Champagne Louis Roederer Camille Volibarts
November 2022, Antonio Galloni
“The 2019 Hommage a Camille (Le Mesnil-sur-Oger) is even better than the Pinot. It tastes just like vin clairs here, but with the breadth and richness of a finished wine. Lemon confit, slate, mint, white flowers and tangerine open first, gently framed by a discreet touch of oak. To be honest, I am not a huge fan of Coteaux Champenois. This might be the single greatest example I have ever tasted. What a knockout.”
June 28, 2022, James Suckling
“So expressive on the nose, with cedar, dried lemon, praline, flint, chalk, grapefruit, white apricot and peach stone. So intense. Sharp, but creamy, with beautiful density and a compact mid-palate, yet elegant and refined. Medium body. Crazy length. Chardonnay from Le Mesnil-sur-Oger. 1,665 bottles made. Try from 2023.”
May 2022, Jancis Robinson
“Light nose with some sweetness and some suggestion of lightly spiced oak. Quite a bit of acid and tannin on the end. Sweet lemon flavours. This seems less obviously Chablis-like than the 2018. This seems very much a product of Champagne, a vin clair with more body, for the moment?”
Named after one of the most remarkable figures in the history of Champagne Louis Roederer, Camille Volibarts allows wine enthusiasts to discover another facet of the unique winemaking expertise of this family-owned House, today headed by Frédéric Rouzaud, Camille Olry-Roederer's great-grandson.
A resourceful widow at the helm of Louis Roederer from 1932 to 1975, Camille brought the House into the modern world as she successfully steered the it through all the important events of that time. A brilliant ambassador, Camille enjoyed inviting her most loyal customers to dine with her, not only to unveil her latest champagnes but to surprise them… toying with codes and conventions, she used to serve the multi-vintage brut at the apéritif and some still wines from Roederer’s finest vineyards with the meal. Her guests were amazed by these still wines from Avize or Cumières!
Behind the creation of Camille, we find the natural, virtuous viticulture that has been practiced by the House for over 20 years, but here we see it taken in a new direction, daring to break with Champagne tradition through the absence of bubbles. It allows Louis Roederer to take what Nature has offered and render it even more beautiful, revealing another facet of the Champagne terroirs.
Sourced from a 1.36-acre plot in the Volibarts lieut-dit (Le Mesnil-sur-Oger), the smaller Chardonnay clusters are crushed by foot and left to macerate for two hours before being combined with the larger grapes and then pressed together. A pre-fermentation maceration (1/3 of the grapes) at the time of pressing lends the wine a tactile, almost tannic dimension, followed by a spontaneous fermentation.
14 months aging on the full lees with a little stirring. 77% of the wine is aged in sandstone eggs, allowing the wine to breathe whilst imparting richness and fat due to their spherical shape. 23% is aged in new French oak barrels (steamed Centre France and Seguin Moreau barrels) which lend the wine subtle oaky notes without overpowering its flavor. A total of 1,655 bottles were produced.
Very fresh, precise and pure bouquet, with warm toasted notes of hay, wheat and dried nuts, concentrated juicy ripe fruit (melon, pear) and lightly honeyed floral notes. After aeration, we have a lovely bouquet of reductive aromas with spicy nuances.
Intense, concentrated and fresh on the palate with candied citrus fruit and a juicy, almost oily texture. Chalky and saline notes then follow and are underpinned by a lovely tannic structure. The finish has a mouth- watering texture with toasted notes that provide great aromatic length. The whole is vibrant, perfectly integrated, precise, powerful and fresh.
2019 is a unique vintage born from a year that enjoyed a great deal of sunshine but also some very bad weather conditions, constantly yo-yo-ing from one extreme to another! Mother Nature has once again shown us that she is in control...but the strength and resilience of the Louis Roederer terroirs and its growing practices were able to adapt to the challenging conditions. In the end, the 2019 grape juices showed a combination of quality, maturity and concentration...There is only one word to describe this vintage: outstanding!
Varietals: 100% Chardonnay
Wine Alcohol: 12.6%
Harvest Start Date: September 15, 2019
Bottling Date: November 10, 2020