Cooperation Louis Roederer and Philippe Starck
Gert Crum (Twitter and Facebook.)
Publicatie: June 18th 2020
This Brut Nature 2012 Blanc (a small amount of Rosé Brut Nature was also released this year) by Louis Roederer in collaboration with Philippe Starck is the third in a row. After 2006 and 2009. It therefore seems that this special vintage champagne is made every three years. However, this rhythm is purely coincidental.
The main focus for this champagne is a ‘continental’ summer. Such a dry and warm summer, with an easterly wind from the continent, is necessary according to Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon, chef de caves at Roederer, given that it is a Brut Nature (so no dosage) and that Roederer (almost) always eliminates the malo (the second malolactic fermentation), the conversion of sharper malic acid into softer lactic acid. Under such conditions, a ‘continental’ summer is necessary, if you want a comfortable, balanced champagne.
The grapes also come from the vineyards of one of the warmest crus in Champagne, Cumières. The plots in the lieux-dits Les Chèvres and Les Chèvres Pierreuses are on a steep slope in an amphitheater below Hautvillers.
Roederer has not owned these plots for very long. They belonged to Pascal Leclerc Briant and his family. But after Pascal’s death, Roederer bought part of their property. Pascal Leclerc Briant already worked biodynamically and Roederer has continued that principle.
Rows of pinot noir, meunier and chardonnay are intermixed in the vineyards, a so-called complantation. The grapes are picked at the same time and in one day – it takes 600 pickers! Everything is pressed and fermented at the same time. This 2012 was bottled in 2013 and disgorged in 2019.
The colour of this 2012 is reminiscent of yellow copper. The mousse is comfortably soft. Of course, due to the many years sur lattes, but also because of slightly less bottle pressure. It is a rich, powerful, intense and vinous champagne – the Roederer style, ‘charnu’ the French would say – and at the same time it has tension, energy, is elegant and refined.
It has fine nuances of ginger, citrus peel, but also dried apricot and peach. It finishes with fine, stimulating bitters. In short, layered and complex, and wonderfully harmonious. Delightful.
Of course, you can look up the whole story of Champagne Roederer and their range of champagnes in my book ‘Champagne – The Future Uncorked’.
Champagne Louis Roederer
Champagne, the future uncorked
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