Fine tiny bubbles and a long lasting mousse are the usual footprints of the L'Ermitage cuvée. This cuvée is showing great notes of toasted bread crust and quince. The mouthfeel is smooth, velvety, creamy with a well enveloped acidity and long finish.
The 2005 harvest began on August 18th, which is a fairly normal time for the Anderson Valley. From July 2004 to July 2005, the rainy season was plentiful with nearly 48 inches of rain. Although budbreak was early, the conjunction of a mild spring with wet events followed by a dry but not hot summer, lead to a later than initially anticipated harvest.
Pinot Noir was affected by these spring rains as the vines were blooming. It resulted in a higher than usual rate of shatter and therefore a loss of crop. Chardonnay which blooms later was less affected by the May rainy events. The average hang time was affected by the loss of crop and showed particularly on the Pinot Noir with 84 to 91 days - the lighter the crop the faster the vines ripen the grapes with a healthy canopy! Chardonnay hang time was 94 to 113 days also showing some effect of shatter and lighter crop in some areas. Acidity on the 2005 wines was high but pH stayed within range allowing a ripe and crisp blend of L'Ermitage.
Blend: 52% Chardonnay, 48% Pinot Noir - 4% aged reserve wine. 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 2005 was aged six years in a French oak cask. Following disgorgement, L'Ermitage 2005 was aged an additional five months (minimum) on the cork prior to release.
Roederer Estate Brut, the California sparkling wine produced by Champagne Louis Roederer, builds upon a 200-year tradition of fine winemaking that has made Roederer Champagne among the most sought-after wines in the world.