2012 Roederer Estate L' Ermitage Brut

Year: 2012
Appellation: Anderson Valley
Country: USA - California
Wine Spectator: 95
Connoisseurs' Guide: 93
Wine Enthusiast: 97
Sparkling Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 12.5%
Price :
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"Extravagant, yet balanced and refined, with lush, crisp brioche, fresh ginger and spice, roasted hazelnut and Asian pear flavors that fan out on the lengthy finish. Drink now through 2020. 4,217 cases made. -TF" (WS)

"A standout for its refinement as well as its quietly complex expression of keen and careful champenization that gets it right in terms of explicit, lightly toasty autolysis while retaining an altogether surprising sense of freshness, this exemplary Brut bottling is as graceful as it is layered and insistently rich with a lovely marriage of age and youth. It is beautifully balanced and sports a textbook mousse of tiny, long-lasting bubbles, and its deft combination of elements both youthful and aged make for a memorable wine that is worth every penny of its asking price." (CG)

"Luxurious and layered, this nicely mature wine has a broad range of complex aromas and flavors, from fig to mushroom to butter and baking spices that ride a supple texture and linger for a long finish. The very fine bead, plush texture and a creamy richness that verges on sweetness are practically irresistible. Best through 2025." (WE)

Winery Notes:
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. The premium grape growing region's proximity to the ocean gives rise to a gentle cycle of warm days and cool nights, allowing grapes to mature slowly on the vine and develop full varietal character.

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.

The wine for the reserve dosage added to the L’Ermitage 2012 was aged five years in a French oak cask. Following disgorgement, L’Ermitage 2012 was aged an additional five months on the cork prior to release. Disgorged in April 2018.

Tasting Notes:
Fine tiny bubbles and a long lasting mousse are the usual footprints of the L’Ermitage cuvee. Grilled peach and brioche aromas are followed by a citrus and pomelo taste. The creamy richness is lifted by a clean acidity for a long and pleasant finish.

Harvest Notes:
After the cool years of 2010 and 2011, vintage 2012 felt more like a normal growing season for the Anderson Valley: mild temperatures and no frost events or heat spikes. The usual fog came and went often and it pushed the start of harvest to September 4th with the last grapes for sparkling coming off the vines October 1st. The disease pressure from powdery mildew and Botrytis was high and the crews had to stay very vigilant in the vineyard to keep the fruit pristine. Ultimately the Estate yielded a high-quality and good size crop.