Main Reason We Went to the Anderson Valley

Don’t get me wrong-we tasted a lot of great wine while there for the day, but the impetus behind driving up there to spend the day was to return to Roederer Estates for some fantastic sparkling wine. We first visited Roederer on our honeymoon almost two years ago and fell in love with the 99 L’Ermitage Brut. We only bought two bottles that time, so I had to have more! Thus, our first day in the area found us making the trek up a very windy road to discover more of what the Anderson Valley had to offer.

We tasted through the menu they were pouring that day, which sadly did not include the ’99. However, they still had some for sale, and while they warned us that it had aged and was perhaps toastier now than what we had purchased in ’06, we went for 2 bottles anyway. I would have liked to have gotten more, but the price had soared to around $60 a bottle. But for nostalgia purposes, it was worth it this time.

Brut MV: $21. Crisp, apple, citrus, lively.

Brut Magnum: $43. Creamy, toasty, green apple, very different from the regular bottle size.

Brut Rose MV: $28. Not very pink, in fact almost clear unless you put it up against the white wall, very dry, crisp, slight fruit.

2000 L’Ermitage Brut: $45. Toasted almonds, apples.

Extra Dry: $23. Sweeter than the Brut, but still dry. Showed mostly apples and a little honey. Originally created for the White House.

Pinot Noir: $23. Cherry, currants, spice, peppery, red fruit, earth, leather.

Chardonnay: $19. Mineral, crisp, tropical, citrus, creamier in the mouth, vanilla.

We took home 2 ’99 L’Ermitage Bruts, 2 Extra Drys, and 1 Brut Rose. I’ve been told it’s time to drink the ’99, so we will likely haul one out in a few months for our second anniversary. As usual, Roederer’s sparkling offerings were excellent, and I wish we could have taken home more. I also love the setting and tasting room at Roederer, the tasting bar looks out across the small front lawn where a family of Quail live. On our first visit the Quail had a very small family, but this time it looked like they were nesting and getting ready for a new family. The tasting room staff was very friendly and pointed us in the direction of a few of their favorite, not to miss vineyards. More on those later.

Happy New Year (again)!

Alternative title: I love Roederer. I really do. We first were introduced to Roederer in August of 2006 while out in Sonoma. The inn keeper suggested we stop at Roederer on our way up to Bodega Bay, and I am very glad we did. While there we picked up several lovely sparklers, including my perennial favorite, the 1999 L’Ermitage Brut. Sadly, I have trouble finding that one any more, but I still pick up a bottle of Roederer when we are in a fancier sparkling wine mood.

With that in mind, I scooped up this bottle of Roederer 25th Anniversary Brut the second I saw it on the shelf at The Winery in Old Town Alexandria, thinking it would be perfect for New Year’s Eve. It cost me $23.99 minus a 10% case discount and had a traditional sparkling wine closure. We drank it out of the stemless Champagne flutes my Dad received for Christmas!

On the nose the wine was toasty and nutty. I also found aromas of apples and lemons. In the mouth, the apples and toasty notes dominated the flavor. The wine was tangy and dry, and very crisp in the mouth. The bubbles were tiny in the glass and there were tons of them.

Absolutely a great wine to ring in the New Year with and one I would get again, easily.

Dinner with Wine Challenge Results


Well, I did buy salmon and ingredients to make Leah of DC Gastronome‘s baked salmon and roasted potatoes, but I was too exhausted last night to actually make it. I’ll do it tomorrow. But I still wanted to drink the 2004 Roederer Estates Pinot Noir. I paired it with the soup from last night, my thought process being that everyone suggested such diverse dinners so I thought that perhaps the pinot would also pair well with it. And it did.

The wine needs to decant, it is still too young to drink straight from the bottle. We didn’t decant it, so I let it sit in the glasses for a while. The alcohol scent dissipated and I was left with a great bottle of wine that has a ton of aging potential, but what is in there now is perfect if you let it decant for an hour or so.

This wine hasa gorgeous deep purple color, that’s what struck me first when I poured it. Cherries and earthy tones on the nose. Cherry and raspberry and just a slight tobacco and earth note in the mouth. Incredibly smooth and drinkable. Yum. I’m really glad we bought several of these as I am eager to see what it will taste like over the next few years.

Celebrate Good Times Come On!


So we didn’t save that second bottle of 1999 Roederer Brut L’Ermitage. We got some really great news today that had to be celebrated, and since it was Matt’s good news, he picked the bottle. I am now on the hunt for more of these delicious babies as Roederer does not ship to Virginia. Sigh. They did tell me when we were visiting that they hoped to be able to ship to more states soon….but since August I’ve been checking their website and no dice yet. For the moment I will stare wistfully at this picture and imagine the bubbles that once were.

Sparkling Wine Heaven

Not that I’m trying to continue along the WBW #28 theme or anything, but we had another bottle of sparkling wine tonight. One we’ve been saving since we bought it for a special occassion. Tonight was that occassion. We are heading out of town for Christmas to my father in-law’s family out in Oklahoma as it is his mother’s 90th birthday on Christmas Eve. The thought of dragging our presents to each other out to OK and then back to VA seemed a touch ridiculous, so instead we decided that today was Christmas in our house.

We got up early, opened presents, had fancy hot cocoa, lounged in our pjs and had a ham for Christmas dinner. Not to mention some fancy homemade chocolate mousse with raspberry sauce for dessert. With our meal, we opened a bottle of Roederer Estate 1999 L’Ermitage Brut. What a fabulous sparkling wine. I never want to drink anything else again. (Well, not really, but I’m pretty darn pleased with this bottle!)

At 12% alcohol by volume, it’s pretty hefty compared to other sparkling wines we’ve had recently! We picked this bottle up when we went to Roederer Estates on our way to Mendocino this summer. (Along with several special release bottles of Roederer Pinot Noir!) I think it cost us around $40.

As for the wine….perfect little bubbles that kept coming through each glass poured. The scent of flowers and honey on the nose. In the mouth, lots of little bubbles, crisp, tart apple, a touch of honey. The wine is creamy and perfect. I would rate this a Special sparkler in keeping with the WBW theme from this month. This would be something I would save for special occasssions (like tonight, our first Christmas as boring old marrieds 🙂 ) or serve to those who would really appreciate it. We have one more bottle. I’d say we would drink it on our anniversary, but we already have a bottle set aside for that, that our kind server at the Lion’s Den Bistro in Hopland gave us when we announced it was our favorite bottle of the evening after tasting several courses and many glasses of wine.