With Korbel on one end of my spectrum and Piper-Heidsieck at the other, this California sparkler landed closer to Korbel in price and closer to P-H in taste. It is slightly sweeter than either, but is smooth throughout. Wine News overrates it by a point or two.
After reading the vintner's description, I hardly recognized this wine. I can't understand how W&S gave it 92 points. It has surprisingly little nose, and reminds me of some merlots with just one note in the palate. In addition, I thought is was just a little astringent alone. Red meat softened the taste, but overwhelmed the wine. Overall, I think I can do better for less.
Like most Italian wines, this reserve Chianti did better with barbequed chicken and peppers than by itself. While at the upper end of my price range, it is not at the upper end of the taste range of the 5 Chiantis under $20 that I tasted. I'll admit that these wines are turning out to be an acquired taste to me.