Camille Olry-Roederer’s grandson Jean-Claude Rouzaud joined the house and gradually took the helm. It was a rough start, as TCA, a chemical compound that causes cork taint, infested the Roederer cellars. The young man faced an enormous undertaking. A huge volume of wine had to be taken off the market and disposed of, and the entire production facility had to be sterilised and rebuilt. This is also the period of Cristal’s emerging popularity, when Roederer worked with an American importer to make Cristal the world’s most in-demand champagne.
A key detail of this plan was to double the price. When Rouzaud was named Decanter Man of the Year in 2001, he said in an interview that one of the most significant things he had done at Roederer was to decrease the production of Cristal from one third to under a fifth of Roederer’s overall production. High price and low availability - alongside uncompromised quality - have made Cristal the most coveted champagne in the world.
The wines need to be blended to create the Louis Roederer champagnes: the unique blends are the fruit of the intuition and talent of a team of women and men led and guided by the Cellar Master, who guarantees the integrity of the House’s style. The diverse sensibilities and different talents are the key to Louis Roederer’s uniqueness. With an extraordinary palette of wines at their disposal, the Cellar Master and the oenologists create their wines—the cuvées—, which are bottled when they have attained a perfect equilibrium. They then undergo a new phase of fermentation for 3 to 6 weeks…
The magical process continues in the quiet dark cellars, where the compositions of the oenologists are finally transformed into champagnes. Louis Roederer’s team has worked hard to bring the wine to this point—now time is the key factor. The only intervention required on the bottles is daily riddling, a process that ensures that any suspended deposits settle in the bottlenecks. The deposits are then removed, leaving a perfectly clear and luminous champagne that only requires the final touch: the champagne will only be complete after adding the liqueur d’expédition, which distinguishes the House’s unique style. The wine is ‘the fruit of the input of everyone involved in its creation’, and each of our champagnes perpetuates the traditions of the House, its quest for perfection, and its spirit of innovation and experimentation; this paves the way for future heirs to ‘do even better’ than their predecessors…
Today’s masterpieces are setting ever higher standards
for tomorrow’s wines— Louis Roederer’s quest for perfection