The People

In Northern California, where redwood forests meet the Mendocino coast, lies Anderson Valley, a region renowned for its ideal pairing of warm days and fog-cooled nights. It was these characteristics that led Jean-Claude Rouzaud, patriarch of the Louis Roederer family, to this remote area in 1981 to begin cultivation of premium pinot noir and chardonnay grapes.

Today, Jean-Claude’s son, Frédéric, continues the pursuit of quality at Domaine Anderson. 50 acres of family-owned vineyards weave throughout the Anderson Valley’s dramatically diverse terroir, dedicated exclusively to Domaine Anderson pinot noir and chardonnay. The family’s commitment to land stewardship and sustainable practices extends to each vineyard, including the Demeter Certified Biodynamic® and certified organic Dach vineyard, ensuring the health of the land for generations to come.

The Juice

The creation of this exquisite wine can be attributed to Domaine Anderson’s winemaker, Darrin Low. A native of California wine country, Darrin’s fascination for being a winemaker began at an early age, growing up in Healdsburg and working in his parent’s wine shop. An advocate for organic farming methods and biodynamic philosophy, Darrin is inspired to apply his expertise to the wines at Domaine Anderson, Roederer Collection’s newest estate property in the Anderson Valley.

The grapes that comprise the 2018 Domaine Anderson Estate Chardonnay come from four select estate blocks within the Anderson Valley. Such grapes are handpicked during the evening. Then they undergo partial crushing on selective lots in order to enhance texture and fragrance prior to pressing. Primary fermentation is performed in 60-gallon French barriques, which is then succeeded by malolactic fermentation that lasts through the spring. Finally, the wine is aged for 10 months in limited new oak.

The Dirt

Domaine Anderson is nestled in the breathtaking, fog-cooled hillside and mountain terrain of Northern California’s Anderson Valley. The cooling marine layer that is characteristic of this region provides ideal conditions for the cultivation of chardonnay and pinot noir grapes.

The wines are crafted with precision and care to express the uniqueness of the Anderson Valley terroir. Domaine Anderson’s 13.7 acres of Chardonnay vineyards span from the warmer, up-valley Booneville area to the cooler regions closer to the Mendocino coast. Their soils are generally light, with an alluvial mix of sand, loam and clay. The weather is impeccable; blessed with consistent moderate temperatures, morning fog and afternoon breezes throughout the growing season. These conditions create a perfect environment to grow cool-climate Pinot noir and Chardonnay for both sparkling and still wines.

The Taste

This wine is soft yellow in color. Its scent is rich and complex, containing subtle notes of preserved lemon, apricot, and a light reduction. On the palate, the 2018 Domaine Anderson Chardonnay balances the flavors of thyme herb, dried flowers, and grilled pear – all while maintaining a fresh and sharp acidity. Its finish is long and smooth.

The Spill

In our line of work, it isn’t often that a vineyard truly stands apart from the rest. Sure, there are plenty of locations that produce high quality, unforgettable wines – but what else can make a vineyard genuinely unique? In this case, we look to the approach of Domaine Anderson’s winemaker, Darrin Low. Low is an advocate for organic farming methods and biodynamic philosophy. Through natural farming of these grapes, healthy bacteria and fungus in the soil forms a bond with the vine roots, absorbing more minerals and nutrients. This results in better-tasting, more unique grapes – and thus, we have incredible wine from a nifty vineyard, and less guilt about environmental implications! Win-win-win.

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