Another of the wonderful 19 events included in recently held Central Coast Wine Classic was a Louis Roederer vintage champagne and Black River Caviar symposium which preceded the live charity auction on the 4th of 5 days.
The symposium was moderated by Xavier Barlier, Senor VP Marketing/ Communication for Maisons Marques & Domaines and Graham Gaspard CEO for Black River Caviar.
They both called on Jim Clendenen, Au Bon Climat and wine aficiando and Don Schliff, CEO/ Imports for Wine Warehouse who were in attendance to offer additional input which made for an extremely interesting, educational and with Jim`s comments, humorous and witty dissertations re the subjects at hand.
There were 5 different caviars plated in front of each seating. Three were oscietras [golden true, BRL and dark brown grade], one was a blend and one was from Siberian sturgeon. It was quite a challenge and a treat to discover one`s preference for palate matchups with each champagne. The taste profile was almost as disparate as the price range, $60-300/oz.
We tasted 4 Louis Roederer vintage champagnes served in Bordeaux like stems starting with the bubbly we had just the night before to lead off our ultra fine Rare Wine Dinner.
2006 LOUIS ROEDERER BRUT NATURE- 2/3 Pinot Noir, 1/3 Chardonnay; no dosage, no ML; the fruit was harvested on September 7th in order to be biodynamically correct; this is the first new bottling for Roederer since the release of the Cristal Rose in 1974; the French designer, Phillipe Starck was heavily involved in the blending of the wine as well as being responsible for the packaging and designing the label; Xavier discussed the champagne first stating “why drink water when you can drink champagne” and “If you like Chablis, you`ll like this”. He also mentioned “2009 will be the next release”.
Our bottle was consistent with the one we had the night before with a color of lemon lime orange which emulated what the aromatics and taste profile contained; it was perfectly balanced, had wonderful bright acidity, demonstrated an element of elegance and kept evolving in the glass with more nuances unfolding; I also got pear, stone fruit, spice, saline and distinct mineral notes adding to the layers and complexity; it was such a treat.
2009 LOUIS ROEDERER BRUT BLANC de BLANC BRUT- fabulous nose that suggested something real good forthcoming and that`s what happened; this is a full bodied, fully expressed champagne and at the same time, has a degree of elegance; it`s loaded with delicious flavors of spicy lemon zest, kiwi and other citrus notes; it`s lush and rich and exudes class; Xavier mentioned the same Chardonnay used in Cristal is used for this bubbly; on top of all other attributes, this is in perfect balance; my fav of the 4.
2008 LOUIS ROEDERER VINTATE BRUT- presented as a “grower champagne from a very warm season”, this shined brightly with perky acidity within its balanced state, had wonderful fruitiness with vanilla, ginger, toasted brioche, citrus, especially lemon, and pear flavors with a touch of minerality; it showed beautifully and improved in the glass steadily.
2010 LOUIS ROEDERER BRUT ROSE- 65% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay with a dosage of 8 grams; being a champagne rose lover, I was eagerly anticipating what this one would have to offer and I was very happy to discover it is a good one and merits consideration for my cellar; the nose gave off some rose petals and spicy strawberry which continued on and were joined with mild clove flavored red cherry/ berry notes; I`m in.
And now with the fulfillment of champagne wishes and caviar dreams, I`m ready for the highly energetic live auction and the plethora of wines served from Central Coast producers as well as the abundance of fine wines me and our tablemates take. Ready, set, go!