Ten years on tasting.
67% Pinot Noir from Montagne de Reims and Verzenay; 33% Chardonnay from Mesnil, Avize and Oger; no malolactic fermentation.
A full lemon yellow color. Firm, plump and autolytic on the nose: mostly fresh white and yellow fruit with an overlay of lightly cooked flavors (popcorn kernel, roasted coffee bean, plum tart, toasted fondant). Turns more herbal, smoky and rounded on the palate, medium-full: pennyroyal, mock orange, brioche, poached pear, apple compote and toasted hazelnut. This is nicely concentrated with good energy, intensity and vigor. A persistent mousse, an elegant bead, with taut acidity (quite an accomplishment given the vintage) and a nice grip. Finishes bathed in stone and chalky mineral.
This has impressive comportment and balance for an ’03. A good example of Roederer’s elegance and finesse, particularly given the challenges of a difficult, wildly exotic and downright weird growing season. However, it will never have the depth to rank among the very best vintage bruts from this house. A good champagne; very good with gold stars given the vintage. Now – 2018 and better to be sooner than later in the drinking window.