The new release of Brut Premier is from the base year of 2012 and was disgorged in the spring of 2016, after spending three years aging on its fine lees. The wine is its customary blend of forty percent each of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and twenty percent Pinot Meunier. The bouquet wafts from the glass in a complex and still youthful blend of apple, white peach, gentle leesiness, patissière, lovely soil tones and a smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, crisp and beautifully balanced, with excellent mid-palate depth, refined mousse, excellent focus and grip and a long, poised and complex finish. This will be even better with some bottle age and is a fine iteration of this consistently excellent cuvée. (Drink between 2017-2037)
Just the right amount of reduction here, holding lemon, white peach, wild cherries and more savory notes of spice and grilled nuts really fresh. The palate delivers punchy impact with impressive build and a nicely honed textural thread. Acidity, as ever, is paramount. Drink now.
The famous nonvintage from Louis Roederer has evolved and become just that little bit drier. This bottling emphasizes white fruits and crisp acidity as well as mineral texture. It is a complete wine, all the elements there. Another few months bottle age will make this wine even better, so wait until 2017. (RV)
This vibrant version is finely knit and elegant, with floral, toast and smoke aromas on the nose and flavors of crème de cassis and lemon curd riding the lacy mousse. (AN)
Pale gold. Spice- and mineral-accented orchard and pit fruits on the intensely perfumed nose, with hints of toasty lees and brioche adding complexity. Sappy, penetrating and floral on the palate, offering juicy Meyer lemon, pear and melon flavors braced by a smoky mineral underpinning. Closes spicy and very long, leaving a sexy honeysuckle note behind. (JR)
Balanced in a rich style, this yields flavors of lemon meringue over zesty orange-pith acidity. It’s round and smooth, a wine with direction that gently carries you along with it.
This complete and very well-crafted offering combines the buoyancy and lively step of youth with lots of well-defined yeast from first sniff to finish. It is polished, quietly complex and quite long on the palate with fine, unending bubbles, and, if it stops short of showing the depth and dimension of the marquee bottlings of the famous French houses, it is by all measures an exceptional non-vintage Brut.
Roederer's NV Brut Premier is a classic and blends about 40% Pinot Noir (from Bouzy and Ambonnay), with 20-25% Meunier (whose share is declining in this blend) and Chardonnay. Two-thirds of the grapes come from estate vineyards, one-third is purchased. (Mind you that all the other Roederer cuvées are sourced exclusively form their own vineyards!) The newest release of the Premier is based on 75% 2009 and 25% reserve wines, which are, since 1996, single vintage wines aged in large oak casks between 6,000 and 10,000 liters. Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon holds 160 vats of reserve wines that are stored blank, so without lees, which otherwise would dominate the taste, says Lécaillon. 'I don't like the reductive yeast flavors. Instead I am searching for a slightly oxidative and oaky style in my reserve wine.' Lécaillon's youngest Premier did not undergo malolactic fermentation. The wine opens very bright, precise and refined, with toasty and white chocolate flavors. Absolutely delicate and elegant on the palate, this is a light, silky textured and remarkably finesse-full Champagne that is fresh on the palate, thanks to its structure and slightly oaky flavors. Excellent. (SR)
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