Louis Roederer releases next vintage of Philippe Starck-co-created Brut Nature
“This is, without a doubt, the least Roederer in style of all our champagnes, as well as the most modern. It offered us the perfect opportunity to move away from our usual habits and shake up our practices”
Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon, Chef de Cave & Executive Vice-President
Champagne house Louis Roederer has unveiled the latest edition of its limited production zero-dosage wine, Brut Nature 2009, again created in collaboration with designer Philippe Starck.
“The second opus of our Brut Nature is the perfect representation of a modern, ripe and ready-to-drink champagne with a fresh, pure, almost abstract style and remarkable precision”, comments Frédéric Rouzaud, CEO and seventh generation of the Roederer family to lead the company.
The 2009 vintage wine, sporting a new label once again designed by Starck, has zero dosage and a demi-mousse. The 2009 takes over from the 2006 vintage – the inaugural wine of this cuvée.
“We came up with the idea of making a fresh cuvée from clay soils in a sunny year”, explains Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon. The deep clay of Cumières in the Marne valley reflects the warmth of the sun and softens the landscape. “In order to achieve this, we did exactly the opposite of what we normally do with a new cuvée; we started with the idea of the finished product, and worked back up the process of creation”, he adds.
A return to first principles
The 10 hectares of vines on the south-facing slopes of Cumières are cultivated by hand; hoed and turned manually following traditional methods and in line with biodynamic principles. This is very much an haute couture approach to wine production, and a natural choice for the vineyards. It’s also a demanding approach requiring keen observation of the plants. Louis Roederer first began to treat its vineyards in this manner in 2000, and the process is now applied across 150 parcelles of the House’s 410.
Cumières produces spirited and pure Pinot Noir grapes, resulting in what was previously referred to as “river wines”, with dense juices and generous, rounded flavours that produce distinctive champagnes. The terroir comes to the fore particularly in hot years – such as the 2006 and the 2009 – when the dense clays are warmed sufficiently to express their character, offering a unique freshness.
The Brut Nature 2009 does not however just contain Pinot Noir; crucially, all the grapes from the parcelles used for this vintage were harvested on the same day and pressed together. “It’s a little like artificially recreating complantation [the ancient process of planting different vine varieties in one vineyard]”, adds Lécaillon. The Pinot Noir offers structure, while the Meunier brings ripeness and a floral element and lively tartness is added by the Chardonnay.
Vintage report and tasting notes
2009 was a warm, continental year, with a preceding cold winter and a gloriously sunny summer. August and September had very little rain. This translated into excellent traditional vine growth and exceptional ripeness.
Brut Nature 2009 is aged for five years with a further six months post disgorgement. The wine is made up of approximately 1/3 Chardonnay, and 2/3 Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, with 25% of the wine vinified in oak casks, and no malolactic fermentation.
Yellow in colour with hints of amber. Discreet and extremely fine bubbles.
Intense bouquet combining sweet flowers (honeysuckle, broom), yellow fruits (peach) and lightly roasted nuts (hazelnut). Evolves towards spicy and citrus notes with a hint of Sancho pepper as well as soft, sweet, ripe notes of chestnut.
On first tasting, ample, thanks to its sweet, creamy, rounded texture that seductively wraps around the mouth, coating the palate; and light due to its elegant, saline freshness that elongates the wine giving it a smooth, delicate and airy mouthfeel. Charming juicy aromas of sun-drenched fruit and an elegant bitterness combined with zesty, spicy and delicate oaky notes linger on the finish.
Available in selected distributors and venues. Please contact your sales manager or Marinel FitzSimons for full details.