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Senior Tim Fish joined the Wine Spectator staff in 2001. His tasting beat includes Oregon, Washington, California Zinfandel and Rhône-style reds, and U.S. sparkling wines.
Tim Fish

Great Bubbly for Holiday Fun

Roederer Estate Brut Anderson Valley NV

Tim Fish
Posted: December 21, 2009

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.

Kevin Glowacki
Atlanta, GA, USA —  December 21, 2009 8:22pm ET
I think Roederer is one of the best sparkling wines in the world, especially for the money. While it doesn't fall into the cheap enough for mimosas category like our house Cava, it is awesome for the $18 it gets here in Atlanta. The rose is pretty tasty too.

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