It’s not every day that one of the great houses launch a new champagne. In fact it’s 40 years since last time that Champagne Louis Roederer has launched a new one.
In May the FINE Champagne Magazine and Tastingbook selected the World’s Best Champagnes for 2015. This year rose’s triumph with the majestic Ruinart ‘Dom Ruinart Rosé’ 2002 claiming the title of the ‘Best Champagne for 2015’.
It’s not everyday that one has the opportunity to taste a new vintage of one of Champagnes true legendary wines – Bollinger ‘Viewless Vignes Françaises’.
nv POL ROGER ’BRUT RESERVE’ | EPERNAY | 33PN 33PM 34CH | aprox 389 SEK | TASTINGNOTE ‘I love the entire range of the firm’s products, from the regular non-vintage all the way to the Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill, and I guarantee you that every sound bottle you drink will impart a life-enhancing experience of pure joy. Some of the best bottles of nonvintage Champagne I have tasted have been well-stored Pol Roger. The ability to age with grace despite its Pinot Meunier content is the wine’s best asset. After a bad patch they are back on track again.’ RJpoints 75(85)
2000 POL ROGER ’CUVEE WINSTON CHURCHILL’ | EPERNAY | ASSEMBLAGE SECRET | aprox 1 295 SEK | TASTINGNOTE ‘Not at all exciting when it was released. The tones are here but in an unusually weak form. Will time provide enough evolving to provide the desired push? Oh, yes. Already very worthy of its label. Nice smokey complexity. Fat and already matured.’ RJpoints 94(94)
nv LOUIS ROEDERER ’BRUT PREMIER’ | REIMS | 62PN 8PM 30CH | aprox 399 SEK | TASTINGNOTE ‘Up to 20 percent of the oak-aged reserve wine is used in the nonvintage Champagne Brut Premier. Roederer has no set recipe regarding malolactic fermentation the personal qualities of the wine differ from case to case. Roederer is without doubt a brilliant Champagne house with an exceptional portfolio of wines. The nonvintage Champagne is brilliant. Invariably praised, nonvintage Champagne with a high proportion of reserve wines that had been stored in big oak barrels. Four years in the bottle before disgorging only the first pressing is used. For several years, an appley, storable, and decently good nonvintage Champagne. Today, a Cristal-like Champagne with outstanding finesse. Fantastic in magnum.’ RJpoints 83(91)
2006 LOUIS ROEDERER ’CRISTAL’ | REIMS | 60PN 40CH | aprox 399 SEK | TASTINGNOTE ‘I quake at the thought of how much Cristal is going to be stolen from the cradle at nightclubs and fashionable restaurants in the rich parts of the world. But this version is just fantastic from the start. A colossal power and beautiful rumbling pinot maturity. It’s like chewing on the ripest grapes from Aÿ and Verzenay. At the same time ultra stylish down all the unmistakable cristal essence, peach and mango sweetness, pineapple coconut, vanilla and unreal sprightly acidity and citrus flowery. Many similarities with 2002, but with a clearer pinot touch.’ RJpoints 95(97)
nv BOLLINGER ’SPECIAL CUVEE ’ | AŸ | 60PN 15PM 25CH | aprox 439 SEK | TASTINGNOTE ‘Yet again, one of my absolute favorites among nonvintage Champagnes. Since the beginning of the 1990s the wine has only been four years old when it enters the market and is vinified in steel vats. Even so, it’s fascinating to see how much 12 percent old reserve wines, vinified in oak barrels and stored in magnums, do to lift the product. The oakish, smoky, and deep Bollinger style develops after a couple of years in the bottle.’ RJpoints 81(89)
2004 BOLLINGER ’LA GRANDE ANNEE’ | AŸ | 60PN 40CH | aprox 899 SEK | TASTINGNOTE ‘Richer and greater than I had expected. The oak maybe a little too obvious, but in the process of integration. Nice fresh fruitiness, delicious unobtrusive vanilla tones and a crisp minerality that in the current situation overshadows the mushroom tones.’ RJpoints 93(94)
During this weekends Nordic Magnum Dinner in Stockholm I brought an old time favorite: 1996 LOUIS ROEDERER ‘CRISTAL VINOTHÈQUE’ magnum | Reims | Champagne | France | Louis Roederer | 60PN 40CH | RJpoints 97(98)
Björnstierne was invited with dear friend Dr Hank Linden to the house of ‘le Phantome’ for a gentlemens lunch @ terroir Gröndal. ‘In all simplicity’ as he said over the phone. ‘Apéro at 12:30’ he said. We started in grand style:
Krug ‘Grande Cuvée I.D. 211021′ (03 base) │50PN 15PM 35PM │ RJ 92(94) │ TASTING NOTE ‘Krug’s nonvintage wine costs about $150. They themselves would rather call it a ‘multi-vintage’. Almost every time one I drink Krug Grande Cuvée, some new element is revealed. Because it’s been blended from ten different vintages and forty-seven different wines from twenty-five crus, variation is understandable. However, I have only missed spotting it on one occasion at a blind tasting, proving that its basic character is unique. The extremely tough acidity, together with the heavy, rich Krug aromas, are the foremost clues. Always check how straight the cork is in order to decipher when it was disgorged. When young, the acidity can be too hard. When middle aged and older, the Grand Cuvée has a fabulously complex nose and palate, dominated by nuts and honey. The aftertaste is always long and majestic, like a great symphony. The best bottles deserve even higher points than I’ve given here.’
