I have had a few Maison Louis Roederer wines recently, they have been: Brut Premier (not reviewed but it was good), a lot of Roederer Collection 242 (not reviewed but it was very good) and Roederer Blanc de Blancs 2013 (reviewed here – it was excellent!). I continue this run with Roederer 2014 Vintage Champagne.
Before we dive into the note, here is a little poem of comedy metre I tossed off onto Facebook yesterday:
Jesus Shit, I’m so depressed.
For me life has lost all its zest.
I really don’t know if I want to be
Alive as the entity known as me.
And now let us enjoy a nice glass of fizz together!
This Roederer 2014 is noticeably woody, which is not a bad thing, I am just surprised by how much so it is. Allied to this is more than a suggestion of oxidative aromas. Again this not necessarily a bad thing, it is just not something I normally associate with Roederer Vintage Champagne.
Roederer 2014 has rich, toasty aromas that speak of a decent time on lees before disgorgement. It smells reasonably complex, but there is a hint of a scent that I do think is a bad thing.
Roederer 2014 smells just a tiny bit dirty, there is something rotten going on here. My erstwhile associate, the professional Champagne drinker, Steven Pritchard tells me there was a lot of Botrytis about in the 2014 vintage and it could well be this I am sniffing.
Overall, this is a competent but not the most impressive of noses. I think Roederer Collection 242 smelled more complex and attractive than this and I got my bottles of that for a little over half the price of this. Hmmm… so we are not thinking brilliant value and ‘could try harder’ as we dive into our glasses to inhale a big mouthful.
Crivens, that seems distinctly sweet to me; I was not expecting that! The acidity is reasonably high but does not make this wine fantastically fresh and energetic, so that sweetness stands out as being a little unbalanced.
So the palate is rich, but not all that perky. I suppose this will have to be something one gets used to as Champagne gets increasingly affected by global warming. That being said, I did not notice a lack of energy in the Roederer Blanc de Blancs 2013, or (to pick an other warm vintage wine I have had recently) the Gratien 2009 I drank with Charles and Alex.
Again, there appears to be a shade of dirtiness to this palate which, together with a little bitterness on the finish, makes me this this wine has been affected by Botrytis. Whilst that is good, noble rot in Sauternes, it is just rot and not good in Champagne.
Roederer 2014 has some woodiness present and that hint of oxidation. I normally am not a fan of oxidative fizz but this seems reasonably well controlled so I do not mind it.
The mousse is fine and there is persistence of flavour; alas it is the sugar, dirtiness and bitterness that stand out most on the finish – toasty, autolytic flavours come in a distinct last place on this palate.
Roederer 2014 gets a grudging ‘good’ quality comment from me; this is not that good when one is spending the kind of money that supposed quality vintage Champagne goes for. I think you would be better off buying Roederer Collection 242 than this and in future I shall stick to buying Roederer Vintage Champagne in only the best of vintages.