2009 Roederer Estate L' Ermitage Brut

Year: 2009
Appellation: Anderson Valley
Country: USA - California
Wine Spectator: 92
Sparkling Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 12.2%
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"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. Drink now through 2017. 6,500 cases made. –TF " (WS)

Winery Notes:
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 methode 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.

Tasting Notes:
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