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Roederer to produce new Ultra Brut

Champagne Roederer is in the final stages of developing a new Brut Nature cuvee – an ultra dry Champagne with no added sugar or dosage.

Roederer, which produces Cristal, is giving little away at the moment. Group winemaker Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon (pictured) told decanter.com the impetus came from chief executive Frederic Rouzaud.

‘It was Frederic’s idea,’ he said. ‘He loves drier wines and he suggested we look into making a drier style.’

The new cuvee, which is as yet unnamed, will be available at the end of 2010. The base wine will be estate-grown Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the 2006 vintage.

‘We trialled base wines from 2003, 2004 and 2005 and we think we got it right with the 06.’

How often they make it will again be subject to trials. ‘It will be dependent on vintage – we will adapt.’

Lecaillon stressed that the new wine had been many years in development. ‘It’s a completely new blend,’ he said.

He also stressed that this would be a ‘connoisseur’s cuvee’ – ‘a very special wine for special occasions’ – but it would be priced at the level of Roederer vintage, not Cristal.

That would give it a price tag of around £50 – the current price level of two existing ultra-dry non-dosage syles, Laurent Perrier’s Ultra Brut and Pol Roger’s Pure Brut.

Lecaillon believes we will be seeing a lot more ‘brut nature’ wines in the future, as tastes change and as warmer summers mean riper vintages requiring less added sugar.

‘In the last hundred years palates have become drier and drier. The Champagnes made for the Tsar Alexander II [Roederer was the Russian ruler’s favoured house] had 100 grammes of residual sugar. Now we have 10-12 grammes.

‘At the same time, climate change is giving us riper material to work with.’

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Written by Adam Lechmere

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