Louis Roederer "Brut Premier" Champagne (Elsewhere $50)
Beautifully composed reduction across lemon citrus, white peach, cherries and deeper, more savory notes of spice and grilled nuts; fresh and complex at once. The palate's assertively flavored, yet runs on a smooth and fine textural thread. Acidity is paramount, redder fruits hold court here. Great balance and depth.
To judge by the cork, this bottling has some age, giving it a toasty as well as fruity character that adds complexity to this baked-apple and citrus-flavored wine. It also means that it needs no further aging and is delicious to drink now. (RV)
Finely knit and elegant overall, this vivacious Champagne is creamy and satiny in texture, with layers of yellow plum, chalk, toast, glazed apricot and lemon curd. Offers a lingering, smoke-tinged finish. Drink now through 2020. (AN)
Wine & Spirits
Balanced in a rich style, this yields flavors of lemon meringue over zesty orange-pith acidity. It’s round and smooth, a wine with direction that gently carries you along with it.
This complete and very well-crafted offering combines the buoyancy and lively step of youth with lots of well-defined yeast from first sniff to finish. It is polished, quietly complex and quite long on the palate with fine, unending bubbles, and, if it stops short of showing the depth and dimension of the marquee bottlings of the famous French houses, it is by all measures an exceptional non-vintage Brut.
From the makers of Cristal, this is a rich, toasty style. Roederer grows two-thirds of the fruit that it needs for this Champagne on their own extensive 500 acre estate. Their vineyards are spread throughout the Champagne region with holdings in the Cotes de Blancs, Valley of the Marne and Mountain of Reims. The Brut Premier comes only from Grand and Premier cru sites, and does not go through malolactic fermentation. It is 56% Pinot Noir, 33% Chardonnay and 10% Meunier. It is aged three years on the lees and a generous six months on the cork before release. (Gary Westby, K&L Champagne buyer)