We happen to feel that Roederer Estate Brut is one of best sparkling wines made in California, certainly at the great value price point of $21.50, which is why it has always had a home in our sparkling section. Much like its Rose cousin, this Estate Brut shows a nice yeasty, richer-style character with plenty of great balancing acidity on the very crisp finish. However, whereas the Rose is typically a blend of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay, this Estate Brut is just the opposite with Chardonnay leading the way. It is a textbook example of what great sparkling wine can be in California and always adds fun to any gathering or even a simple meal at home. Technically owned by the French Champagne house Roederer, but it's a California sparkling wine - and a great one at that. Roederer is also a great place to visit in Mendocino, well worth the trip! The 580-acre estate was founded in 1982 by Jean-Claude Rouzaud, then president of Champagne Louis Roederer and 5th generation descendant of the founder. He has since passed the reins onto his son, Frederic. The proximity to the Pacific Ocean was a key factor in selecting this site because it provides a gentle cooling effect on the vines which typically see lots of sunshine (when not shrouded in fog.) They use only their estate grown Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in their wines as well as a good amount of reserve wines (held back from each year's harvest) that have been ageing in oak casks.