Roederer Estate L’Ermitage
Anderson Valley, California, United States
October 1, 2017, International Wine Competition
“This nearly 50-50 blend of Pinot and Chardonnay offers toasty brioche character and a creamy mousse, thanks to extended time in bottle on the lees. Subtle spiced-pear and apricot flavors over a rich and creamy but focused texture, baked-bread depth, and a long finish.”
December 21, 2016, Tim Fish
“A luxurious sparkler, with toasty brioche, mineral and lemon brûlée aromas and rich, complex flavors of crisp apple and raspberry, showing accents of fresh ginger and spice.”
Wine & Spirits
December 1, 2016, Joshua Greene
“The 2009 vintage grew lush pinot noir and chardonnay on the northern California coast, and that vintage character defines Roederer Estate’s tete de cuvee: It’s broad and rich, its ripe apple flavor threaded with the toastiness of barrel-aged reserve lots, while a bright line of acidity gives it a healthy persistence.”
L’Ermitage, Roederer Estate’s special Tête de Cuvée, is a sparkling wine made only in exceptional years from pre-selected, estate-grown grapes. Carrying on the tradition of Champagne Louis Roederer in France, Roederer Estate produces its sparkling wines in the traditional French méthode traditionelle and adds special oak-aged reserve wines to each blend. L’Ermitage debuted with the 1989 vintage.
Roederer Estate wines are made with juice from just the cuvée pressing; no première or deuxième taille is used. The concept of the vintage L’Ermitage is the same one that is used in Champagne: Only the best of the vintage is selected. These are exceptional wines that create a “noble” (special) blend that allows for longer aging, which produces a fine wine with elegance and finesse. Four members of the blending team include winemakers from Champagne Louis Roederer in France and Roederer Estate in California, together totaling over 130 years of experience. The wine for the reserve dosage added to the L’Ermitage 2009 was aged five years in a French oak cask. Following disgorgement, L’Ermitage 2009 was aged an additional five months (minimum) on the cork prior to release.
Fine tiny bubbles and a long lasting mousse are the usual footprints of the L’Ermitage cuvée. This cuvée is showing great notes of apricot tart and hazelnut. The mouth feel is smooth, velvety, creamy with a well enveloped citrus acidity and long finish.
Harvest 2009 felt so much easier after 2008 (plagued with heavy spring frost and devastating summer fires). Limited amounts of rain during winter 2008/2009 made for choices of dry farming some locations and a very low disease pressure in the vineyard. Maturity came in fairly quickly and harvest started mid-August, finishing end of September. Yields were much better than 2008 with most lots showing high acid and good maturity.
Varietals: 52% Chardonnay, 48% Pinot Noir – 4% aged reserve wine, vintage 2006 and 2007
Wine Alcohol: 12.2%
Residual Sugar: 1.5