Robert Parker 93
“From a difficult year (no Cristal, no Vintage) with a wet summer and a harvest already in August (like 2017 and most probably also 2018), Roederer’s soon-to-be-released 2011 Blanc de Blancs offers a clear, bright, fresh and very delicate and floral bouquet with almond, hazelnut and nougat aromas. Sourced entirely in Avize (toward Cramant in the north and Oger in the south), where “”Chardonnay behaved quite well that year,”” as Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon put it. He noted that the 2011 Blanc de Blancs comes along “”like a Crémant from the Loire Valley rather than a Champagne from the Côte des Blancs”” due to its low pressure. Thirty percent of the cuvée was fermented in oak (in 2017, it’s 32%) to give a more rich and round style of Blanc de Blancs since the characteristic salinity comes in the finish anyway. “”We like texture! That’s why we pick very ripe grapes at 11% alcohol. We don’t chaptalize, and-since 1930-we don’t need malolactic fermentation here. We just reduce the pressure to ensure a fuller, richer flow of bubbles.”” In fact, the 2011 is deliciously rich and charming but also pure, highly delicate (if not tender) and lifted by an airy freshness. The finish is pure and salty and underlines the great elegance, finesse and supple lightness of the 2011. To tell you the truth, this is a damn good 2011! Disgorged in January 2018; tasted May 2018.”
Anticipated maturity: 2018-2033
The 2011 Brut Blanc de Blancs is an unqualified success for the vintage, as it does not show any of the awkward green or vegetal notes that are found in so many wines. Medium in body and a touch lither, the 2011 offers lovely Chardonnay expression from a collection of parcels at both ends of Avize. Hints of lemon peel, white flowers and tropical fruit grace the pretty, understated finish. The first signs of aromatic maturity are starting to set in, so I would not push my luck on extended cellaring.
Anticipated maturity: 2019-2024