Sophora New Zealand Sparkling Cuvée (6)

Sophora New Zealand Sparkling Cuvée 6-Pack
Sold by: Lion Nathan USA Inc
$69.99 $126.00 44% off List Price
NV Sophora Sparkling Cuvée, New Zealand


It was a grand feeling holding both a golden ticket and a wine in a totally new region for me. I’ve not tasted anything from New Zealand before.

Quickly to the kitchen fridge and after 24 hours, popped and poured. A very minimal foam was poured with very very tiny bubbles. The color was striking — i would dare call it white with a blush of pink. It certainly isn’t rose, yet seemed more pink than some blanc de noirs i’ve had. I seem to prefer sparklers with some (or all…) red wine, so this was exciting!

On PnP the nose was full of apple and maybe some apricot with no yeastiness. Lots of the chardonnay peeking out with the crispness.

And we dig in to the taste – it’s nicely bright and apple-y, but buoyed by a fair amount of sweetness. From the distributor’s spec sheet it shows 16g/L of residual sugar, so upper ‘extra dry’. I started with the bottle wrapped in a wine chiller sleeve to keep it cold, and i think this was a mistake. When cold it was good, but pretty straightforward yet didn’t have a long finish. Those tiny bubbles seemed to wash the palate too much. Once warmed up it started to get a much longer finish and added complexity, so keep it closer to cellar temp than refrigerator.

This bottle excels without food. Most of the time we were drinking it was without food. At one point we did try with some fresh cherries and it was great, so it would still pair well with some not-so-sweet fruit based desserts. Lately i’ve been in a Riesling kick, so i could see it being good with some spicy Thai flavors.

Overall, a good bottle of sparkler!


I received this bottle on Thursday and it immediately went into the fridge. I normally drink dry reds with some local finger lakes white wine. I do not drink a lot of champagne except during Buffalo Icewine festival. I took the bottle to a local wine/cider where I knew I could get some additional opinions from the proprietor. Here are the notes:
Color: salmon golden color with a very nice sheen. The color reminded me of Christmas tree baubles

Smell: Initial: citrus, lemons with a slightly yeasty smell. It was not overwhelmingly yeasty as some champagnes. In terms of fruit: strawberry and overripe peach skin. As the wine sat in the glass, honey and candy notes developed. Over the course of the next 3 hours the wine smelled of predominantly honey and peach.

Mouthfeel: it coats the palate, medium plus acid and creamy
We paired it with baguette and wegmans lincet triple crème cheese. Overall, it was a very pleasant wine that I would buy again. It was easy to drink, and had nice acidity, structure, and a balance of acid, sweetness and fruit.

Had the Sophora Sparkling Rosé recently with our 6-month anniversary dinner at Fleming’s (where we were seated about 10’ from Jim Tressel and his party).

I liked it, my wife loved it. Somewhat similar to the descriptions above but heavier on the strawberry notes, being a rosé. Paired well with our food, especially the salad w/raspberry vinaigrette. Held up surprisingly well to my filet.

I would jump on a full case if it was the rosé being offered but instead will settle for a 6-pack. We’re always looking for inexpensive yet enjoyable sparklers and Gruet doesn’t ship to Ohio.

EDIT to add that I’m a little concerned about the oxidative qualities mentioned in CT. It would be nice to know when this was disgorged but at $12/bottle shipped, it’s not much of a risk.

I bought this, got the standard Woot email, then got an Amazon email stating:
“You initiated a payment of $74.36* to Lion Nathan USA, Inc”

I have no idea who or what Lion Nathan is. Hey Woot please stop handing out my credit card info to people, companies, or organizations without my permission.

This place has really slipped. I’m about ready to delete my woot bookmark.

I do not believe your credit card info was passed on to the winery. Amazon payments processed the payment and distributed funds to the seller. IIRC

I hope you’re right, thanks.

From the main link here:

Sophora New Zealand Sparkling Cuvée 6-Pack
Sold by: Lion Nathan USA Inc

So Lion Nathan appears to be the importer. However on the winery link page it says Distinguished Vineyards. Which is the name Lion Nathan took in the US of A. So long story short Lion Nathan is selling you the wine, as it clearly states in the sale description. And that is why they are the company charging you.


Edit: Now as to who has your credit card info, who knows right? I just canceled my second card in six months due to the dreaded $1 hits to see if it was a valid card.

It is a nice sparkler, sadly I do not need bottles of it, so if anyone semi local (upstate NY) would want to split then maybe.
I have bought for woot wine many times and while payment is always send to the winery, it did not seem that my card was compromised. Only time I lost my cards was when I went on the cruise and when I had my wallet stollen.

Edit edit: Nothing to do with woot or Amazon.

Estimated delivery date: Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Darn, was hoping to serve on May 27 for a Memorial Day party… please ship sooner!