Our Score: 90
You cannot go wrong with this Champagne. It’s well known that Louis Roederer, one of the first biodynamic grape growers in the region, makes excellent Champagne, including some very expensive ones (I’m looking at you, Cristal). This Brut however is very affordable, making it both a great everyday choice and the right call for a special occasion, given the reputation of the brand.
The bubbles are fine, persistent and moderately numerous.
Grapes: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir
Pairing: This Champagne really shines alongside food. As an aperitif, I would have it with nuts and olives, or—why not?—with a caviar tartine.
Appellation: Champagne AOC, France
Champagne AOC (Appellation d’Origine Controlée) is an appellation of sparkling wines rigidly defined by three elements:
1. The grapes need to be grown and vinified in the specific geographical area East of Paris, between Reims, Epernay and la Vallée de la Marne.
2. Grapes can only be Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier;
3. The fermentation method is in 2 phases: the wine is first fermented in large tanks then filtered before undergoing a second fermentation in the bottle for as many years as the winemaker decides. The best champagne stays on the yeast in the bottle for as much as 7-10 years before being put on the market.
More than 300 million bottles of Champagne are produced every year in an area of 34,000 hectares (roughly 85,000 acres).
Interesting anecdote: Wines that use the same vinification method (a second fermentation in the bottle) BUT are grown and vinified in French regions other than Champagne (or elsewhere in the world beyond France), cannot be named Champagne. In France they are called Crèmant de… followed by the region of origin; in Italy they are called Metodo Classico (Franciacorta DOCG, Trento DOC); in Spain they are called Cava, from the region of origin.