From the Roederer Family of Champagne, is this traditional method champenoise, from their top vineyard sites in Mendocino County's Anderson Valley.
Scharffenberger Brut Excellence is made by the traditional méthode champenoise process – whereby the wines are individually bottle-fermented before being riddled and disgorged. The wine is two-thirds Pinot Noir which produces a red fruit (cherry and plum) forward nose combined with one-third Chardonnay which adds the tropical expression of litchi nut and mango. The 100% malolactic fermentation adds a vanilla cream character producing a round and full-bodied wine. After approximately two years on the yeast lees, there are notes of freshly baked bread and pastry that enhances the more fruit-forward style of the wine.
A fresh new release from Scharffenberger, Roederer Estate’s sister winery in Anderson Valley, this feels clean and sunny, with green melon, raw almond and green tea notes that last. It’s refreshing and comfortably balanced, the best wine from Scharffenberger we’ve tasted in many years.
In recent years, Scharffenberger’s Brut Excellence bottlings have racked up a fair share of “Good Value” recommendations, but, as this latest offering so clearly reaffirms, they are surprisingly serious wines whose marriage of vital fruit and yeasty richness would make them no less praiseworthy if costing considerably more. In this outing, the wine teams zesty, green apple fruit with a good deal of autolyzed complexity and earns further applause for its impeccable balance and ceaseless, very fine bubbles.