2003 Roederer Estate L' Ermitage Brut Rose

Year: 2003
Appellation: Anderson Valley
Country: USA - California
Wine Spectator: 93
Sparkling Wine
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"Rich yet delicate in style, with a soft salmon color and graceful aromas of strawberry, peach and yeast. Flavors take on complexity, balancing crisp acidity with mature yet opulent raspberry, toasty vanilla and mineral flavors. Drink now through 2014. 618 cases made." (WS)

Winery Notes:
L'Ermitage Rosé 2003 is Roederer Estate's second vintage of this special Tête de Cuvée Rosé, which made its debut with the 1999 vintage. As in Champagne, L'Ermitage_Rosé is made only in exceptional years of pre-selected grapes that come from the very best lots of Roederer Estate's own 580 acres of vineyards.

Roederer Estate wines are made with juice from just the cuvée, the first pressing of the grapes, and do not use première or deuxième taille. These are exceptional wines that create a "noble" (special) blend, which allows for longer aging and produces a fine wine with elegance and finesse. Four members of the blending team include winemakers from Champagne Louis Roederer and Roederer Estate, together totaling over 130 years of experience with Roederer. The rosé blend is crafted using a small fraction of red wine from Pinot Noir grown on the Estate, especially made for this purpose using a Burgundian maceration technique that allows skin contact to extract color and aromas. This red wine brings delicate berry flavors and a nice color to further extend the L'Ermitage Rosé smoothness and subtleties, allowing for a unique tasting experience. The wine for the dosage used in the L'Ermitage Rosé was the 2005 wine liquor, aged for three years in French oak casks. Following disgorgement, L'Ermitage Rosé was aged an additional eight months at a minimum on the cork prior to release.

Tasting Notes
L’Ermitage Rosé brings complexity and smoothness to a higher level. The delicate salmon colors enhance the tiny bubbles and creamy mouthfeel. Notes of bread crust, baked apples and caramelized hazelnut create an elegant and complex wine. The wine is crisp with great acid on notes of quince jelly and anise.

The 2003 vintage was fairly wet with more than 11 inches of rain during the growing season. Overall, spring and summer were mild and even though we had an early bud break we ended up picking our grapes fairly late. Long hang time is beneficial to the grapes to allow for ripeness (sugar maturity) as well as phenolic maturity (aromas, tannins and anthocyanins). The crop quantity was above average and the fruit was well-balanced in acidity.

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