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2013 was a later ripening year in Champagne and as such has more freshness and elegance without lacking power. As always the vintage is mainly pInot noir from Roederer's own vineyards in the Montagne de Reims, with approximately 30% chardonnay from their vineyards in Chouilly. It's all from grand cru sources, with 39% initially fermented in oak, making for a a stunning glass.
Product Code: CH4241
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The company we know as Louis Roederer was founded in 1776 as Dubois Père & Fils. In 1833 Louis Roederer inherited the company from his uncle and changed the name. Crucial to the early success of Roederer was its targeting of foreign markets. The Russians in particular became enthusiasts of Roederer Champagne, so much so that in 1876 a special sweet cuvée was created at the request of Tsar Alexander II. Bottled in clear crystal, rather than ordinary glass, it was appropriately named Cristal. After the Russian Revolution, a new blend of Cristal was made commercially available and remains the original prestige cuvée for which Louis Roederer is perhaps best known today. The grapes for the whole range of Roederer champagnes are sourced, for the most part, from their own vineyards. By far the biggest selling is the non-vintage, extra dry, Brut Premier which is full-bodied and distinctive. The non-vintage wines tend to be a blend of roughly two parts pinot noir and one part chardonnay with just a dash of pinot meunier. The Roederer stable also holds important wine estates in other regions, including a majority share in second growth estate, Château Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande in Pauillac. In 1988 Louis Roederer also launched their first sparkling wine from their Californian estate in the Anderson Valley north of San Francisco. The cool climate there had been identified as an excellent precursor to the production of grapes suitable for high-quality sparkling wine and Roederer bought more than 500 acres of land to do just that. The wine is made in the same way as their Champagne, using chardonnay and pinot noir and blending from an ever expanding selection of reserve wines.
Vintage cuvées often represent the very best Champagnes made by a house or grower. In theory, Champagne producers may declare a vintage in any year they please. Occasionally a house or grower will declare a vintage that seems out of step with the majority of producers if they feel that the performance of their particular vineyard(s) warrant it in any year.Generally, however, vintage Champagnes are only made in exceptional vintages.In contrast with the NV (non-vintage) wines, which are blended to maintain a house style, producers want their vintage Champagnes to display the quality and character of that one year's harvest. Vintage Champagnes always benefit from cellaring, and develop beautifully for those with the patience to leave them. They can be drunk upon release, but the vast majority will improve immeasurably with age. Champagne is made from chardonnay, pinot noir or pinot meunier grapes (there are one or two other permitted varieties but these are very rare) grown on chalky hillsides within a strictly demarcated region centred on the twin towns of Reims and Epernay, some 90 miles east of Paris. After hand harvesting, each grape variety is vinified separately, and in the following spring, the wines are blended unless a blancs de blancs is to made in which case any blending will be from parcels of chardonnay that were vinified separately. Yeast and sugar are added, and the wine is bottled for its second fermentation which creates the bubbles, or mousse. The yeast feeds on the sugars, producing alcohol and carbon dioxide, which, with nowhere else to go in the sealed bottle, dissolves into the wine. Vintage Champagne must then mature for at least three years compared with a minimum of 15 months for non-vintage. Gradual turning of the bottles, remuage, brings the yeast sediment to the neck of the bottle, which is then frozen to allow the yeast pellet to be cleanly ejected (dégorgement). In some Champagnes the dégorgement is delayed, sometimes for years, to increase the depth and complexity of the flavours through more time spent on the lees. After topping up (dosage) with a little more wine and sugar (known as liqueur d'expédition), the bottle is sealed. What marks the ‘Champagne’ method from other sparkling wines is the fact that this complex and gradual maturation process, along with the second fermentation, takes place in the same bottle as the wine is sold.
Many have predicted that 2013 will be a vintage year for many houses and growers. After a sluggish start to the growing season development was slightly backward until July when things warmed up and hot weather continued throughout August. When fine weather persisted into September and October a good harvest of healthy, balanced fruit was brought in.
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