Parker- Kelley 93+: "Roederer's Brut Premier was created in the 1980s to prove to consumers that we could deliver consistent quality with a blend that compensated for less than perfectly ripe vintages," explains Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon. "We were blending in pursuit of maturity, of ripeness. The concept behind the Brut Collection is the opposite: we're looking for freshness—and we are embracing singularity, something we're emphasizing by enumerating each year's blend." This project has been in the making since 2012, when Lecaillon set aside 21,000 liters of wine to constitute a perpetual reserve aged in large tanks without malolactic fermentation. Sourcing has evolved too: less must is coming from cooperatives, and only vineyards cultivated without the use of herbicides inform the blend. A dedicated team oversees all this, visiting every grower three times per year. And vinification is parcel by parcel to deliver a maximum of blending components. Iteration 242 is based on the 2017 vintage (56%), supplemented by 34% reserve wines from the perpetual reserve established in 2012 and 10% foudre-aged reserve wines. So much for the composition and concept of the new NV Brut Collection 242, but how does it taste? This debut release is very impressive indeed, wafting from the glass with notes of pear, peach, ripe citrus fruit, toasted almonds, fresh pastry and white flowers. Medium to full-bodied, pillowy and textural, it's concentrated and layered, with lively acids, an enlivening pinpoint mousse and a long, sapid finish. Brut Premier was already a very persuasive wine, but the new Brut Collection nevertheless represents a step up.
James Suckling 94 Punkte: Aromas of cooked apple, bread dough and lemon tart follow through to a full body with round, delicious fruit and a rich, flavorful finish. Yet, it remains tight and fine with lovely, compressed bubbles. New energy and freshness. Medium-to full-bodied with layers of fruit and vivid intensity. 42% chardonnay, 36% pinot noir and 22% pinot meunier. 8 grams dosage. Four years on the less. A new-format non-vintage that designates the year of the 242nd harvest, 2017, plus reserve wine of 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. Drink or hold.
Falstaff 93 Punkte: Die Nase ist ein Trio aus Mirabelle, salzigem Shortbread und frisch geschnittenem gelbem Apfel: alles schließt auf reifste Frucht. Der Gaumen drosselt diesen Eindruck sofort durch lebhafte Frische und Salzigkeit und der angenehmen Herbe des weissen Zellstoffs unter dicken Grapefruitschalen. Im Kern ist der Wein großzügig und rund. Er zeigte Tiefe und lebendiges, feines Mousse. Die verlockende und köstlich herbe Grapefruit-Bitterkeit kommt im Abgang wieder verführerisch zum Vorschein. A.K.