It’s already September, the weather is warming up, and before you know it, we’ll be doing the rounds of Christmas parties.
And that usually means an increased consumption of Champagne.
Louis Roederer, one of the largest family-run houses in Champagne, has made the risky and bold move to replace its much-loved Brut Premier with a new Collection Series, with Collection 242 the first release.
For centuries, champagne houses have crafted their own signature blend, their non-vintage flagship cuvée, that remains consistently the same year after year. But the new NV champagne of Louis Roederer will be different from one year to the next, as the house decided to use 56% of base wine in this new cuvèe.
Each year, the house will release a new multi-vintage blend with a different base wine and a new name. Collection 242, the 242nd blend of the House since its establishment, is based on a 2017 vintage, while the next release - Collection 243 - will incorporate a 2018 base wine.
By making this move Louis Roederer is blurring the lines between vintage and non-vintage champagne. This is essentially vintage Roederer at a non-vintage price.
This new cuvée is a blend of three grapes - 42% chardonnay from the Côtes des Blancs, 36% pinot noir from the Montagne de Reims and 22% pinot meunier from the Vallèe de la Marne.
242 is unashamedly chardonnay dominant, bright aromas of baked apple, brioche and lemon tart in combination with subtle oaky notes. The palate is rich and full bodied with pinot noir and pinot meunier adding intensity, smoothness and a generous mouthfeel, all wrapped up with a long, fine bead finish.
Louis Roederer’s chief winemaker Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon said last year the new concept brought “greater freedom to the blending process’’.
“The focus is not to make a consistent style anymore. Now, the aim is to make the best wine. The blend is no longer the goal but the consequence. It’s more like blending a vintage wine, the same idea: to make the best possible wine.’’
Available now in store and online for $90.99, or buy four and save 10%.
One of the five founding wineries of the now famous Margaret River district of Western Australia, the family-owned Leeuwin Estate has a reputation for being one of Australia’s greatest producers of chardonnay.
Enjoying its first commercial vintage in 1979, Leeuwin was thrust into the international spotlight when Decanter Magazine gave its highest recommendation to the 1981 “Art Series’’ Chardonnay.
International accolades have continued and Leeuwin exports to over 30 markets.
The prestigious Langton’s Classification of Australian wines includes Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay in the top “Exceptional’’ category amongst the “Heritage Five’’ celebrating Australia’s most exceptional, ground-breaking wines.
The Art Series Cabernet Sauvignon is classified as “Outstanding’’.
Sense of Taste Portside has some back vintage Art Series chardonnays, as well as the current 2019 release, on its shelves. These include the 2006, 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2014 vintages. As you would expect these don’t come cheap, the 2006 Chardonnay is around the $350 mark.
Grab a slice of Australian wine history with the extremely limited Yalumba Caley Vertical 2012, 2013 and 2014 Cabernet Shiraz.
For more than a century, Cabernet Shiraz has been a focus at Yalumba, and The Caley its finest example. The blend brings together the linear elegance, firm tannins and persistent structure of Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon with the voluptuous, textural richness of Barossa Shiraz.
In a Sense of Taste special, get all three vintages for $999.