Louis Roederer is a strong, sentimental favourite house that I love for producing truly beautiful, artful wines. Louis Roederer stands out for its exceptional winemaking, with Chef de Cave, Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon widely respected and recognised as a true innovator.
Louis Roederer Collection 242 was released in mid-2021 as a new multi-vintage cuvée that, according to Lecaillon, marks the “end of an era for Brut sans année in Champagne”. The Brut Premier NV is no more!
A core driver for the new Collection has been addressing the challenges of climate change in viticulture and champagne. The house is “following a path that is liberating yet offers important safeguards: organic growing, practices inspired by biodynamics, pruning that respects the flow of the sap and the preservation of our vegetal material by ensuring its regeneration.”
Another key difference in the Collection is the introduction of a perpetual solera for reserve wines. Each year, wines from the latest vintage are added to the perpetual reserve stored in a large vat. Roederer uses stainless steel vats and started the reserve in 2012. Alongside the perpetual reserve, Roederer also blends oak-aged reserve wines into its Collections.
The inaugural cuvée, Collection 242, is based around the 2017 vintage which is the 242nd harvest since Roederer was founded in 1776.
Each subsequent release from each new vintage will be named by a different number (the next will be 243) and will have a different blend and character, based not only on the ever-evolving nature of the perpetual reserve but the proportion and maturity of oak-aged reserve wines used in the blend and the nature of the base year.
Louis Roederer Collection 242 Tasting Notes
Bubble & Flute Review
In a word… Classic.
In a few sentences…Fresh and precise, this is an exceptional champagne that transcends the genre of “house style” we are used to from any major label and sets a new benchmark in entry-level champagnes. Sit on a glass (or a bottle) of this over time and see it evolve and reveal its complexity. Go back again for a second or third bottle and still find more. Do I have a rival for my long time love, Charles Heidsieck, arguably the best NV champagne on the planet?
Moment or mood… For a long time, I have likened opening any bottle of Louis Roederer to going to a modern art museum… it is beautiful, fascinating, complex and it will make you think. Every visit you see something new, just by looking at it from a different perspective or in a different mood or in a different light. You’re not always sure you really “get it” but you know you are in the presence of greatness and you appreciate it. Other days, you totally get it and surrender to the experience. Collection 242 seems to embody that reference more vividly than any other cuvée from Louis Roederer.
Where to buy it… All good wine retailers for about $85 a bottle.
Bubble & Flute Champagne Style – Classic & Smooth
Wine Expert Reviews
Vinepair… Grippy and savory, this is not a very fruit-forward bubbly. The texture rules this wine, with tight bubbles and a lower stratosphere of saltiness below the effervescence. It’s a great wine for some serious fromage. 92 points
James Suckling… Aromas of cooked apple, bread dough and lemon tart follow through to a full body with round, delicious fruit and a rich, flavorful finish. Yet, it remains tight and fine with lovely, compressed bubbles. New energy and freshness. Medium-to full-bodied with layers of fruit and vivid intensity. Drink or hold.
William Kelley – Wine Advocate (Sep 2021)… This debut release is very impressive indeed, wafting from the glass with notes of pear, peach, ripe citrus fruit, toasted almonds, fresh pastry and white flowers. Medium to full-bodied, pillowy and textural, it’s concentrated and layered, with lively acids, an enlivening pinpoint mousse and a long, sapid finish. Brut Premier was already a very persuasive wine, but the new Brut Collection nevertheless represents a step up. Drink 2021 – 2035. 93+ points
Alison Napjus – Wine Spectator (July 2021)… A bright, harmonious Champagne, layering well-cut acidity and a chalky underpinning with flavors of white cherry, crunchy pineapple, green almond and beeswax. The finely detailed mousse carries hints of saffron and spring blossom on the lingering finish. Drink now through 2024. 92 Points
Tasting Notes from Nicks.com
Eye… Pours with a frothy white mousse that shows good hold over a pale straw to straw coloured base that has gold-tinged edges and a fine, profuse bead flowing through its core.
Nose…Lifted baked bread, citrus and yeast lees scents drift out of the glass with ample intensity followed by a faint whiff of dried honey and oily toast-like notes.
Palate…Well endowed with richness the mouthfilling palate features baked bread, citrus and yeast lees flavours over a toasty backdrop with some subtle almond characters also present. Gently creamy mid palate, it finishes dry with racy, crisp acidity and a long aftertaste.
Food pairings…Finesse and power are juxtaposed in this stunning cuvee. Enjoy this wine on its own or serve with an almond-crusted halibut fish drizzled with a garlic and lemon sauce. Emperor Champagne
The Technical Details
36% Pinot Noir
Reserve wines – Blended from 34% réserve perpetuelle containing equal parts 2012, 13, 14, 15 and 16 vintages. 10% reserve wines aged in oak (2009, 11, 13, 14, 15 and 16), and 56% from the 2017 vintage.
Dosage – 8 g/l
Fermenation – 34% Malolactic fermentation
What do you think of the Louis Roederer Collection 242? If you are drinking it, make sure you post a pic and tag @bubbleandflute #bubbleandflute #happychamper
*Bubble & Flute Champagne Style Guide
After more than a decade of champagne tastings with everyone from beginners to fully-fledged champs-snobs, I have developed a theory that everyone has a basic, favourite style of champagne they’ll always choose over everything else.
I have developed my Bubble & Flute Champagne Style to reveal your champagne style and suggest more champagnes to try, based on your style, that I think you are totally going to love!
Once you know your champagne style you will visit wine shops or shop online feeling more confident and comfortable selecting new champagnes because you know and understand what style of champagnes you like most.
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