Louis Roederer

Louis Roederer has a tremendous reputation for quality. The Brut Premier is always a good buy for a rich, creamy, biscuity, non-vintage, as is the straight vintage, and Cristal (both brut and the even more rare rosé) are, of course, sublime.  TOM STEVENSON

Roederer is among the houses that are releasing their 2009 tête de cuvées ahead of the 2008s. After having tasted the wines, that seems like a wise choice, as the 2009s are quite giving, while the 2008s are likely to require quite a bit of cellaring. These are four stellar wines. Chef de Caves Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon and his team are doing brilliant work as they combine an artisan spirit of viticulture (especially with regards to biodynamic farming) and winemaking with the world of high-end, luxury cuvées. Champagne is full of talented winemakers, but Lécaillon is the only Chef de Caves I know of whose intellect and curiosity extends to the broader universe of wine rather than being limited to Champagne alone. That more worldly view comes through in brilliant Champagnes that are often at the top of the pack, as they are again in both 2009 and 2008. Simply put, Roederer’s 2009s and 2008s are must-haves for serious Champagne drinkers. ANTONIO GALLONI