Louis Roederer – founded in 1776, based in Reims, remains family owned. Has 214ha (supplies 2/3 of its needs) of mostly GC vineyard, spread across the Montagne de Reims, Vallee de la Marne and Cotes des Blanc. In the last part of the 19th century Roederer developed a relationship with Tsar Nicolas II, a special crystal bottle was manufactured and the Cristal cuvee was born. The Russian Revolution of 1917 put paid to that customer and Roederer turned to Europe and the West for its trade.
All Roederer wines are created as prestige cuvees. 1st fermentation at 15.5-18.5C so as to retain the delicate floral and fruity aromas, in numerous small stainless steel vats and a small number of oak vats, with each taking 1-2 ha of vineyard product, so preserving the qualities of different plots. Around Christmas time the fermentation subsides naturally, the wines are clarified and classified. For a cuvee the house has access to >100 wines from the current harvest, plus > 150 oak cask matured reserve wines. The 2nd, bottle fermentation, sur lattes, lasts 6-8 weeks. The wines then lees age for > 3 years. All wine is rested for at least 6 months post-disgorgement.
Roederer prestige cuvees:
- Brut Premier NV – an affordable prestige ca. £40, dominated by pinot noir and meunier, fermented in small stainless steel vats, augmented by 20% oak aged reserve wines; >4 years lees ageing, the blend is formed of wines from 6 years.
- Carte Blanche demi-sec NV – similar in profile to brut premier, with more dosage, slightly different blend with 50% pinot noir, 30% chardonnay and 20% pinot meunier, with up to 20% wood aged reserves.
- Vintage Blancs de Blancs – 100% chardonnay, with 20% vinified in oak barrels with weekly batonnage, and no MLF. 5 years lees ageing. Dosage 8-10 g/l so a brut. Roederer tasting note: Yellow with golden-green highlights, ultra-fine persistent bubbles. Rich, heady nose of crystallised citrus, scents of hawthorn, white fruits (pears), lemon citrus, roasted hazelnuts and cocoa. On the palate white peach, meatiness, wininess and freshness. The long length is emphasised by the acidity, which although present is completely enveloped by the density and sweetness of the wine.
- Vintage Brut – 70% pinot noir , 30% chardonnay, with 30% matured in oak casks with weekly batonnage, and no MLF. Lees aged for > 4 years. Dosage of 8-10 g/l.
Roederer tasting note: gold with light amber highlights, typical of pinot noir. Nose – nutty-citrus nose – scents of orange and hazelnuts punctuated by warm, fruity notes typical of predominantly wood-aged pinot noir; plus richer, riper fragrances: crystallized fruit, baked apples, toast, Tarte Tatin and caramel. The palate is deep and full on, with flavours evolving towards the sweet, palate-caressing texture of candied fruit, marzipan, toast, white chocolate and caramel.
- Vintage rose – 70% pn, 30% ch, with 20% of the wines vinified in oak barrels with weekly batonnage. No MLF. Saignée method after cold maceration that can last 5 to 8 days. 4 years sur lattes lees ageing. Dosage 12g/l. Roederer tasting note: aromas of flowers, strawberry, citrus, gingerbread, toasted, caramel notes. Full bodied, with richness from the pn.
- Cristal – a vintage continuous growth in demand, 60% pinot noir and 40% chardonnay in 2002. No MLF. Average of 5 years lees ageing sur lattes.
- Cristal rose – 60% pinot noir 40% chardonnay, saignee is used for colour. 4 years lees ageing sur lattes. No MLF.
19th century, family owned, grower strategy, independence from growers, 2/3 needs, tsar nicolas 2nd, cristal, 1917 revolution, saignee, no MLF, extended lees ageing, sur lattes, 6 months rest.
- Champagne Roederer. [Online]. Accessed 24/07/13.