Frederic Rouzaud, President of Louis Roederer along with Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon, Vice President and Chef de Caves, presented a small group of us with their latest incarnation, Brut Nature 2006 by Philippe Starck. This is groundbreaking stuff as the last new product launch at Roederer was Cristal Rose in 1974!
Philippe Starck and Frederic conceived the idea of a champagne which truly reflected terroir was without the addition of sugar (dosage) and had minimal sulphites. Normally Roederer would pick and vinify each of their 410 plots seperarely followed by blending and second fermentation. In this case a 10ha plot in Cumieres is all harvested together then fermented 50/50 in oak and stainless steel. It remains on lees and was eventually disgorged in March of this year 8 years after picking!
Cumieres sits on chalk and clay with the former encouraging piercing purity and precision on the tongue while clay gives roundness and mouth-feel. It is bottled at 4.5 kilos pressure as opposed to normal 6 so has a gentler caress of the mouth. Blend is 33% Chardonnay, 47% Pinot Noir and 20% Pinot Meunier – what strikes you on tasting is that precision, purity and elegance. There are smoky spicy notes, orange and lemon peel but with a deliciously more-ish “drink me now” character and a wonderful silky texture.
Only 70,000 bottles of this wonderful vintage were made so it will not be around for long but JB and his team are eyeing up the evolution of some 2009 Cumieres fruit, so we may in the future see another offering.
I am so impressed by the bravery and commitment of this family house always wanting to learn more and give us thirsty enthusiasts another reason to pop a cork. Chill a bottle and enjoy with langoustines, sashimi or even a slice of Comte.