NV Roederer Estate Brut Sparkling Wine, Anderson Valley
A Californian sparkling wine made by the famed Champagne house Roederer - very promising. Served blind, certainly conjures the spirit of Champagne, if but with a little more forward fruit. Very nice indeed, although I don't want to be paying nearly $30 for it, when a very satisfying crémant or Cava can be found hovering around $20.
Am I being picky? I adore sparkling wines, and if I had the budget, I'd be drinking a lot more Champagne. A lot, lot, lot more. Other sparkling wines are becoming more ambitious, and with that ambition, beginning to charge more, but this is the problem. Sparkling wines can be good, but none compare to Champagne. None. So if they're priced higher, and the inevitable comparisons are being made, they always disappoint. Now, an $18 Cava is an entirely different story, especially the wines that offer a very high level of quality at very reasonable prices. Different pleasure points in the brain, perhaps, but producers who charge high prices for their sparkling wines have to be careful and make sure that the wines offer something distinct. Poorly-imitated Champagne is no fun, doubly so when you need to pay $30+ for it.