Louis Roederer 242 Collection Champagne
Louis Roederer 242 Collection has aromas of cooked apple, bread dough and lemon tart follow through to a full body with round, delicious fruit and a rich, flavorful finish. Yet, it remains tight and fine with lovely, compressed bubbles. This bottle brings new energy and freshness with complex layers of fruit and vivid intensity.
Collection is based on a selection of plots located in the heart of the Champagne region that are suited to its identity and where the emphasis is on sustainable growing practices.The plots for Collection are therefore carefully redefined, those on the Louis Roederer estates and those part of the historic partnerships, to retain only those plots rooted in this “Cœur de Terroir” (heart of the Terroir): lieux-dits, exposures, lands with strong identities, usually chalk soils, those most capable of giving us the best of their fruit, vintage after vintage.
To further enhance the freshness and to balance the superb maturity of the harvested grapes, the team has created a “Perpetual Reserve”. Started with the 2012 vintage, enriched each year with wines from the latest harvest and stored in large capacity stainless steel vats, this Perpetual Reserve brings new tasting sensations, both tactile and gustatory: the wine acquires more breadth, depth, substance and contrast; its texture is fleshier and more enveloping, adding to the overall complexity. In parallel to this Perpetual Reserve, there is a great increase in the proportion of oak-aged reserve wines that goes into the blends. These reserve wines nicely balance the freshness brought by the Perpetual Reserve wine and lend the wine greater intensity.
Created from the Perpetual Reserve and the oak-aged reserve wines, complemented by the finest wines from the most recent harvest, Collection is tied to the roots of Champagne and the foundations of the Reims-based Champagne House. Therefore there is a freedom to create the blend on the basis of whatever nature has provided. Each Collection blend, therefore, has its own identity which will gradually and fully reveal itself over time. Collection 242 represents the Champagne House’s 242nd blend since its foundation.
AWARDS & ACCOLADES
Aromas of cooked apple, bread dough and lemon tart follow through to a full body with round, delicious fruit and a rich, flavorful finish. Yet, it remains tight and fine with lovely, compressed bubbles. New energy and freshness. Medium-to full-bodied with layers of fruit and vivid intensity.
This debut release is very impressive indeed, wafting from the glass with notes of pear, peach, ripe citrus fruit, toasted almonds, fresh pastry and white flowers. Medium to full-bodied, pillowy and textural, it’s concentrated and layered, with lively acids, an enlivening pinpoint mousse and a long, sapid finish. Brut Premier was already a very persuasive wine, but the new Brut Collection nevertheless represents a step up.
Softly shimmering straw gold, green tints, with a delicate filigree dancing at will around the glass. The nose is gently authoritative; spring flowers garlanding stone fruit, a hint of hawthorn maybe, then lemongrass. The palate has encyclopaedic depth, the intricacies of the Perpetual Reserve weaving their early magic; almond, sloe, gingerbread and apples; the finish has a pleasing twist of bitterness, courtesy of the small percentage of oak-aged reserve wine.
Whereas Brut Premier was typically a focused, nervy wine that, while consistently excellent, also was not always in line with the Roederer house style, the 242 tastes more like a Roederer Champagne in terms of its complexity. Incidentally, there is no Vintage, Cristal or Cristal Rosé in 2017, so all the best lots went into this bottling. Dosage is 8 grams per liter, so lower than the 9 or so that was typical for recent Brut Premier and much lower than the 12-13 that was once customary. The 242 was also bottled with a bit less sugar than the norm, which results in lower atmospheres of pressure in the bottle and silkier texture.
– 92 Points
A bright, harmonious Champagne, layering well-cut acidity and a chalky underpinning with flavors of white cherry, crunchy pineapple, green almond and beeswax. The finely detailed mousse carries hints of saffron and spring blossom on the lingering finish.
– 17/20 Points
Really satisfying, complete, beautifully balanced nose with some evolution and richness. A little bit of toastiness and it tastes pretty ripe. Very different indeed from a Brut Zéro champagne! Firm. Some tasters may object to the dosage. But it’s a beautiful wine.