Scharffenberger Cellars established itself as a sparkling wine producer in the Anderson Valley in 1981--several years before Roederer, a top Champagne producer, explored the West Coast and chose a site right next door for its U.S. operations. In order to expand its vineyards, Roederer recently purchased Scharffenberger, but the wine has maintained its distinctive style and is an excellent representative of California sparkling wine.
Very small and very persistent bubbles--a good sign. Apple and citrus, very fresh and refreshing. Dances lightly on the palate but has a creamy texture and some yeasty, bread dough traits. Good flavor depth and a long finish. We tasted this alongside the very good L. Mawby Talismon Brut, but the Scharffenberger was clearly superior for my taste.
I found the Scharffenberger for $16 at World Market, a great value for a sparkler of this quality.