Founded in 1776, and property of the same family since 1819, Champagne Louis Roederer is today one of the last major champagne houses to be an independent family affair. The annual production of its wines (Brut Premier, Carte Blanche, Brut Vintage, Rosé Vintage, Blanc de Blancs, Cristal, Cristal Rosé) represents just over three million bottles, distributed to 100 countries worldwide.
A great Rosé champagne must be made from very ripe grapes – sometimes difficult to obtain in the Champagne climate. As a result, Louis Roederer has chosen to invest in one of the earliest Champagne crus villages, Cumières, for which the steeply-sloping, shallow clay and limestone soils face south and benefit from additional light reflected from the river Marne, enabling great phenolic maturity to be achieved. In these select terroirs, Louis Roederer applies the precision wine-making methods required to craft a saignée rosé. The Chardonnay is from the north facing slopes in Chouilly, bringing bright and fresh notes.
Over the years Louis Roederer has developed a unique technique for the production of its rosé champagnes. This process, referred to by Roederer as the ‘infusion’ technique, allows us to bring out the juicy, ripe character of the Pinot Noirs whilst preserving their exceptional freshness. A small amount of Chardonnay juice is added to the Pinot Noir maceration which then ferment together and integrate harmoniously.
The cuveé rosé 2013 was vinified 33% in old oak casks and was bottle-aged for 4 years before being left to rest for a further 6 months after disgorging in order to attain perfect maturity.
2013 was characterised by a particularly late growing cycle. The never-ending winter was followed by a very cool, late spring. we had to wait until the start of July for flowering to begin – something we hadn’t seen in Champagne for quite some time! Fortunately, summer was glorious with plenty of sunshine, record temperatures and very low rainfall, ideal for the ripening of the Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays. the temperatures were cool for the October harvest and the resulting wines are elegant and fresh – the signs of a “classic” vintage.
This 2013 Rosé was produced in a cool vintage. It reveals the juiciness of Pinot Noirs from the early ripening south-facing clay-limestone Cumières terroir, refined and lengthened by the freshness of the north-facing Chouilly Chardonnays. There is a complex bouquet dominated by an almost minty freshness combined with zesty fruit, wild strawberry and raspberry. The nose opens out to reveal spicy and smoky notes, characteristic of the Pinot Noirs grown in Cumières, along with the aromas of dried fruit, roasted almonds and cocoa beans. There are underlying saline notes, reminiscent of sea spray.
On the palate the wine is soft and smooth yet also piercingly fresh. A well-integrated wine with excellent body, pleasant freshness, long length and delicate mouthfeel. the body softens gradually and coats the palate with a velvety smoothness underpinned by a pleasant salinity and delicate hints of tannin from the flesh and skins of the Pinot Noir grape. The finish is fresh, long and very persistent.
It is a fantastic pairing with fish such as salmon and tuna; meat including lamb, veal, guinea fowl, wood pigeon and pheasant; and also soft cheeses such as Chaource and Brillat-Savarin. It can also be served with red fruit based deserts that are less sweet, such as a red fruit zabaglione or a red fruit gratin.
Serve at 12°C
Wine Enthusiast: 93 POINTS
December 1, 2018, Roger Voss
“A smoothly textured wine, this is perfectly in balance, with red berry and currant fruitiness assimilated into the lightly tannic and crisp texture. Drink from 2019.”
The Wine Advocate: 92+ POINTS
June 29, 2018, Stephan Reinhardt
“The Roederer 2013 Rosé has a lovely light pink color and opens with highly delicate red fruit and flowery aromas. The wine is light, fresh, pure, very delicate and stimulatingly salty. Very energetic and at the same time caressing. The finish displays pink grapefruit, blood orange, and lime zest flavors. Highly stimulating in its purity, freshness and citrus character. Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon finds it less vinous than the 2012, but he thinks the 2013 has huge aging potential. Disgorged in January, tasted at the domaine in May 2018.”
Wine & Spirits: 92 POINTS
“In keeping with the talents Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon brings to rosé Champagne, this offers joyous drinking in a serious wine. It’s pale pink in color with a floral highlight to the honey notes and fresh-picked raspberry flavors. A pink-chalk impression lasts, and though this is not at the level of the 2012, it is immediately refreshing and delicious.”
67% Pinot Noir