Like Champagne, But Cheaper: Roederer Estate Brut NV Sparkling Wine

Wine of the Week

Roederer Estate's Brut NV sparkling wine from California's Anderson Valley has got to be one of the best value sparkling wines around. I have been enjoying it for almost ten years, and it never disappoints. Rather, it continues to over-deliver for its great price (under $20). Refreshing with a lively mousse, it is a refined and very flavorful sparkling wine and amazing alternative to Champagne.

This wine has a beautiful pale lemony color, which glistens delightfully in the light. Tiny bubbles rise persistently forming a delicate lacelike necklace around the rim of the glass. On the palate the mousse sensation is both vibrant and creamy and lingers in the mouth amid a medley of ripe orchard and citrus fruit as well as freshly baked brioche flavors mingling with hints of spice and toasty nuts. Light-medium bodied it has quite a long finish and very flavorful.

At the Table
Far too often sparkling wine is relegated to the apéritif moment or only consumed for celebrations. Many don't even consider it a wine! Not me. I regularly enjoy sparkling wine right through a meal. The bubbles and the crisp acidity are a great foil for anything seafood, Asian or spicy dishes. Some of my favorite pairings are charred squid, pan fried scallops, pad Thai or spicy crab cakes. Experiment for yourself!

About Roederer Estate and the Brut NV Sparkling wine
Roederer Estate, located in California's beautiful and remote Anderson Valley (Mendocino County), is owned by Champagne Louis Roederer, one of the most acclaimed Champagne houses in France, and producer of the famous Champagne Cristal. Roederer Estate's winemaking philosophy follows that of Champagne Louis Roderer, in that it owns most of its own vineyards. For the Roederer Estate Brut NV, it follows the great Champagne tradition of adding oak aged reserve wines from older years, giving complexity and depth to the wine.

Roederer Estate Brut NV is a traditional method sparkling wine, in that the second fermentation took place in the bottle. The first fermentation was in stainless steel tank. During the assemblage (blending) reserve wines were added and then the wine was bottled and prepared to undergo the second fermentation. After the second fermentation it was aged over two years on the lees before disgorging and the addition of the final dosage, which is about 12g/l residual sugar. It is a blend of about 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay, all from estate vineyards.

Find it:
Roederer Estate Brut, $19.99 at Wine.com

Mary Gorman-McAdams, MW (Master of Wine), is a New York based wine educator, freelance writer and consultant.

Related: Great Value Wines: The Undiscovered Sparkling Wines of the Loire Valley

(Image: Roederer Estate)

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Mary Gorman-McAdams, MW (Master of Wine), is a New York based wine educator, freelance writer and consultant. In 2012 she was honored as a Dame Chevalier de L'Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne.