Louis Roederer Brut Premier
|Region||California, North Coast, Anderson Valley|
Wine EnthusiastRoederer's nonvintage cuvée is ripe and bright. The acidity and clean white-fruit flavors show strongly, allied to a tangy texture. It is a little drier than previous bottlings, a product of the ripe fruit that needed less dosage. Drink now.
Wine AdvocateRoederer'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.