Subtle amber yellow colour. On the nose there are delicious hints of apricots, tropical fruits and jersey cream. This open ripeness continues in the mouth with flavours of guava and mango. Deliciously generous with broad ripeness and subtle characteristics of Moroccan spice. As Roederer family member Eric Rouzaud says, this Cristal is a wine focused on discreet density. For me it is flamboyant without excess. A hugely rewarding prestige cuvée and totally ready to drink now.
The 2009 Blanc de Blancs Vintage is mainly from Avize (80%), but chef de cave Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon is aiming for 100% due to the forward pushed ripeness of Chardonnay. The wine offers a deep, intense and very elegant nose of ripe, but nobly discreet Chardonnay on chalk flavors, which are repeated on the palate. Think of white fruits, flowers and blossoms, hazelnuts, brioche and almonds - and you are almost there. The 2009 offers a mouthful of round, rich and very elegant, precisely defined Chardonnay that shows a lovely freshness and purity in the finish. The wine is silky, vinous and very long, and reveals an endless elegance. No malolactic fermentation, but a remarkably chiseled acidity. Drink 2016-2024
Roederer's 2009 Blanc de Blancs is absolutely delicious. Cool and nicely layered in the glass, with considerable restraint for the vintage, the 2009 offer striking balance and tons of personality. Lemon peel, flowers and white pepper all give the Blanc de Blancs its brightness, but overall, this is a soft, textured style of Blanc de Blancs that will drink well young. Hopefully more time in bottle will help some of the tightness on the finish to soften. Dosage is 9 grams/Liter. Drink 2017-2024
I was astonished at the beauty of the perfume of this wine and seconds after I opened the bottle the aura in the room was exquisite. Louis Roederer uses two top-flight Grand Cru villages for the grapes for this 100% chardonnay – Mesnil-sur-Oger and Avize. The only recipe detail that you need to be aware of is that they bring into play a little oak – 10% of the wine has been matured in barrels. This amazing creation spends five years in the cellar at Roederer before being disgorged. It is this simplicity and purity which makes 2009 Blanc de Blancs such a breath-taking beauty. It is a rare wine, too, with extremely limited stocks, hence the fact there is only one confirmed retailer so far. Aside from the scintillating nose, the palate is sleek and silky and then the finish rolls on for minutes. As it is already six years old this wine is drinking perfectly, but I don’t doubt it will age for another decade. I am happy to put my neck on the line and say that this vintage is my favourite to date and in the world of Blanc de Blancs it is one of the very finest.
Established in 1776, Champagne Louis Roederer is one of the few remaining completely independent family owned, great Champagne houses. By 1886 the House had achieved such a reputation for quality that the second Louis Roederer was asked by Tsar Alexander II to create Cristal for the exclusive use of the Russian Tsars, and in so doing created the first Cuvée de Prestige. In January 2006, Frédéric Rouzaud became the 6th generation of the family at the head of the company. With 10 years already behind him at Louis Roederer, Frédéric's accession is valuable; as a guarantee of continuity for the House. Roederer owns just over 200 hectares of vineyards located in the finest areas of Champagne - Montagne de Reims, Vallée de la Marne and Côte des Blancs. Roederer self sufficient for 100% of its vintage styles, and provides two-thirds of its production for Brut Premier. Such a high proportion of ‘estate' grapes is very unusual in champagne, and ensures superior quality at allstages from grape to glass.
Champagne, the world's greatest sparkling wine, needs little introduction - with imitations produced in virtually every country capable of growing grapes, including such unlikely candidates as India and China. The Champagne region, to the north of Paris, has the most northerly vineyards in France, with vines grown on slopes with a southerly exposure to maximise sunlight. The soil is chalky, providing an excellent balance of drainage and water retention. The key to the wine is in the cellar - the bubbles result from a second fermentation in the bottle and the rich toasty flavours in great Champagne come from extended bottle ageing on the yeasty lees. Until the eighteenth century, the wines produced in the Champagne area were light acidic white wines, with no hint of sparkle. However glass and closure technology developed at that time and it was not long before Dom Perignon, a Benedictine monk at the Abbey of Hautvilliers, started experimenting with blends and produced the first recognisable champagne. In a world accustomed to still wines, the advent of champagne was almost a flop. It was saved when it became fashionable at the French court as a result of Louis XV's mistress Madame de Pompadour commenting "Champagne isthe only wine that lets a woman remain beautiful after she has drunk it." And the rest is history, with famous (or infamous) champagne lovers including Casanova, Dumas, Wagner, Winston Churchill, James Bond and Coco Chanel.