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 2004 was aged 5.5 years in a French oak cask. Following disgorgement, L'Ermitage 2004 was aged an additional five months (minimum) on the cork prior to release.
The 2004 harvest began on August 9th, which was the earliest grape harvest start in recent memory - the grape industry in its most recent renaissance dates back to about 1968, however, the pear industry in Anderson Valley has records reaching back to the early 1900's. This is the earliest harvest for the pear industry since 1928.
An early spring warm-period has been attributed with causing budbreak and bloom to be almost three weeks earlier than usual. The spring weather continued to stay warm and temperate throughout causing the vines to grow well. Hang time was still in line with previous years yielding well-balanced and developed grapes at harvest. The average hang time for the Pinot Noir grapes ranged from 85-109 days and Chardonnay ranged from 97-101 days. The shorter hang times for some of the Pinot Noir is due to the young vineyards coming online and some of the early ripening clones that were planted. With the exception of some early heat spikes the harvest period was mild.
- Anderson Valley
- 52% Chardonnay, 48% Pinot Noir - 4% aged reserve wine, vintage 2000
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