The name Louis Roederer, synonymous with prestige and heritage, instils sentiments of quality and tradition. Founded in 1776, this triumph of a Champagne house remains one of the last significant independently run estates of the region. With an annual production north of 3 million bottles and a global reach of 100 countries, there is no doubting the adoration bestowed upon this benchmark of a Champagne company.
Here at Goedhuis we were fortunate enough to sample, side-by-side, six of the wines currently on offer from Louis Roederer with Mark Bingley MW last week: the Brut Premier NV, the 2009 Brut, the 2010 Blanc de Blancs, the 2011 Vintage Rosé, 2009 Cristal and finally the 2009 Brut Nature.
Brut Premier NV
Poised and delicate and yet tremendously well rounded, the Brut Premier exhibits great structure and balance with noticeable fruit, whilst retaining acidity levels characteristic of a great Champagne. Six different vintages, of which 70% stems from the 2012, combined with several years of oak cask ageing and cellar maturation, the process is nothing if not patience exemplified.
A blend of 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay the wine is deliberately not subjected to malolactic fermentation to retain structure and textural counterpoints. Gloriously rich in colour the mousse is vibrant but not too boisterous! Discernible notes of fresh raspberries and strawberries ring through the palate boldly, courtesy of the Pinot Noir. This is a wonderfully sublime, sophisticated wine.
2010 Blanc de Blancs
Composed entirely of Louis Roederer’s Chardonnay grapes from the Côte des Blancs Grands Crus vineyards, this wine is an exemplary Blanc de Blancs. Matured on average for five years within the cellars it is then rested for six months post disgorgement. Effortlessly light with balanced aromas of citrus and brioche this delicate wine retains all the necessary traits of a Chardonnay Champagne whilst being quite unique in character. Hints of green fruits give way to an underlying subtle sweetness serenely balanced by the natural acidity. Here, the levels of minerality are far more identifiable than those of the ’09 brut.
2011 Vintage Rosé
The delicate hue of this pink Champagne is immediately noticeable. Subtle and beguiling, visually this wine aims to intrigue rather than bedazzle. Achieved through a cold soak, colour is prudently extracted whilst the juice remains almost entirely free of tannins. The mousse is reflective of this wine’s aura, both understated and yet capacious in nature. Cherry and raspberry combined with golden citrus make for a sumptuously rounded flavour that lingers on the palate well beyond expectation.
Cristal, the heralded pièce de résistance of the Louis Roederer offerings, is a balanced blend of Grands Crus hailing from the Montagne de Reims, the Marne Valley and the Côte des Blancs. Aged for six years in the cellar and left for a minimum of eight months after disgorgement, this wine quietly awaits maturation, blossoming in to what truly is the jewel in Roederer’s crown. Vivacious effervescence and decadent golden colours, visually it is everything one would expect from a truly great Champagne. Rounded aromas of stone fruits and cooked nuts glazed in honey are unforgettable. Yet despite the robustness of the flavours there is an underpinning delicateness and freshness indicative of the cellar master’s expertise.
2009 Brut Nature
Quite extraordinary in many ways and unlike any other Champagne, this wine is the result of a fascinating collaboration between Louis Roederer and the designer Philippe Starck. Vibrantly fresh and invigoratingly bone dry the Brut Nature reflects quite vividly its terroir. The grapes, grown exclusively in the Côteaux de Cumières, reached unusual levels of ripeness in 2009 and yet this displays no hint of sweetness. Plentiful levels of minerality combined with dazzling herbaceous notes encapsulate the character of this wine. Layers of zest and spice sing through and the result is a finish that endures considerably more than one might expect – an unusual and highly provocative Champagne.
For more information or to buy any of these wines please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 020 77937900.