When Jean-Claude Rouzaud searched out a site for Roederer’s California sparkling wine estate, he settled on a cool spot for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir—where vines could deliver flavor depth in their grapes before sugars rose to levels unsuited for sparkling wine. This 2011 is a vindication of that decision, a fragrant, elegant sparkling wine from a cool season, with flavor depth that sets it apart. Notes of fresh apple, honeysuckle and jasmine layer over an herbal austerity that tightens up the wine’s fruit, ending savory. That length of flavor is amplified by a small addition of reserve wines (four percent), aged five years in oak. Arnaud Weyrich blended it in a style formed and determined by its site, resulting in an honest, clean sparkler destined to become a classic.
Dry and nicely mature, this complex wine is always among California’s best bubblies. It combines great balance, tiny bubbles and some very interesting flavors that make it as appealing as a well-cellared white Burgundy at its peak. Hints of toast, butter and almond fill the aroma, and lemon, crisp apple and baking spices fill the palate. It has lively acidity that’s softened by a good sense of body. *Editors’ Choice, No. 2 Top 100 Wines of 2018* (JG)
Delicate and maturing beautifully, with rose petal, strawberry, roasted nut and brioche flavors that sail on the elegant finish. Drink now. (TF)
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