Roederer Estate L'Ermitage 2006
Blend: 52% Chardonnay, 48% Pinot Noir
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The 2006 L'Ermitage Brut has an open, inviting nose of baked apples, pie crust, peaches and white flowers with nuances of mushroom powder, iodine, river stone and toffee. The medium to full-bodied palate is packed to the gills with flavor layers—mineral notions segueing to coffee and crème caramel, to candle smoke and iodine—with ultra creamy mousse and a kaleidoscopic finish that just goes on and on. It was made with about 11 grams per liter dosage and was disgorged in January of 2014. It is in a gorgeous spot for drinking right now but certainly has plenty of life ahead.
Founded in 1982, Roederer Estate is nestled in Mendocino County’s fog-shrouded, Anderson Valley. As the California property of Champagne Louis Roederer, Roederer Estate builds upon a centuries-old tradition of fine winemaking. Roederer's unique winemaking style is based on two elements: complete ownership of its vineyards and the addition of oak-aged reserve wines to each year's blend or cuvee to create complex, dry and harmonious sparkling wines.
The crisp, fresh and rich flavors of Roederer Estate sparkling wines reflect the cool Anderson Valley that is home to their family-owned estate's 600 acres of vineyards. This protected valley in Northern California provides the ideal ripening conditions for their 100% estate-grown Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes. The blending team is comprised of the winemakers from the California property as well as from Champagne Louis Roederer, ensuring that Roederer Estate remains the most French of the California sparklers.
Surrounded by redwood forests and often blanketed in chilly, ocean fog, the Anderson Valley is one of California’s most picturesque appellations. During the growing season, moist, cool, late afternoon air flows in from the Pacific Ocean along the Navarro River and over the valley's golden, oak-studded hills. High and low temperatures can vary as much as 40 or 50 degrees within a single day, allowing for slow and gentle ripening of grapes, which will in turn create elegantly balanced wines.
The Anderson Valley is best known for Pinot Noir made in a range of styles from delicate and floral to powerful and concentrated. Chardonnay also shines here, and both varieties are often utilized for the production of some of California’s best traditional method sparkling wines. The region also draws inspiration from Alsace and produces excellent Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris.
Representing the topmost expression of a Champagne house, a vintage Champagne is one made from the produce of a single, superior harvest year. Vintage Champagnes account for a mere 5% of total Champagne production and are produced about three times in a decade. Champagne is typically made as a blend of multiple years in order to preserve the house style; these will have non-vintage, or simply, NV on the label. The term, "vintage," as it applies to all wine, simply means a single harvest year.