Champagne house Louis Roederer established this California outpost in 1982, and its tête de cuvée, L’Ermitage, has impressed since its debut with the 1989 vintage. Succeeding founding winemaker Michel Salgues in 2002, Arnaud Weyrich raises the bar with this bottling, the highest-scoring L’Ermitage to date. He used the best lots from the estate’s nearly 600 acres of vines. Portions of this roughly 50-50 blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir went through malolactic conversion and were aged in large French oak casks to add texture and richness. For additional complexity, barrel-aged reserve wines from 2007 were added, making up 4 percent of the cuvée, which spent five years on the lees prior to disgorgement.
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.—Tim Fish
- Mendocino County, California
- Issue Date:
- March 31, 2019