Thu. Jan 23rd, 2020

Philippe Starck contributes to design the new Roederer Brut Nature

6 min read

Brut Nature is a champagne without artifice, conceived as an exchange, forged by a long-standing friendship. This champagne is the personification of the free thinking that resulted from an encounter between Maison Louis Roederer and the creator Philippe Starck. 2012 is exceptional for two reasons: the unpredictable and challenging weather resulting in grapes of an unexpected quality, which paved the way for two Brut Nature champagnes. By Alex Plato

The Louis Roederer CEO, Frédéric Rouzaud, brought his intuition, Philippe Starck developed the idea, and the cellar master, Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon, made their vision a reality.

Abstract conversations between Frédéric Rouzaud, Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon and Philippe Starck began with a few very specific descriptors which formed the foundations for this new Brut Nature: honest, minimal, diagonal, modern. 

The cellar master, Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon, gave these words texture and brought them to life. “We came up with the idea of making a fresh wine from clay soils in a sunny year”. Thus, the Brut Nature was born, a wine of the terroir, soil and climate, the perfect illustration of the alliance between Man and Nature.

The discussions between these three men, which started over ten years ago and resulted in the first opus, Brut Nature 2006, continued and evolved, leading to a second vintage in 2009, and now a third.

Today, the Maison Roederer and Philippe Starck are continuing this exciting adventure with the release of the 2012 vintage. This is a vintage from a year that gave us high quality with grapes of remarkable strength and character, offering a particular sensitivity and even more vibrant and generous Pinot Noirs, which inspired us to create not one, but two, champagnes: a white and a rosé.

“These are two tones or two faces of the same dialogue, two reflections of the same terroir, brought together for your drinking enjoyment.”
Frédéric Rouzaud, CEO of Roederer

The Brut Nature champagnes are such a work of purity, verticality, history, modernity and honesty that there is nothing to hide. The packaging had to reflect the champagne: the bare minimum, the first principle.


In hot years, certain of Cumières’ cool clay vineyard plots, bathed in the summer heat, express their character with strength and freshness and always produce unique champagnes.
Conceived as the natural extension of the clay terroir of the Cumières hillsides, this bold champagne brings us a pioneering vision of wine.

Cumières’ clay hillside, turned towards the sun and basking in its light, is a blessed enclave, whose grapes always possess a remarkable perfume and richness. This land, on the banks of the Marne river, produces opulent, generous and perfectly ripe grapes. These Pinots Noirs have constantly stood out for their quality, producing champagnes that our forefathers used to refer to as “river wines”. Brut Nature was conceived to develop this idea of filiation of soil and climate.

The “Domaine Brut Nature” covers only ten hectares and the vineyards are cultivated according to the principles of biodynamics, virtuous viticulture that preserves the character of this terroir. When summer comes to an end and the harvest season gets underway, the grapes are carefully and gently harvested together on the same day. They are then pressed together, all at once, a technique commonly used by our forefathers.
All this ensures that the wine has great complexity. The structure of the Pinot Noir, the ripeness of the Meunier, the floral character and lively acidity of the Chardonnay come together in a single harmonious movement.

 

“Difficult conditions often lead to great things.” Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon

2012 is a solar, intense and generous year, from which the Pinots Noir have drawn a particularly vibrant character, a brighter light and a more subtle shine. Yet the challenging weather conditions, the low yields and Nature’s whims had made us very apprehensive about the vintage. However, the end of the growing season with its summer sun blessed us with unusual levels of maturity for the Champagne region, thereby creating all the conditions for an outstanding vintage. This year has thus become one of the greatest in history and has unexpectedly offered us two champagnes. Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon had detected the potential quality of the vintage. On these chalk soils that undulate over the ridge between Hautvillers and Damery, the grapes capture the sun better than they do anywhere
else. The cold clays concentrate the matter and fashion energetic juices that are remarkable for their power, strength and brilliance.


Brut Nature 2012 is even closer to the terroir and a continuation of the two previous opuses yet sets itself apart: it shows a sharper style, even more reflective of the grapes. It is a very vibrant champagne that is extremely bright, elegant and distinguished.
In 2012, it gives us two versions of the same terroir, two very clean and pure, contrasting yet complementary, visions: one reaching out towards the sky and the year’s generous sun which shone over the slope, the other extending towards the bedrock of clay, this dense earth that forged Pinot Noirs of remarkable quality.

“The Brut Nature 2012 Blanc is a champagne of action and movement, which exudes intelligence. Taut and lively, bright and elegant. This is a champagne of daylight, of instant pleasure.” Philippe Starck

The Brut Nature Blanc is a wine of light, contrasts and texture, associating the intense saline freshness of its terroir with the maturity of the vintage. The nose is bursting with lovely ripe fruit, vineyard peaches and candied lemons which, along with toasty notes of hazelnuts and baked apples, creates a delicious first impression. The contrast between a velvety texture and an almost saline freshness continues on the palate right through to the crystalline finish of great depth.


In keeping with its parentage, the 2012 vintage brings us an important innovation: the creation of the Brut Nature Rosé champagne, which just seemed like the obvious thing to do. The challenging weather conditions, the rich character of the year’s juices and the low yields had concentrated the grapes, endowing them with an unusual generosity and maturity. It seemed only natural to single out some of the Pinots, to harvest them separately and have them undergo a few days’ cold infusion without alcoholic fermentation. We are thus able to create a champagne with a pioneering new spirit…

“The Brut Nature 2012 Rosé is a mental game, a unique sensory and sentimental experience of drinking colour, of drinking pink. Gentle and intimate, sparkling and powdery. This is a champagne of sunset.” Philippe Starck

The Brut Nature Rosé combines its clean, saline flavours with a shimmering appearance. Its spicy bouquet includes floral notes of violets and gentian, along with toasty and mocha overtones, enlivened by a pure, wild raspberry fruit. The Pinot Noir expresses itself magnificently, delivering a tight, almost tannic, texture peppered with notes of ripe fruit. This combination of texture and clean flavours paves the way for a slightly smoky, umami-like flavour sensation. This is the original rosé, of softness and intimacy, powdered in its complexion and sparkling in its structure.
These two wines share the same philosophy, each reflecting an element of Nature, brighter light for the White, deeper rooting in the terroir for the Rosé. But for each, this new vintage develops the wonderfully attractive idea of a champagne in motion, somewhere between sky and earth.


What about the packaging?
The Brut Nature champagnes are such a work of purity, verticality, history, modernity and honesty that there is nothing to hide. The packaging had to reflect the champagne: the bare minimum, the first principle.

“These champagnes need no artifice. Their beauty is revealed at the heart. With Brut Nature: there is nothing more to remove, except the cork.” Philippe Starck

The Brut Nature champagnes are such a work of purity, verticality, history, modernity and honesty that there is nothing to hide. The packaging had to reflect the champagne: the bare minimum, the first principle. Tin cap, plain capsule, silver printed with bright yellow and pink, vertical vintage: just a few, well-chosen words to present these champagnes, only the bare minimum.
Starck, guided by the colours, has transcribed the movement and vivacity of these wines.

More information on the official website.

 

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