco Chronicle

December 01, 2006

Rating: 2 Stars

"The goal of Scharffenberger winemaker Tex Sawyer is to craft drink-now wines, and the two-thirds Pinot Noir composition highlights freshness over its ability to age. Another woodsy nose, with sharp apple, red fruit and lemon. Very, very precise on the palate, to the point you wish it had a bit more breadth."

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Sunset

Rating: Recommended

"John Scharffenberger, of chocolate fame, started--then later sold--this gem of a winery in California's cool Anderson Valley. This one is light, fresh, and frothy."

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Wine Enthusiast

Rating: 91 Points

"Here's a polished, elegant wine, very dry, with delicate flavors of citrus rind, bread dough and yeast, toast and vanilla. It has a lightness and charm on the palate that make it irresistible."

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Wine Spectator

Rating: Recommended Sparklin

"Distinctive for its baked pear, orange zest and spice notes. Crisp apple and lemon flavors blend nicely, adding richness on the finish."

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Wine & Spirits

December 2005

Rating: 100 Best Values of t

"Yeasty and dry in style, this emphasizes broad richness of flavor. It gives a soft, round impression, then ends integrated and clean. Serve with roast veal in a light cream sauce."

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Wine News

January 2005

Rating: 89 Points - A Best V

"Pale gold hue with ribbons of small bubbles. Rich aromas of apple, ginger, bread dough and a subtle whiff of oxidation. Berry flavors of green apple, banana and roasted grains. Dry close."

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Non Vintage Brut Rosé Excellence

Wine Enthusiast

Rating:

"A majority Pinot Noir (54%), this brut rosé has a healthy head of mousse followed by succulent strawberry flavor, bright acidity and a smooth finish. Dark golden-peach in color, it is layered and well-made, and a great value for the quality."

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Sunset Magazine

April 2013

Rating: Gold Medal

BEST in CLASS and 2013 Sunset International Wine Competition Gold Medal winner

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California Style Weddings

April 2013

Rating:

"I can't think of another CA sparkler that does what Scharffenberger is doing."

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Wine Spectator

Rating: Top Value

Smart Buy-"Sleek, with pinpoint focus, this offers raspberry and butter cookie aromas, with crisp, elegant citrus and cherry flavors marked by ginger and spice."

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Wine Enthusiast

Rating:

"Resplendent in aromas and flavors of peach and strawberry, this sparkler is a stunner, with creamy mousse, medium body and bright acidity."

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Sunset Magazine

July 19, 2012

Rating:

2012 Sunset International Wine Competition Silver Medal winner

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Wine Spectator

Rating:

"Impeccably dry, with a delicate salmon hue and aromas of spicy strawberry and lime. Flavors are vibrant and crisp, showing notes of watermelon and graham cracker."

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Wine Enthusiast

Rating:

"This nonvintage 54% Pinot Noir- 46% Chardonnay sparkler is as good as ever, a beautiful peach color with peach and strawberry aromas and flavors that are not too overpowering, not too subtle, just right. The creamy mousse, medium body and bright acidity make it a stunner with food. Bring on the goat cheese fritters or tempura."

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Miami Herald

Rating: Recommended

"Salmon hue, big bubbles, aromas and flavors of red raspberries, firm structure"

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San Francisco Chronicle

December 05, 2010

Rating: Top 100 Wines of 201

Top 100 Wines of 2010: "Scharffenberger's regular Brut is a standout, but winemaker Tex Sawyer again leaves an impression with the pink version, its richer tones bolstered by 46 percent Chardonnay. With fresh apple and creamy strawberry, plus a pastry-cream richness and a subtle bead. A proper bubbly for the whole meal."

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San Francisco Chronicle

Rating: Recommended for Than

"Scharffenberger's regular Brut is better than ever, but with this rosé version winemaker Tex Sawyer leaves his true mark. Forty-six percent Chardonnay shows itself, with a fresh apple note atop creamy strawberry, plus a pastry-cream richness and a softer, subtle bead. Ever more, this is proper food bubbly - eloquent and well executed."

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San Francisco Chronicle

Rating: A Top 100 Wine of 20

"Longtime winemaker Tex Sawyer has been pointing this venerable California name in an excellent direction. This year he's unveiled an elegant rosé that's a pure delight. ...It bursts with fresh strawberry and peach, zingy citrus and a pastry-like opulence."

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Wine & Spirits

Rating: 90 points

"An elegant wine with tart and juicy sour cherry flavors, this has the full fatness of ripe California fruit. Yet it's harmonious, not aggressive, a finely balanced sparkler for duck meatballs."

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Wine Spectator

Rating: 88 points, A Califor

"Festive and lively, with aromas of rose petal, raspberry and graham cracker and luscious strawberry and cream flavors that finish on a crisp mineral note."

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Quarterly Review of Wines

September 01, 2009

Rating: Bubbly of the Quarte

"Scharffenberger Cellars Brut Rosé Non-Vintage, ... a new release, was the best non-vintage surprise of the tasting because we have not been impressed with many California Rosés (vintage or non-vintage) in past tastings. Winemaker Sawyer has not made a Rosé for several years, but decided the current fruit crop warranted one. The result is delicious. Pink-salmon color, with strawberry/raspberry aromas, fresh, firm flavors of bread and pastry, with buoyant fruitiness and finish."

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San Francisco Chronicle

Rating:

"Salmon-colored, with fresh strawberry and peach, and a pastry-dough richness. But plenty of bright citrus and a mineral bounce that lifts its distinct fruit. Elegant stuff."

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Winery

San Francisco Chronicle

Rating:

"Scharffenberger... has also returned to fine form. If the wines of corporate sibling Roederer Estate glance across the water toward Reims, the Scharffenberger wines are unabashedly Californian, with a softer profile (from full malolactic fermentation) and more distinctly ripe fruit. Not only has longtime winemaker Tex Sawyer given the standard brut extra finesse, but the house this year also unveiled a serious rosé."

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San Francisco Chronicle

Rating: Two Stars (Good)

"The experience: The staff person at the tasting room was very knowledgeable about the winery and the history of the area. She pointed out that the brut's composition of two-thirds Pinot Noir and one-third Chardonnay was the opposite of Roederer's, which is made in the French style. We were regaled with tales of the valley's winemaking past, including the days when nearby Greenwood Road was called Vinegar Ridge because locals would go there during Prohibition to buy 'vinegar' from Italians who grew grapes there."

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Wall Street Journal

Rating:

One of the producers that has "helped to set a standard for sparkling wine that is very good and fairly widely available"

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Scharffenberger Cellars

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