Want some new sparkling wines to taste, outside Sonoma/Napa normality? Reserve a tour and tasting at Roederer Estate, sooner than soon. Panoramic persistence, vivacity, each step on the scenic circuit. A visitor, assured to appreciate such raptness the isolated vistas, aura. Initially. Once the tour begins, your host will take you to the production facility, divulging valuable and endlessly fascinating knowledges of all going into what’s under those corks. The experience exposes sippers to sparkling’s verisimilitude, vastness. Looking around, I only saw interest, true connection, fascination. Not just with what the guide spoke, but with cinematically dim surrounding. Barrels, bottles, casks. Hardly anyone snapped a single shot on the tour, terrestrially mystified by their present frame.
The staff, more than knowledge, cordial, generous. Not a surprise that this spot, up that cruise of an Anderson Valley entrance, has the accolades it does. From Wine Spectator, Wine & Spirits, among many others. From ignition, all were intrigued. Not just wine education, wine engagement. The invited become part of the grounds, part of the sequence, the wines.
When tasting, you’ll be thrown into the sparklings, with a little Chard. And, because the Roederer hospitality is so supremely magnanimous, a little Pinot. Each bottle, diversely delivered in both nuance and palate progression. A reliable and charismatic go-to, the Brut NV. Pear, shy apple, with undercurrents of vanilla, caramel, spice. Then you have the NV Brut Rosé. 60% Pinot, 40% Chardonnay. “This is what people mean when they say a wine is sexy,” one of the tourists, a young lady from Los Angeles said to me. Next, the 2002 L’Ermitage. Easily one of the favorites with those following the host. This author, included. Then, L’Ermitage Rosé, 2003. Even more libidinous than the preceding Rosé. Like baked apples with a seductive cinnamon caramel coat. That same new friend of mine, leaned to another tourist and I, whispering “This can’t be real.”
Most will feel the same, upon landing. All directions, resplendent credulous stills. When the tasting concluded, the cameras leaped from the their holsters. Everyone, snapping. Wine and memories, especially at this universally noted winery in Anderson Valley. A refreshing tangent from regularity. Bubbles, beauty. Days like today, what all diving into wine’s time wish for. Take a long scenic drive to Roederer. Take your time in appreciating. Bring the lenses, flashes! Sip, sip …