Louis Roederer Rosé 2012 Magnum, Champagne

63% Pinot Noir, 37% Chardonnay. Disgorged April 2020.

Essi Avellan MW calls this her ‘poor woman’s Cristal Rosé’!. It is a beautiful wine, summer pudding made with brown bread. so bright with redcurrant and raspberry but a touch of savour creeping into the Pinot profile now. Some orange peel (again something that seems to come with a little time) and anise, floating along with focus and purity on the palate. Fine, fine champagne. 18

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/ Champagne, Louis Roederer, Rosé

Louis Roederer Collection 241 Magnum, Champagne

42% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay, 18% Pinot Meunier. Base year 2016. Disgorged March 2021.

A small release of this wine in magnums, based on the year before (2016) the main release of Collection 242. A broader, slightly more golden sort of wine with peach and brown bread, roasted citrus and smoky lime. Real persistence with some salty nut intensity, but fresh too. The heat of the year is perhaps on show here with this touch of savoury intensity, but in magnum with these reserve wines it comes out deliciously fresh too. 17.5 

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/ Champagne, Classic Blend, Louis Roederer

Louis Roederer Collection 242, Champagne

36% Pinot Noir, 42% Chardonnay, 22% Pinot Meunier. Base year 2017. Disgorged 2021. 

Quite brave to release the replacement for Brut Premier with the troublesome 2017 vintage as the base. But then that is the point of the ‘Collection’ concept – to feature Roederer’s Perpetual Reserve and Oak-aged reserve wines (which make up 44% of the blend). Golden citrus preserve, brightness, freshness and precision. There is a little vein of spice and fresh lees-ageing richness – feels slightly less toasted/appley than the last Brut Premier I tasted. A little more intense through the middle, but conversely a little brighter, too.  Impressive. 17

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/ Champagne, Classic Blend, Louis Roederer

Louis Roederer Brut Premier, Champagne

2013 Base. 40% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay, 20% Pinot Meunier. So great to taste this with an extra 2 years on cork.

An enveloping, enticing nose! Roast red apples and citrus still lightened with blossom notes but turning golden with maple/pecan/coffee richness now. A slightly fudgy blackberry and apple warmth with some yellow spice – reserve wines? Open and unified on the palate, a lightness but not tightness of the 2013 vintage in evidence with a delicate tang. Leaves an addictive waft of pecan, caramel apple and ratafia on the finish. Definitely worth cellaring these. 17

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Louis Roederer Brut Nature 2012

The Blanc, composed of 55% Pinot Noir, 25% Pinot Meunier and 20% Chardonnay sees 15% vinification in oak and no MLF. The wine is only taken to 4.8 bar pressure because higher pressures “fight with malic acid”. The wine is jetted upon disgorgement (made to foam in a precise manner to avoid oxygen ingress once the crown cap is removed), which took place for this bottle in March 2019. A subtle, shifting picture of complex apple and white fruits presented with glimmering clarity alongside touches of starfruit and light, fresh baklava (something I was surprised to find in my notes, but find it I did !). An amazing length of pithy ripe citrus keeps the palate so composed for a Brut Nature, with no clamping down or narrowing.

18

Date Tasted : 17/12/2019

/ 2012, Champagne, Classic Blend, Louis Roederer

Louis Roederer Brut Nature Rosé 2012

There’s beautiful fruit here of singed blood orange and fresh, delicate raspberry seasoned with subtle smoke and allspice. That inner freshness is there again, almost like an energy source inside the wine keeping it afloat against the odds.

17.5

Date Tasted : 17/12/2019

/ 2012, Champagne, Louis Roederer, Rosé

Louis Roederer Brut Nature 2009

Many Brut Natures survive for a number of years, but not that many taste this good with three years post-disgorgement. The clarity of youth is still intact, with a pearly sheen of peach and grapefruit perfectly woven together so that nothing sticks out. The flinty freshness is there, but a little cashew just hints at some development too. There is genuine length and a finish bucks the trend for Brut Nature with acceleration and persistence.

17.5

Date Tasted : 17/12/2019

/ 2009, Champagne, Classic Blend, Louis Roederer

Louis Roederer Rosé 2013

This is so breezy and effortless, with fine lemon and grapefruit notes alongside fragrant pear and strawberry shortbread just flecked with some savoury touches. It isn’t rich in secondary notes, and neither it is lumpily, obviously red-fruited or over-vinous – it is just gorgeously refined and crystal-clear in fruit. The palate really takes off, with a stunning silky texture of microscopic detail and a beautiful line of acid tied into the pink grapefruit finish. Wonderful Rosé.

18

Date Tasted : 07/06/2019

/ 2013, Champagne, Louis Roederer, Rosé

Louis Roederer Blanc de Blancs 2010

This is all from Avize – it sits alone with Cristal in being a wine that is 100% about chalk for J.B.-Lécaillon. The ripeness is always pushed to around 12-13%, with the juice being deliberately oxidised at harvest and fermented in around 20% large, neutral oak. Mirabelles, golden apple and some delicate white flowers welcome you in, but these bristling wet chalk and salty, fresh oatmeal notes take this beyond just a fruit ‘n flower Blanc de Blancs expression. Lovely silkiness on the palate (4 bar pressure here), with intense crystallised citrus fruits and herbal touches. This is a bit of an outlier in the Roederer portfolio for me (even more so than the Brut Nature perhaps), but it’s hugely enjoyable and has some development ahead of it. It’s like a negative of the main vintage cuvée – worth looking out for in 2012 (if there is one!

17.5

Date Tasted : 07/06/2019

Louis Roederer Cristal 2008

Louis Roederer Cristal 2008 is a wine I find quite difficult to describe. You could write wine-y ‘descriptors’ for it that pick out flavours in the same way you might pick out individual colours in a Pissarro painting, but you’d fail to transmit anything helpful. It is beautifully inscrutable, and totally defies deconstruction.

The vines in the 45 finest mid-slope parcels that Roederer owns take 20 years to root down into the chalk, feeding initially on the topsoil before continuing their hunt for water security deeper and deeper below the surface, expanding laterally and immunising themselves against the shocks of heat and drought that can scrawl black marks over Champagne vintages. Only then are they considered for Cristal. The interesting thing about Cristal at this age is that is seems ‘less’, not ‘more’. It is not, like some Prestige wines, a hyped-up, jumped-up, flavour-intense version of another wine. It is not made by adding. It is quiet, serene and discreet, with a composed, insistent vein of fragrant fruit that lands with incredible immediacy on the palate. It is a beautifully-built chassis; you are paying for the finest winemaker in the world – time – to do the rest of the job.

19

Date Tasted : 07/06/2019

/ 2008, Champagne, Classic Blend, Louis Roederer