Champagne Louis Roederer Brut Premier
The Wine Advocate
June 29, 2018, Stephan Reinhardt
“Based on the 2013 vintage (75%) and complemented with 25% reserve wines going back to 2006, Roederer's NV Brut Premier (2013) has a straw yellow color and offers lovely intensity and finesse on the nose, displaying brioche and honey notes along with ripe white fruit and flowery aromas. Round and fresh on the beautifully balanced palate and with a refreshing citrus flavor in the clear, crisp and pure finish, this is a very elegant, vital and stimulating cuvée made of 35% Pinot Noir, 38% Chardonnay and 28% Pinot Meunier. According to Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon, 2013 was a very good vintage for Pinot Noir. "2013 was a late harvest. We picked the grapes only in October," explained Lécaillon, who used 55% own grapes for the Brut Premier. "In wet years, the percentage of Meunier is always higher because Meunier doesn't need to be super ripe. I am happy with 9.5% alcohol here because I need the clear and crisp freshness to balance the vinosity of Pinot." It is the wine of the purchased, less ripe grapes from the Marne Valley that undergoes the process of malolactic fermentation (in total: 40%), Lécaillon said, and he never sends Chardonnay into the second (malolactic) fermentation in order to avoid the butterscotch flavors. To make a long story short: Roederer's NV Brut Premier is a classic aperitif and gastronomic wine that can be served everywhere and anytime. Tasted in Reims in May 2018.”
November 15, 2017, Alison Napjus
“An elegant Champagne in an aperitif style, with flavors of crushed blackberry, biscuit, spring blossom and Meyer lemon zest riding the finely detailed bead, underscored by a streak of salinity that emerges on the fresh finish.”
December 1, 2016, Roger Voss
“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.”
September 14, 2016, Alison Napjus
“This vibrant version is finely knit and elegant, with floral, toast and smoke aromas on the nose and flavors of creme de cassis and lemon curd riding the lacy mousse.”
The Wine Advocate
May 26, 2016, Stephan Reinhardt
“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. Except of the Brut Premier and the Carte Blanche (which I did never taste) all Roederer cuvées are vintage Champagnes; or to be more precise - terroir-driven millésimes. Since the prestigious family-owned estate in Reims cultivates a stately amount of grand cru vineyards between their pressing centers in Verzepay (Montagne de Reims), Ay (Vallée de la Marne) and Avize (Côte de Blancs), Louis Roederer focuses on the production of a neat range of distinctive Champagnes. These are not just influenced by the blending of varietals (mostly barrel-fermented Pinot Noir and Chardonnay but also Meunier), but the characteristics of every single plot whose musts and wines are carefully combined by chef de cave Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon. The result is a beautiful range of classic Champagnes that contain the famous Cristal (Blanc and Rosé). Mind you, though, that not a single cuvée of Louis Roederer is of just average quality. At least the difference of quality between the Blanc de Blancs Vintage (currently 2009) or the Vintage (2008) is much smaller compared to the Cristal (2007) than the price might indicate. In fact, I don’t leave my home airport (in both directions) without buying a bottle of Roederer’s excellent 2008 Vintage.”
Since Champagne Louis Roederer‘s founding in 1776, the House has been synonymous with the world‘s greatest champagnes. The upheavals of the start of the twentieth century, in particular the First World War that destroyed more than half of the Louis Roederer estate, led Léon Olry Roederer to reconstruct his vineyard. He decided to buy in grapes to ensure continuity during the period of crisis. In doing so, he created a wine of several vintages with a constant taste whatever the year of harvesting. Today, this wine is Brut Premier! The wines are kept a minimum of three years on the lees for the multi-vintage Brut Premier.
Brut Premier uses all three Champagne grape varieties from more than 40 different plots. 40% pinot noir, 40% chardonnay, 20% pinot meunier - 5% of wines are matured in oak casks with weekly batonnage and 10% of reserve wines are matured in casks. Partial malolactic fermentation. The wine is an assemblage of six years of harvesting, a part of which comes from the Louis Roederer reserve wine collection, matured in oak casks for several years. It is matured for three years in the cellar and rested for six months after disgorgement to perfect maturity. Dosage of between 10 and 11 g/L is adapted to each vintage.
Delicate and elegant. Its reserve wines bring rich round flavors that make it vibrant, fresh and generous. From the outset, Brut Premier affirms its personality and seduction: the texture is full and generous and, in a fairly unexpected way, integrates characteristics of maturity associated with fruitier and more refreshing notes. The wine has a fresh festive finesse. In the mouth, the wine has structure, richness and length. It is a full, complex wine that is both modern and powerful, whilst remaining a great classic.
Brut Premier can be served for many occasions. It is ideal as an aperitif, thanks to its freshness and finesse, and as a splendid accompaniment to fine cuisine, thanks to its structure. Brut Premier pairs beautifully with langoustines or shellfish, honey and brioche, liver and white fruit (peaches and mirabelles), as well as terrine of foie gras with almond jelly.
Varietals: 40% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay, 20% Pinot Meunier
Wine Alcohol: 12%
Dosage: Between 9 and 11 g/L is adapted to each vintage
Aging: Average period of three years
Suggested Retail Price: $53.99