Champagne Louis Roederer named No.1 World's Most Admired Champagne Brand 2020 by Drinks International!

Louis Roederer is back at the head of the Top 30 in our Most Admired Champagne Brands survey. It is one of two champagnes that have never been outside the top five in the last six years. And it’s the second time is has topped the table, the last time being in 2018. Such a strong and consistent performance is not an accident, of course. It’s the result of constantly striving to be better, examining every part of the business from grape to bottle and making lots of small improvements based on experiment and trial.

Roederer, like other famous houses in Champagne, may be steeped in history, but it doesn’t allow tradition to halt progress. The person who sits at the heart of this approach is head winemaker Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon. If there is an issue that Champagne as a whole needs to address, now or in the near future, it’s a pretty safe bet that Lécaillon and his team will have been considering it already.

Last summer Lécaillon gave a masterclass in London entitled Fighting for Freshness, which sought to address how Champagne should go about preserving one of its greatest assets, the freshness and zip that distinguishes its wines from the first sip. “Freshness is in the DNA of champagne. It’s more than just acidity, it’s about precision, purity, length, salinity, sapidity and, yes, acidity,” Lécaillon says. “Everything is done to preserve it in the winemaking method – high acidity, low pH, quick fermentation, quick bottling. It’s kept on its lees for a long time and last, but not least, there’s the CO2 and dosage. It’s all about the reductive preservation of flavours and freshness.”

For Lécaillon the idea that champagne is made [entirely] in the cellar has changed and, over the last 20 years, the Champenois have gone back to the vineyards, identifying the characteristics of individual parcels and the unique personality they can bring. The modern approach at Roederer is very much tied in with how it chooses to farm its own extensive vineyards, where over 125ha are now certified organic and it stopped using herbicides 20 years ago. Using five vintage wines sourced from different soils in the Roederer estate, Lécaillon details what’s done, where necessary, to preserve freshness.