Champagne house Louis Roederer has released the latest 2012 vintage of its Brut Nature range including a Blanc and, for the first time, a rosé, in Hong Kong with its local importer Links Concept.
The launch marks the third release of Brut Nature line, which first debuted with 2006 vintage as a collaboration between the Champagne house and French artist Philippe Starck, following previous two vintages of 2006 and 2009.
The birth as its export director Frédéric Heidsieck recalls was a result of Starck’s quip that he doesn’t like sugar in Champagne, giving the Champagne house an idea to work with the artist on a zero dosage premium Champagne.
For the 2012 vintage, Louis Roederer for the first time introduced a rosé wine as well, made from 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay from vineyards in Cumières, according to Heidsieck.
Compared with its previous two vintages of 2006 and 2009, the 2012 vintage as Heidsieck believes shares the same characteristics of “a sunny and continental vintage,” meaning the grapes are juicy and concentrated.
“We own a lot of vineyards that are south-facing and are planted with Pinot Noir in Cumières,” he continues, adding for the Brut Nature 2012 is a blend of 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay.
The greatness of the 2012 vintage will again be affirmed in the Champagne house’s ultra-premium cuvée Cristal when it releases later this year.
The 2012 Cristal as the export director explains will be the first vintage when the cuvée is made from 100% grapes grown in biodynamic vineyards when the Champagne house first started exploring organic and biodynamic viticulture 25 years ago.
Speaking of the latest 2019 vintage, the vintner is adamant that its quality will be a step-up from 2018 vintage despite its smaller crop.
The winery lost roughly 30% of its production in 2019, due to frost in April and heatwaves in July, he revealed, but quality as he says is “outstanding.”
“2019 is better than 18. Volume is smaller despite the fact we lost 15% of the crop because of frost in April and another 15% in July due to heatwave. The crop is smaller but quality-wise outstanding,” he explains.
The 2012 Brut Nature Blanc and Rosé are sold in Hong Kong through Links Concept.