2003 Louis Roederer Vintage Brut 1.5 L

Year: 2003
Appellation: Champagne
Country: France
Wine Spectator: 86
Wine Advocate: 91
Wine Enthusiast: 93
Sparkling Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 12.0%
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"Assertive on the attack, with bracing acidity, this seems firm for the vintage. Lemon, ginger and apple notes converge on the puckering finish. Best from 2010 through 2020. 900 cases imported." (WS)

"The 2003 Brut offers tons of harmony in a generous, inviting style. The ripe pear fruit is particularly succulent, but the wine also possesses more than enough minerality to provide balance. This medium-bodied wine closes with a long, clean finish that invites a second taste. It is a very strong 2003. The 2003 Brut is 70% Pinot Noir from Montagne de Reims and Verzenay, plus 30% Chardonnay from Mesnil, Avize and Oger. This is Lot: L030993B 100007, disgorged November 20th, 2007. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2018.

Roederer is one of the most impressive estates in Champagne. Few houses have managed to reconcile this level production in a negociant operation while achieving such a consistently outstanding level of quality across the entire range. Roederer owns 214 hectares of vineyards, which is enough to meet 65-70% of the house’s needs. The vintage wines are made from 100% estate-grown fruit, while the NV wines are made with the addition of roughly 45% purchased fruit. Generally speaking, malolactic fermentation and oak aging are used to a higher degree for the NV range than for the vintage wines. Dosage varies as well, and ranges from 11-12 grams for the entry-level wines to 9-10 for the tete de cuvee Cristal. Unfortunately because if its rabid following the vast majority of Cristal is drunk upon release, which is ironic, if not downright tragic, considering Cristal is a wine that starts peaking around age 15-20, and that can last much longer under ideal storage conditions. With Cristal, Chef de Caves Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon aims to make an ageworthy Champagne that is fresh and floral when young, but that is also capable of considerable development with bottle age, qualities the finest Cristals have in spades. In the best vintages one tank of Cristal Rose is also made that features the exquisite Pinot Noir of Ay. Unfortunately Roederer does not provide disgorgement dates for its wines, but the bottles have codes that can be traced back to dates at the winery. It would be great to see this venerable property add a simple disgorgement date, at least for their top wines, considering the significant financial investment required to purchase them." (WA)

"What a creamy Champagne, its mousse bursting around the mouth. Impressively, all this creaminess is well balanced by full, dry fruits, flavors of pear and fresh bread and finished with crisp apples. This is not a wine for aging, but it is ready to go with many meals now." (WE)

Winery Notes:
The Brut Vintage comes exclusively from vintages of great years and reflects characteristics of the particular year. This full-bodied, rich and opulent wine is ideal with meals and for special occasions. The Brut Vintage can be aged for a few years in the cellar for more complexity.

Tasting Notes:
The Brut Vintage 2003 features a consistent stream of delicate bubbles and yellow tones shimmering with the light amber highlights that are typical of the Pinot Noir. It is very intense and explosive on the nose – deliciously developed even at this early stage. A blend of nutty, spicy, ripe fruit aromas, layered with notes of biscuits and a suggestion of chocolate and roasted coffee beans.

On the palate it is generous, full and warm, with all the volume to be expected of such a ripe, dry vintage but delicately supported by vinous, well-knit texture. The mid-palate boasts a balanced freshness, with just a hint of bitterness that makes for a long, thoroughbred finish – the perfect foil for a characteristically opulent vintage!

All in all, this is a mellow, classy and terrifically vinous Champagne. This is a wine made for pairing with food. It has sufficient richness and character to support a wide range of imaginative food and champagne combinations. To enjoy the wine at its best, serve at a temperature ranging from 10° to 12 °C (50° to 54°F).

Additional Information:
DOSAGE: 11 to 12 g/l prepared with the greatest of care from a selected blend of 8 to 10 of the very best crus and then left to mature in oak casks.