We’d all love to serve vintage Champagne to friends and family during the holidays, but that isn’t always in the budget. (Even with all the discounts this year.) I often volunteer to bring the bubbly to Christmas gatherings, for purely altruistic reasons. Yeah, that’s it, altruistic. Ahem.
OK, so I’m being selfish, but who wants to fritter away the holiday feigning enthusiasm for a sparkling wine that smells like the perfume counter at Walgreens? Over the weekend, I took a few bottles of non-vintage Roederer Estate Brut Anderson Valley to a party, and I was lucky to get a glass of it. That’ll teach me. This sparkler from California’s Mendocino County is crisp but rich, with bold apple aromas and lingering pear and crème brûlée flavors.
Winemaker Arnaud Weyrich has been fine-tuning the house style in recent years, using small amounts of oak and malolactic fermentation to flesh things out, making one of California’s most-reliable sparkling wines even better. I rated it 90 points, non-blind.
WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Roederer Estate Brut Anderson Valley NV (91, $23).
• Plus, get scores and tasting notes for more recently rated U.S. sparkling wines.