2015 Roederer Estate, L’Ermitage Brut, Vintage Sparkling Wine, Anderson Valley.
The 2015 L’Ermitage Brut vintage sparkling wine by Roederer Estate, which I recently enjoyed out of magnum, is drinking fabulously well and should age easily for another decade or more, this is an outstanding California Methode Champenoise wine with elegant and luxurious concentration, delicate energetic mousse and depth of flavor, on par with some of its highly acclaimed cousins in Reims! Beautiful layering of citrus, golden apple and pear fruits shines on the decedent palate along with clove spice, honey, mineral tones, wet stones, rosewater and toasty hazelnuts. The Roederer Estate employs an open lyre trellis system or high density plantation, that gives better ripening and fruit density, and they farm the vineyards organically and biodynamically to achieve high quality grapes and preserve the environment and promote soil heath. Roederer Estate produces its sparkling wines in the mentioned traditional French méthode traditionelle and adds some of their special oak-aged reserve wines to each blend, which adds to the complexity and richness here. For the wonderfully dry 2015 L’Ermitage Roederer Estate chose 52% Chardonnay and 48% Pinot Noir in this Cuvée, along with about 4.9% of aged reserve wine from the 2014, 2012 and 2010 vintages, all of which made for an almost perfect Tête de Cuvée, it will impress even the most jaded of Champagne lovers!
One of the first serious California bubbly, the L’Ermitage, has been made since 1989, it is Roederer Estate’s Tête de Cuvée and as the winery notes, comes to fruition only in exceptional years from pre-selected, estate-grown grapes. Roederer Estate, based in Anderson Valley dating back to 1982, says only the best lots are used to create a noble blend that allows for longer aging and produces a fine wine with elegance and finesse, which shows in this recent release of L’Ermitage. The winery says, the concept of the vintage L’Ermitage is the same one that is used in Champagne, like their famous Cristal bottlings at Louis Roederer, with only the best juice of the vintage is selected. These selections in the cellar are the most exceptional wines of the individual vintage, that allows Roederer Estate create a noble blend for the L’Ermitage Brut that allows for longer aging, and that produces a fine sparkling wine with elegance and finesse, as this 2015 shows. The wine for the dosage that was used or added to the L’Ermitage 2015 was a 2015 wine liquor that was itself aged for 6 years in a French oak cask. Following its disgorgement, L’Ermitage 2015 was aged an additional six months (minimum) on the cork prior to release, to be rewarding when it gets into the customers hands or glass. This 2015 is still the current release of L’Ermitage and easily found, making for a less pained search and I highly recommend this exceptional sparkler, it will bring plenty f pleasure and joy to the fast approaching Holiday season and will be great for any special or not so special occasion you might need it for.
($68 Est.) 95 Points, grapelive