Just received an offer from Envoyer for mags of the Louis Roederer Champagne Collection 241. It’s the preceding blend to the Collection 242 (which we like) and based on the 2016 vintage. Has anyone tried this and care to comment on it? Also, any idea if this will be released in 750s? Mags of Champagne are a lot of fun, but I open far more 750s …
I don’t know but I have seen a few offers for the 241 and they have all been in magnum. Btw, 243 is about be released and it based on the '18 vintage which is considered a better vintage in general. Here is the cut sheet for the 243 from my local distributor.
Comparing the cuvées
Collection 242 is not the first release of this new era. Collection 241 was the first to be sold commercially, and is still available in magnum. Roederer disclose full details of how each blend is constructed, allowing us to compare the two.
42% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay, 18% Meunier
Reserve wines aged in oak: 10% from 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Perpetual-reserve wines: 34% from 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
56% from 2016
Lees ageing: 4 years
Dosage: 8 g/l
Malolactic conversion of 30% of the blend
36% Pinot Noir, 42% Chardonnay, 22% Meunier
Reserve wines aged in oak: 10% from 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016
Perpetual-reserve wines: 34% from 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016
56% from 2017
Lees ageing: 3 years
Dosage: 8 g/l
Malolactic conversion of 34% of the blend
Both releases look similar on many criteria. The slight variation of varietal proportions is unlikely to make an appreciable difference. Both contain 10% and 34% respectively of reserve wines from cask and perpetual-reserve wines from tank. Dosage is the same, while the difference in the percentage of malolactic conversion is negligible.
The big difference comes from the bulk of the blend: 241 is mostly composed of the 2016 vintage (Roederer’s 241st harvest), while 242 contains the same percentage of 2017. The former vintage was much better in Champagne, so you might expect the 242 to have required more reserve wine in the blend to assuage any shortcomings. Then again, the whole point of releasing different cuvées each year is to emphasise rather than obscure differences.
Collection 241 only came out in magnum. Also, Brut Premier based on 2016 was also made. They make for a fun comparison as do the 241 and 242 wines.