Taste Test: Sparkling Red Wines - Imbibe Magazine Subscribe + Save

Taste Test: Sparkling Red Wines

Despite its relative underdog status compared to sparkling whites and rosés, sparkling red wines are made in nearly every major wine-producing country, from Australia to Slovenia. Lambrusco—local to Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region and long dismissed as “pizza wine” (and what’s wrong with that?)—is perhaps the most famous of the bunch, but the options don’t end there. Here’s a roundup of some of our fizzy red favorites to get you started.

Cantina Furlani, ‘Rosso’ Frizzante 2019 There’s a reason bottles by Matteo Furlani fly off shelves. The fourth-generation winemaker works in Trento in northern Italy and applies biodynamic principles to the tiny parcels of vines he tends. Made from a blend of Tyroldego, Marzemino, Turca, and Negrara grapes, this wine undergoes spontaneous fermentation in steel and is then re-fermented in the bottle. Bursting with juicy cherry and tropical fruit flavors, petite bubbles, and a finish that leans toward savory, it’s a surefire crowd-pleaser. $32, biondivino.com

Kabaj, San Lurinz ‘Corvus’ 2019 Producing grapes in Slovenia’s Goriška Brda, the country’s most famous wine appellation, Kabaj released its first vintage in 1993. Today, all Kabaj wines from French-born enologist Jean Michel Morel rely on native yeasts and are produced in coordination with lunar cycles. The lovely, dry San Lurinz ‘Corvus,’ named for the constellation, is an irresistible blend of 80 percent Pinot Noir combined with Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. This unfiltered pét-nat is flush with fruit punch and tart cherry flavors delivered via a luscious foam, ultimately rounding out into a mineral-rich palate cleanser. $33.99, seagrapewines.com

Martha Stoumen x Las Jaras, ‘Collaboration’ 2019 We love to see winemakers combine their talents, and this bottle from California-based producers Martha Stoumen and Las Jaras gets at the joyful heart of teamwork. For the second vintage of their ‘Collaboration’ wine, inspired by natural Lambrusco, the winemakers selected a small crop of Valdiguiéfrom 70-year-old dry-farmed, organic vines. This bright bottle of bubbles gives off light aromas of honeysuckle and herbs and delivers a crisp, pomegranate- tart taste with a lightly spiced finish. $45, marthastoumen.com

Old World Winery, Early Harvest Sparkling Abouriou 2017 Hailing from Sonoma County’s small, family-owned Old World Winery—where fourth-generation winemaker Darek Trowbridge follows biodynamic and dry farming practices and handpicks and foot stomps his grapes—this exquisite red features 100 percent Abouriou, a rare, heirloom varietal. Oxblood in color, the wine features a dry body and juicy flavors of rhubarb and red currants with earthy undertones, and its pinpoint carbonation carries a flick of salinity to finish each sip. $35, oldworldwinery.com

Patrice Colin, ‘Perles Rouges’ Gamay Noir Using 100 percent Gamay Noir grown in the Loire Valley’s Coteaux du Vendômois appellation, eighth-generation winemaker Patrice Colin crafts this frothy pét-nat from 35-year-old vines farmed in his organic vineyard. Given one fermentation in-bottle, the earthy red wine balances wild strawberry notes with a savory, smoky character, and hits of salinity. $22.85, championwinecellars.com

Poderi Cellario, ‘il Barrusco’ Rosso Frizzante 2020 A striking, inky shade of purple, this pét-nat from Piedmont’s organic Poderi Cellario is a blend of the region’s native Neretta grape alongside Barbera and Dolcetto. With a light-hearted ABV of 11.5 percent, ‘il Barrusco’ (translation: “the rough and tumble”) is a Lambrusco-adjacent fizzer with whiffs of a bready, lightly floral foam. This rustic wine from vignerons Fausto and Cinzia Cellari is fermented solely with indigenous yeast and delivers a precise balance between spicy, savory flavors, and quaffable, fruity ones. $21, leonandsonwine.com

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