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Louis Roederer, Champagne Collection Brut 242, NV

$59.99
Get 10% off purchases of 12+ bottles of wine. (Use code 10OFF at checkout.)

What does "242" mean? Well, the base vintage (2017) is the 242nd Roederer vintage. And it's a classic: the Roederer purity is on display, with gorgeous Chardonnay fruit as well as depth and complexity. So, so much wine for the money.

The NV Collection 242 is a new wine from Roederer that replaces the Brut Premier in the range. The Collection (which now will be numbered by harvest) is a blend of three components: a perpetual reserve done in the classic non-malo Roederer style, reserve wines in oak with a touch of malo, and a base vintage, in this case 2017. That blend results in a NV Champagne that offers lovely richness and resonance, with plenty of yellow orchard fruit and floral character. 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.

“Brut Premier was created in the late 1970s and 1980s, when we struggled to ripen,” Chef de Caves Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon explained. “It was our way of compensating for lack of ripeness in the field and the variability of quality across vintages. Because of climate change, achieving ripeness is not an issue today. Instead, our challenge is maintaining freshness and precision. For that reason, we decided to re-think our NV and start from a place of positive rather than negative selection.” 92 points

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Louis Roederer is one of the largest family-owned and run Champagne houses—and one of the oldest. Because they’ve been purchasing land for nearly 250 years, they’ve amassed valuable land all over Champagne; they are able to pick and choose which parcel goes into which cuvée, taking into account the specifics of each plot.

Founded in 1776, by the 19th century Louis Roederer was named the official wine supplier to the Russian court, by Tsar Nicholas II. They were among the first major Champagne houses to produce a tête de cuvée—the famed Cristal was first released in 1945.

These days, Roederer is acclaimed for their rigorous standards in farming—with nearly a third of their 590 acres farmed biodynamically, they are the largest biodynamic grower in Champagne. Nearly every cuvée they produce is made from estate fruit; the one exception is the Brut Premier, which includes roughly 20% bought fruit, purchased from farmers with whom they have long term contracts.

Professional Reviews

Antonio Galloni

AG 92
"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." -Vinous

Robert Parker

RP 93
"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." -Robert Parker

Jancis Robinson

JR 17
"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."

Decanter

D 92
"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."

Wine Spectator

WS 92
"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."

Details

  • Grape Variety

    Chardonnay

  • Vintage

    NV

  • Size

    750ml

  • Farming Practice

    Biodynamic

  • Sweetness

    Dry

Champagne

Champagne boasts some of the world’s greatest luxury brands with Krug, Cristal and, of course, Dom Perignon. But it’s also home to hundreds of small dynamic producers—farmers who grow their own grapes (often organically) and make (often with natural methods) tiny amounts of pure and absolutely delicious wine that reflect the individual personalities of their villages and terroirs. Toast with these wines, for sure. But also treat them like the great wines they are: taste, drink, explore!

Customer Reviews

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Julie Kurtzman
Light, Crisp and DE-LIicious!

Very pleased with the purchase of the Louis Roederer Champagne Collection Brut 242NV. It lovely. Light and flavorful and not heavy or sweet. Will definitely purchase again - excellent value for money!