Louis Roederer Blanc de Blancs 2010
Louis Roederer are one of the great Champagne producers. Like Veuve Clicquot, their success in the nineteenth century came from exports to Russia. So fashionable were they that Tsar Alexander II commissioned a wine bottled in crystal. The crystal bottling was only done a couple of times because it’s completely impractical, but that history forms the basis behind the name of one of Champagne’s great and most expensive wines, Cristal.
Roederer are unusual in that they own 70% of the land for their fruit and in that they’re biodynamic. This control over the vineyard ensures a consistent quality, and Roederer are a producer always worth returning to.
Roederer’s Blanc de Blancs - meaning it’s 100% Chardonnay - is similar in style to Cristal. It’s still expensive at $80, but it’s also wonderful - and champagne is the one wine you have to splash out on and it’s usually worth it. The 2010 Blanc de Blancs is an elegant wine, delicate and closed at first. As it opens up, it becomes more expressive. There are light green and citrus fruit aromas, with lees aromas of biscuit, and mature aromas of nuts. That restrained nose comes alive on the palate, which has an unexpected and wonderfully rich creaminess. Dosage is 9g/L, which adds some body to the wine, though this is all about the delicacy and elegance of the texture. This is is champagne at its subtlest and most inviting.
Grape Variety: Chardonnay
Ageing: 60 months
Food pairing: hard cheese; anything toasty or bready; white fish; oysters