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California Sparklin’

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In late February, Simon Thibaudeau, now with Le Marchand de Vin, led the group in an enjoyable overview of the agency’s portfolio. The wines were served double-blind to everyone but Simon. As is our wont, we started with a sparkler.

Anderson Valley 2007, Brut, L’Ermitage, Roederer Estate ($68.25, 11682810)
A Chadonnay (52%) and Pinot Noir (48%) from estate-grown grapes, this tête de cuvée is made only in exceptional years and only from free-run and first-press juice. Vinified using the traditional method. Dosage is done with reserve wine from the 2004 and 2005 vintages that was aged five years in French oak casks; the dosage accounts for 4% of the final wine. Reducing sugar: 13 g/l. 12% ABV. Quebec agent: Le Marchand de Vin.
Yeasty, champagne-like nose of sour lemon, stone fruit, browning apple, “white miso” (as per another taster) and a whiff a sea spray. Richly textured and mouth-filling. The ripe fruit comes with a touch of honey though the wine is quite dry. A fine, persistent effervescence combines with the bright acidity to give the wine a welcome bit of bite, while a sourish undercurrent adds intrigue. Broad and very long. Drinking double-blind, I first thought this was Californian but finally guessed it was a very ripe champagne. In hindsight, the solar fruit and downplayed minerality should have tipped me that it wasn’t – though qualitatively, it’s on a champagne level. That said, as with so many California wines, the price seems high in comparison to its European counterparts. (Buy again? Setting aside QPR considerations, yes.)

MWG February 26th tasting: flight 1 of 7

Written by carswell

March 16, 2016 at 10:43

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