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The nose is discreet and delicate, the most prominent notes being of orchard fruits such as apple and pear. After aeration, the apple aromas take on more caramelised scents of baked apple, tarte tatin and finely roasted hazelnut. The Chardonnay then develops a limestone character with mineral notes of hot stone, delicate spice, candied lemon, citrus, graphite, and even a hint of tobacco. The wine is velvety on entry to the palate, with a soft, smooth texture which dominates the palate, coating it with a delicate yet concentrated mouthfeel. It then broadens to reveal a zesty yet mineral freshness. The wine continues to take shape on the palate showing density at first, followed by a raw almond freshness that lengthens the finish. The undeniably saline end-palate is underpinned by an interminable chalky freshness that makes your mouth water, refreshes the palate, and invites you to take another sip!
Founded in 1776, and property of the same family since 1819, Champagne Louis Roederer is today one of the last major champagne houses to be an independent family affair. The annual production of its wines (Brut Premier, Carte Blanche, Brut Vintage, Rosé Vintage, Blanc de Blancs, Cristal, Cristal Rosé) represents just over three million bottles, distributed to 100 countries worldwide.
Using Chardonnay only from 4 plots in the Grand Cru of Avize in the Côte des Blancs for the Blanc de Blancs, Champagne Louis Roederer uses 100% of its own grapes for vintage styles. Complete self-sufficiency of estate-grown grapes is extremely unusual in Champagne, ensuring superior quality at all stages from grape to glass.
18% of the wines have been matured in oak tuns with weekly batonnage and no malolactic fermentation. The Blanc de Blancs 2011 cuvée was drawn off at low
pressure in order to create a rounder and smoother effervescence. It was bottle-aged for 5 years and then left to rest for a further 8 months after disgorging to
attain the perfect maturity. The dosage is 9 g/l.
This cool, wet year paradoxically resulted in a historically early harvest for Louis Roederer. It was a ‘reversed-season’ with a warm, dry winter followed by almost summer-like weather throughout the spring. Summer got off to a cooler, more autumnal start and the cold, rainy weather continued until the end of August. Summer finally arrived in September, which enjoyed warm temperatures throughout the month. Maturation was outstanding, unexpectedly so given the mediocre weather conditions during the year. The 2011 vintage required patience as well as a rigorous sorting of the grapes at harvest time since (as was the case for the 2010 vintage), only the south-facing vines and those loaded with fewer clusters managed to reach satisfactory levels of ripeness.
A perfect match with oysters, summer salad with hazel nuts and goats’ cheese, or prawns or langoustines.
“This has springtime scents of meadow flowers and chanterelles, the wine’s sunny freshness infusing its richer tones of toasted brioche and creme fraiche. It’s a classic, mineral-driven blanc de blancs, with a length of flavor that feels compressed and youthfully charged.”
Wine & Spirits: 94 POINTS, YEAR’S BEST CHAMPAGNE
“This wine is made from Chardonnay from the Côte des Blancs. The well-balanced palate is textured and mineral driven, with a crisp white-fruit flavor that comes together well. This can be enjoyed now, although it will be better from 2020.”
Wine Enthusiast: 94 POINTS, December 1, 2018, Roger Voss
“Four plots in Avize, a village that delivers strong character in blanc de blancs, picked later and riper. The delicate lemons and fine, chalky minerals here are impressive. Mouth-filling, vinous flesh with yellow-grapefruit and nectarine flavors. Super long, fresh and focused mineral finish. Drink or hold.”
JamesSuckling.com: 94 POINTS September 5, 2018, James Suckling
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