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New Year's Eve top pick sparkler: Goat Bubbles

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From California's Santa Barbara County, Flying Goat "Goat Bubbles" Blanc de Noirs, Santa Rita Hills, Clos Pepe Vineyard 2010 ($44) is a classically styled (read: French) bubbly with yeasty bread dough on the nose along with apple and pear. It's fresh and clean just like newly washed linen hanging on the line in the bright sun.

Red apple (candied apple?), green pear and fresh cranberry are the dominant flavors with help from preserved lemons and lemon rind, the latter two creating a pleasant bitterness in counterpoint to the fruit component. A broad-shouldered sparkler, it can take on all comers at the appetizer and dining table, plus it has a nice length with a rich and satisfying finish.

Top Sparkler Pick: Flying Goat "Goat Bubbles" Blanc de Noirs, Santa Rita Hills, Clos Pepe Vineyard 2010 ($44).



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