Louis Roederer Champagne Brut Millésimé 1980
This glittery memory of the Louis Roederer Champagne Brut Millésimé 1980 served as a preamble to lunch at the stately home of Jean-Claude Rouzaud, grandson of Louis Roederer. The experience itself, surreal. An unusually warm fall day—with the doors overlooking a small but manicured backyard flung open—even the most palatial homes in Champagne lack air conditioning. And the Champagne, vivid and golden, hardly showing its age, an airy concerto and welcome elixir against the heat. The expression is pure, seamless. Elegant. Billowy aromas of peach and baked apple, jasmine, dried honey, marzipan, and brioche are held aloft on a net of ultra-fine bubbles. The the palate, still quite precise, with slowly-unfurling creaminess and smoky-autolytic notes that curl and crescendo and against a backdrop of limestone chalk.