2002 PIPER-HEIDSIECK ‘CUVÉE RARE’ | 60PN 40CH | RJ points 94(96) │ TASTING NOTE ‘A masterpiece of elegance in this powerful year. Early to be the rock-solid, but this can not be anything but a legendary Champagne. Dense and concentrated fruit, biting acids that scares off many but the notes of butterscotch and coffee aromas lurking beneath the surface. A fantastic wine in the Thibault spirit! His very last vintage also …. Very reminiscent of Charles Heidsieck Blanc de Millenaires with its fat buttery, and at the same time roasted hazelnut grilling and sun-matured sweet citrus costume.’
2004 LOUIS ROEDERER ‘CRISTAL’ │55PN 45CH │ RJ 96(97) │ TASTING NOTE ‘An unusually unpredictable vintage. Very shy in the current state, despite that the faint tones are of the more open kind. Evolves more and more and already feels classic. Shang-ri-La!’
The yearly result of FINE CHAMPAGNE MAGAZINE’s annual classification of ‘100 Best Champagnes’ has been published. In 2010 the title was given to Armand de Brignac Brut Gold NV, 2011 to Piper-Heidsieck Rare 2002, 2012 to Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 2000, 2013 to Charles Heidsieck Vintage 2000.
In 2014, for the first time in this classification’s history FINE CHAMPAGNE MAGAZINE vote went to a rosé champagne, the magnificent Louis Roederer Cristal Rosé 2002. This year FINE CHAMPAGNE MAGAZINE also awarded three honorary awards for mature Library Vintages, exceeding 15 years of age. FINE CHAMPAGNE MAGAZINE’s TOP 3 Library Vintages were Dom Pérignon Oenothèque 1996, Laurent-Perrier Les Réserves Grand Siècle Magnum NV and Charles Heidsieck Blanc des Millénaires 1995. Why don’t You compare the results with Champagne Clubs list from The Juhlin tasting 2014. The major difference is that our tasting is based upon the 100 best cuvée préstige from the top 50 growers and the top 50 houses. And only champagne that are available on the market at the moment. Read about our top-ranking here. In our tasting there were no rosés or single vineyard champagnes. Only Cuvée préstige …
TOP 10 Champagnes for 2014
1 Louis Roederer Cristal Rosé 2002
2 Dom Pérignon 2004
3 Louis Roederer Cristal 2002
4 Charles Heidsieck Rosé Réserve NV
5 Piper-Heidsieck Rare 2002
6 Henriot Rosé Millésime 2005
7 Krug Grande Cuvée NV
8 Pol Roger Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill 2000
9 Krug Vintage Brut 2000
10 Pol Roger Vintage 2002
Library Vintages Honorary Awards 2014
1 Dom Pérignon Oenothèque 1996
2 Laurent-Perrier Les Réserves de Grand Siècle Magnum NV
3 Charles Heidsieck Blanc des Millénaires 1995
The still wines of Champagnes, vins clairs, very seldom leaves the cellars of Reims. and equally seldom outsiders from the Champagne industry have the opportunity to taste them. Under the guidens of Chef de caves Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon I had the opportunity to go through rhe parts that ends up in the final blend of Brut Premier.
Late afternoon we checked-in at the magnificent hotel in Reims L’Assiette Champenoise (Now 3 stars in Guide Michelin). Round 6p.m. the bus left for unbeatable Champagne Louis Roederer. first we had a visit at the cellars at 74, rue de Savoye followed by a splendid world unique Cristal vinothèque dinner served at the Golden room in Louis Roederer private mansion with the winemaker, the charming Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon.