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Roland Champion Champagne Brut Rose Grand Cru NV

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 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 91 Wine Spectator: 91 International Wine Review: 91
Product Description

Roland Champion Champagne Brut Rose Grand Cru NV is the blend of 20% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Meunier, 40% Pinot Noir. 70% of this clear juice being from the 2007 vintage, and the other 30% being from the 2006 vintage.
The color is obtained by adding 15% of red wine from Verneuil, aged at least 4 years, which gives this unique orange/salmon color.

Small red fruits (strawberry, raspberry, cherry), characteristic of Pinot Noir with some brioche, toasted aromas coming from the Pinot Meunier. Clear and vinous. Development of red fruit aromas (blackcurrant) on a spice backdrop (cinnamon) and a nice fresh cut apple, grapefruit flavor. A fresh, lively and delicate flavor. Ideal balance between Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir.
 
dosage : 8 grams per liter
ageing : 3.5 years on laths
Even if it doesn't say on the label, 100% of the production is RD (Recently Disgorged)
Total Production for this Cuvée : between 150 cases and 330 cases (9 liter equivalent) per year

"Elegant and well-meshed, this blends delicate acidity with subtle notes of ripe cherry, strawberry and blackberry fruit accompanied by hints of walnut, bread dough and spice. Shows a lovely, mineral-tinged finish. Drink now through 2017. 150 cases made. –AN"
- Wine Spectator (November 15th 2012), 91 pts

"A delicate, subtle Champagne, delivering aromatic notes of mulling spices and yeast that accent the flavors of kirsch, bread dough, candied lemon zest and rose petal. This is finely tuned, with lively acidity and a minerally finish. Drink now through 2021. 330 cases made. –AN"
- Wine Spectator (Web Only 2011), 91 pts

"Bright orange. Aromas of blood orange, dried rose, allspice and minerals, with a subtle note of anise. Juicy and precise, with very good depth to its spicy red berry and citrus pith flavors. Finishes smooth and long, with excellent clarity and lingering spiciness."
- Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar (Josh Raynolds, December 2011), 91 pts

"This rosé exhibits a lovely salmon color with layered flavors of dried red fruit, grilled nuts, and yeast notes. A blend of 40% Pinot Noir, 40% Pinot Meunier, and 20% Chardonnay from two vintages, it is rich and creamy on the palate, with layers of yeast and dried red berry fruit flavors and a long refined finish."
- International Wine Review (December 2011), 91 pts

"Champion is a small grower in Chouilly, in the Cotes des Blancs, an area known for fantastic chardonnay. This rosé — of which he makes only about 330 cases — includes 10 percent red wines (pinot noir, pinot meunier) to give it a pale, salmonlike color and a beguiling palate of cranberries, strawberries and currants. Wow. And yum."
-  Washington Post (David McIntyre, Dec 20th 2011), ***

Winery: Roland (Champagne Champion)

The Champagne Champion Roland Estate
This small grower is located in the Grand Cru Village of Chouilly, in the `Cote des Blancs`. The vineyard of Chouilly has a south, southeast sun exposure, which gives the chardonnay its delicate aromas.
Founded in 1951 by Andre Champion, his son Roland expanded the company by purchasing some new land, and gave his name to the family house of Champagne. François is the third generation of the family and continues in his father’s footsteps. He is the enologist and currently runs the company. He farms their 18 hectares (44.5 acres) and blends wines resulting from different parcels and various vintages to elaborate his Cuvees.
The property consists of 40 different parcels planted with the following grape types:

  • Chardonnay: 70%
  • Pinot Meunier: 22%
  • Pinot Noir: 8% in the commune of Verneuil

The grapes are harvested manually, which is the rule in Champagne. Then, the grapes are immediately pressed in-site to avoid oxidation and preserve the quality of the grapes.
The wine is aged in their cellar made of chalk where the constant temperature is 1012°C (50/54°F).

Production is 85,000 bottles (7,000 cases) yearly, part of which is sold “sur latte” to negociants. The remaining 35,000 bottles are sold under their own name.

They produce the following wines:
NV Brut, Blanc de Blanc: 25% of production
Vintage Champagne, Speciale Club Carte Noire: 70% of production
Rose Brut: 5% of production

Currently, all wines are 90% pre-sold to an adoring French clientele. Daughter Carole Champion represents the fourth generation to continue with the property.

 

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"Plenty of spice, chili and berry character with hints of cedar and dried mushrooms. Full body, firm tannins and a fresh finish. A blend of sangiovese and merlot. Drink now or hold."

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Roland Champion Champagne Special Club Grand Cru 2011

Champagne with rich and structured aromas. Very pleasant and generous roundness, nice length in mouth. Golden color with buttery and fruity aromas. All the expression of a magnificent terroir for your most pleasurable moments.

To be a member of this Club, Champagne producers have to elaborate their Cuvées in their own facility, meaning the pressing, bottling, ridding, disgorging, etc., have to be done at the domaine/estate. Then, only the Recoltants-Manipulants are accepted. Everybody has to respect the Club’s rules to ensure the quality. These rules include: * Only vintages * Two tastings to control the quality: the first one after the blending, when the wine is still “Vin Clair” (juice) and another after the 3 years (or more) of ageing “sur lattes”. There are 26 members, each of whom can produce his Special Club with his own techniques: * blending or “monocru” (only one grape variety) * “blanc de blancs” or “blanc de noirs”; ageing from 3 to 10 years, brut or extra-brut. 4 year ageing minimum Strict selection of plots only made out of our old vineyards.

 

 Wine Enthusiast: 94
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