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Roederer Estate Brut Anderson Valley


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Roederer Estate Brut Anderson Valley: a Review

Wine is as good as life to a man, if it be drunk moderately: what life is then to a man that is without wine? for it was made to make men glad.
    —Ecclesiasticus, ch. 38, v. 1

(Our sample bottle was purchased by us at standard retail.)


About Roederer Estate Brut Anderson Valley

As we write this, it is New Year's Day: what better time to discuss a sparkling wine?

As an aside, let me suggest that it is time for American winemakers to come up with some clever, catchy name for sparkling wines. Law rightly does not allow the use of the word "champagne" for any wine not made in the Champagne region of France in accordance with the rules of thereof; but many people still refer to any sparkling wine as "champagne", arguably because the phrase "sparkling wine" is awkwardly long and, frankly speaking, sounds a bit jejeune. Regrettably, the last time the American wine industry came up with a wine-description term, it was "meritage", a dire choice that does not inspire confidence in their ability to do something about a better replacement for "sparkling wine". Other nations producing sparkling wines have managed well enough, from Cava to Spumante. Think about it, folks.

Today's wine is the Anderson Valley Brut from Roederer Estate. Roederer Estate is located in Mendocino County in northern California, and is the U.S. arm of the prestigious French winemaking house of Louis Roederer, so there is some strong history there. The Estate grows its own grapes in, yes, the Anderson Valley; it is not alone in growing its own, but there are not many other champagne sparkling-wine makers in the U.S. that also do. Roederer Estate makes only sparklers, of which there are four: the Brut, a Brut Rosé, "L'Ermitage", and "L'Ermitage" Rosé. All but the Brut are priced above this site's arbitrary upper limit of $20, the L'Ermitage wines quite a bit above. The Brut can be found at retail for roughly $17 to $45, but averages $23 and is not hard to find under $20; it is extremely widely distributed.


Roederer Estate Brut Anderson Valley: Tasting Impressions

As poured, it looks as one expects: light gold, small bubbles. The nose is also as expected, being lightly citrus-y, yeasty, and mildly piercing in the way that bubbling, freshly poured champagne sparkling wine typically is.

On tasting, there is a creamy, mouth-filling sensation. The sensation is, as it should be, dry without being tongue-curlingly so: the acid is in fine balance. The flavor is lightly citrus and a bit of apple with a perceptible overlay of yeastiness.

If that sounds like a simple recital of the general characteristics of a champagne sparkling wine, that is because this wine pretty much is an exemplary embodiment of the Platonic ideal of good sparkling wine. No element of it shrieks for attention, but everything wanted is there, in just the right proportion and balance.

The wine sustains itself throughout the bottle: the taste elements seem much the same at the last sip as at the first (which is by no means always so with wine). Really, it has just what one wants from it: that bubbly tingle, the crispness balancing the sensation of creaminess, the citrus-apple aromas and flavors, and the characteristic yeastiness, which augments the creaminess. It's a continuing pleasure to drink, start to finish.

Overall, this is one fine wine, and we doubt you could do better at twice the price or even more. Highly recommended.


Roederer Estate Brut Anderson Valley: Other Opinions

On CellarTracker.

On Wine Searcher's Tasting Notes page.

Of some major wine-review sites:


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This page was last modified on Friday, 2 June 2017, at 5:16 pm Pacific Time.