Louis Roederer 2011 Rosé Brut
Learn your classics:
Champagne is a wine associated with both luxury and celebration. Over 200 million bottles are produced each year in the region of Champagne and sold for our pleasure around the world. But let’s start with a bit of history.
The Romans were the first to plant vineyards in this area of northeast France. The early wine of the Champagne region was pale and made of chardonnay, while the pink wine was made from Pinot noir.
Among the big names of Champagne is the House of Louis Roederer, which was founded in 1776 and renamed by Louis Roederer in 1833.
Independent and family-run, the House of Roederer produces over 3.5 million bottles, shipping each year to more than 100 countries. Aiming to master each stage of the wine’s creation, Louis forged the wine’s unique style, character, and taste and in the mid-nineteenth century, he acquired some of Champagne’s grand cru vineyards.
In 1876, Louis Roederer II produced an exclusive champagne for the Tsar Alexander II of Russia: the very first Cuvée de Prestige named ‘Cristal’ which gained the Roederer’s House a reputation for excellence.
While other Houses bought their grapes from various producers, Louis Roederer nurtured his vineyards, familiarized himself with the specifics of each parcel, and methodically acquired the finest land, as all great wine depends on the quality of the soil. His heir, Louis Roederer II, equally passionate by the family business, followed in his father’s footsteps.
Today, The Louis Roederer House remains family-owned and is managed by Jean-Claude’s son, Frédéric Rouzaud, who represents the seventh generation of the lineage. Their vineyards are located in three classic Champagne areas: the Montagne de Reims, the Vallée de la Marne, and the Côte des Blancs.
The diversity and fertility of these soils provide their House with an extensive and rich palette from which to fashion the wines.
The Louis Roederer estate cultivates 3 grape varieties: Chardonnay, appreciated for its minerality, finesse, and elegance; Pinot noir’s for its solid constitution adding structure to the blends while preparing them for ageing and Pinot Meunier; a bit less refined sweet grape variety, which brings harmony and softness to certain cuvées.
The grapes are meticulously picked by hand, collected in buckets. The pressing process is a delicate one, because the berry must not alter the color of the juice, which must maintain its golden color as well as its clarity.
I recently tasted Louis Roederer 2011 Rosé Brut which is an elegant, fully bodied, fresh wine. It is lightly fruity from the delicate red fruits and has very subtle notes of cocoa. It is made from a blend of grapes from the hallow clay and lime soil of Cumières, in the Marne Valley and the Côte des Blancs. Young, yet well balanced, it has fine bubbles which will delight your palate. The Rose 2011 cuvee is aged for 4 years on lees and left for a minimum period of 6 months after disgorging to achieve maturity.
You can drink it now or keep it in your cellar for an extra couple of years. It will be even better.