The Roederer Estate winery is nestled in Mendocino County’s cool, fog-shrouded Anderson Valley. As the Californian outpost of Champagne Louis Roederer, Quartet builds on centuries of fine winemaking tradition and has established a reputation as one of California’s premier sparkling wines.
See this link for a great short video on the Estate and Quartet.
Jean-Claude Rouzaud, former president of Champagne Louis Roederer and sixth generation descendant of the founder, selected the 235 hectare Anderson Valley vineyard and winery site in 1982. He believed that estate-owned vineyards were essential to ensure top quality wine, and had searched California for ideal growing conditions for several years.
The Anderson Valley offers the cool climate and well-drained soils that are ideally suited to the Louis Roederer winemaking style. The region’s proximity to the ocean gives rise to a gentle cycle of warm days and cool nights, allowing grapes to mature slowly on the vine and develop full varietal character. To achieve an optimum balance of acids and sugars in the estate’s grapes, Rouzaud introduced an ‘open lyre’ trellis system for training the vines on moveable wires, providing more exposure to sunlight than traditional trellising methods.
There are four distinct vineyards on the estate – hence the name Quartet – from which all the grapes are sourced.
Arnaud Weyrich began his career at Roederer Estate as an intern after graduating in 1993 from the prestigious Montpellier school, Ecole Supérieure d’Oenologie. With a strong background in both viticulture and enology, Arnaud has had a long relationship with Champagne Louis Roederer working previously as Chief Technical Officer in charge of development in Reims and today, as Winemaker and V.P. Production in California. The blending team has a total of 140 vintages of experience between them.
The winemaking approach used is based on the ownership of vineyards and the addition of oak aged reserve wines (5%) to produce a multi-vintage cuvée (of up to five vintages) in the traditional Champagne Louis Roederer style, known for its body, finesse and depth of flavour. These reserve wines, which have been selected from the best parcels of each harvest, are used to create extra complexity and are matured slowly for up to five years in large oak casks which are specially imported from France.
The blend comprises 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir – the opposite proportions from those used in Champagne Louis Roederer’s Brut Premier. Only the cuvée (first pressing of 545 litres/ton) is used, gently pressed from the pulp with minimal skin contact. Fermentation at 18°C in high-grade stainless steel tanks with no malolactic fermentation ensures the wine ages well and retains the fresh Champagne Louis Roederer style, even after a minimum of two years on its lees.
Quartet is crisp and elegant with complex pear, spice and hazelnut flavours. It is fresh and lightly fruity with great finesse and depth of flavour.