Champagne Louis Roederer Vintage
The Wine Advocate
June 29, 2018, Stephan Reinhardt
“Roederer’s white golden 2012 Vintage is a classic Millésime. Based on 70% cool-climate Pinot Noir from Verzy and Verzenay (Montagne de Reims) and 30% Chardonnay from a very warm, south/southwest-facing vineyard in Chouilly (Côte des Blancs), the 2012 represents the mineral terroirs of its origins beautifully— pure, refined and fresh. Fermented 8% in oak and with just 16% of the volume having done malolactic fermentation to make the Roederer Vintage Brut a classic gastronomic wine, the 2012 shows a deep, rich and ripe but also fine, precise and elegant chalky nose with hazelnut, toasted almond and blossom flavors. The palate is profound, round, highly elegant and fresh, and the long, remarkably salty finish is very complex and terribly fresh in its persistent mineral expression. This is an impressive, ripe and almost creamy textured but precise and finessed 2012 with power, body and structure. A true, highly stimulating classic. Just love it! Disgorged in January 2017 after four years of bottle aging (dosage: nine grams per liter). Tasted in Reims in May 2018.”
Fascinated by the diversity of aromas expressed by the Pinot Noir variety in Champagne, Louis Roederer decided to base its Vintage Brut on the structure and power of Reims Mountain pinot noirs. These north-easterly facing vineyards take longer to ripen, producing wines that can sometimes be rough and confined at the start of the maturing process. However, their personality develops remarkably, becoming more intense over time when matured in wood. In 1850, Roederer decided to buy over 15 hectares in the Verzenay grand cru in order to have better control over how the grapes in this cuvée were used.
The wine is aged for 4 years in the cellars and left for a minimum of 6 months after disgorging to attain the perfect maturity. The dosage is 9 g/l.
Golden yellow with soft amber tints. Very bright and gentle sparkle visible throughout the wine. The subtle bouquet, on the first nose, opens out gradually to reveal spring-like notes of fresh citrus fruit (lemon tree rather than lemon fruit) combined with warm, almost smoky, mineral aromas, followed by notes of lightly toasted almonds, one of the signs of the aging in oak foudres. The wine is wide, energetic and with talc-like chalkiness initially, gently coating the palate. It is both soft and rich with a full-bodied, silky mouthfeel. The finish is long and persistent.
The 2012 vintage displays the minerality of pinot noirs grown in the Verzy and Verzenay vineyards, lying to the far north. In 2012, the domaine’s powerful character was tempered by plenty of sun and softened by some exceptionally precise oak ageing.
2012 was one of the most challenging and complicated years ever experienced in Champagne. Yet difficult conditions often leads to great things… The low yields, due to the vagaries of weather, combined with continental conditions towards the end of the season, gave us unusual levels of maturity, resulting in rich, full-bodied and structured wines worthy of the greatest vintages in Champagne.
Varietals: 70% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay
Dosage: 9 g/l
Suggested Retail Price: $79.99