The Artistry of Champagne
Established in 1776, Champagne Louis Roederer is one of the few remaining completely independent familyowned, great Champagne houses. By 1876 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 ever Cuvée de
In January 2006, the management of the House passed from Jean-Claude Rouzaud to his son, making Frédéric Rouzaud the 6th generation of the family at the head of the company. With ten years already behind him at Louis Roederer, Frédéric’s accession is doubly valuable; as a guarantee of continuity for the House and for the proven expertise he brings to this role.
Each vineyard plot is fermented separately to preserve the unique characteristics of the vineyard and the variety. A selection of the finest wines in each vintage is set aside to be matured in large oak casks in Roederer’s unique ‘Reserve Cellar’. After two to six years’ ageing they are used in the blend of Roederer’s Brut Premier (around 10%) to give the mature complexity and consistent character which defines the Roederer style. All Louis Roederer’s wines are aged in bottle well in excess of the stipulated time and always receive an extra six months ageing after disgorging and before shipment.
Roederer owns just over 214 hectares of vineyards located in the finest areas of Champagne – Montagne de Reims, Vallée de la Marne and Côte des Blancs. Each vineyard is situated in the finest sites, with the plots ranking between 95% and 100% on the Échelle des Crus. This makes 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 all stages from grape to glass.
The benchmark of a Champagne house’s style is its Non Vintage. Roederer’s Brut Premier is blended from six different vintages from over 40 individual plots in a cuvée composed of 40% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Meunier. 5% of the wines are matured in oak casks with weekly lees stirring, with up to 10% of reserve wines which are matured in oak casks contributing a great savouriness. It is aged for 36 months prior to disgorgement and is released only after a further six months in the cellars in Reims. Brut Premier is consistently rated as one of the finest non-vintage Champagnes being full and complex as well as both powerful and modern yet retaining a classic balance. The dosage is c10 g/L.
CARTE BLANCHE - DEMI SEC
Carte Blanche is the mirror image of Brut Premier NV with the difference being the higher dosage of 45 g/L which gives the wine intense floral notes and a rich creamy texture. It remains very fresh due to good acidity and has notes of warm sugared almonds and caramelized apples.
Based on the diversity of aromatic expression of Pinot Noir Roederer make a vintage only in exceptional years and based on the power and structure of the Pinot Noirs from the Montagne de Reims, where the north-northeast facing vines are slower to ripen and often give wines that are tough and closed at the start of maturation but which become remarkably refined and intense under as they age. Vintage is a blend of 70% Pinot Noir mainly from Verzenay and 30% Chardonnay, and aged for a minimum of four years in bottle prior to disgorgement and a further 6 months post disgorgement. The dosage is c9 g/L.
A great Rosé champagne needs to be made from very ripe grapes, which can be challenging in the Champagne region. That is why Roederer decided to invest in one of the most precocious vineyards in the whole region at Cumières where the light of the steep, south-facing clay and limestone slopes are accented by the Marne river producing high phenolic maturity. Produced using the saignée method after a cold maceration that can last 5-8 days and always as a vintage wine, Brut Rosé is a blend of 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay. Aged for a minimum of four years before disgorgement with a dosage of 11.5 g/L.
BLANC DE BLANCS
From the heart of its vineyards in the Côte des Blancs, Roederer have selected two of their best vineyards – Le Mesnil sur Oger and Avize – with typical and complementary characteristics enabling the creation of intense wines that are both subtle and aromatic. Made from 100% Chardonnay with 15-20% of the wine vinified in oak barrels with weekly lees stirring the Blanc de Blancs is bottled at a lower pressure (4 atmospheres rather than the usual 6) to ensure rounder, smoother bubbles. It then undergoes 5 years of maturation prior to disgorgement and then a further 6 months prior to shipment. Dosage is c 9 g/L.
The first and ultimate Cuvée de Prestige, Cristal is only produced in the very finest vintages and with meticulous care. A blend of 55% Pinot Noir and 45% Chardonnay from only the best rated of Roederer’s vineyards in the Montagne de Reims, the Vallée de la Marne and the Côte des Blancs including Aÿ, Avize and Mesnil-sur-Oger. 20% of the wines are matured in large oak casks which undergo weekly batonnage. There is no malolactic fermentation. The wine spends 5 years ageing in the cellars then resting for a further 8 months post disgorgement. The dosage is about 9 g/l.
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