Rosé d'Infusion Louis Roederer Rosé 2016

Rosé d’Infusion

Louis Roederer – Champagne Rosé Brut Vintage 2016

You notice the innovation in this champagne only at second glance. At first glance, it is simply a very good rosé champagne: delightful fruit, some wild strawberry, apricot, citric freshness and subtly creamy yeast aromas. At second glance, the style, aroma and texture of the champagne are innovative.

The production method: For several years, Roederer has been working with a proportion of entire berries for its rosé, which co-ferment in the must and account for up to ten percent of the quantity. This method, known as Rosé d’Infusion, is becoming increasingly popular in Champagne. Although Roederer did not invent this process, it is considered one of the pioneers and began its first experiments over ten years ago. I interpret the fact that Rosé d’Infusion is now appearing more frequently as a combination of two phenomena. Firstly, in times of very rich base wines with rising pH values, cellar masters are looking for ways to counteract this. Even if whole berries do not contribute any acidity, the fine tannin still provides a grip that sometimes almost acts like acidity. But even in comparatively acid-rich years such as 2014, Roederer relies on whole berries. Climate change is therefore not the only explanation. The second phenomenon boosting Rosé d’Infusion is certainly the change in taste and the increasing acceptance of tannins in champagne.

And this is precisely what makes Roederer’s Vintage Rosé 2016 more than just a very good rosé champagne on the second sip. The grapefruit, calamansi and bitter orange that emerges with a little breathing almost reminds me a bit of the astringency of Bandol rosé. The slight saltiness also contributes to a nice complexity. However, Roederer has not created a “concept” champagne. Instead, it is a wonderfully drinkable, easy-going and not too overpowering aperitif rosé with an extra punch.

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