Aromas of cooked apple, bread dough and lemon tart follow through to a full body with round, delicious fruit and a rich, flavorful finish. Yet, it remains tight and fine with lovely, compressed bubbles. New energy and freshness. Medium-to full-bodied with layers of fruit and vivid intensity. 42% chardonnay, 36% pinot noir and 22% pinot meunier. 8 grams dosage. Four years on the less. A new-format non-vintage that designates the year of the 242nd harvest, 2017, plus reserve wine of 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. Drink or hold.
94 points, James Suckling (Jan 2022)
"Roederer's Brut Premier was created in the 1980s to prove to consumers that we could deliver consistent quality with a blend that compensated for less than perfectly ripe vintages," explains Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon. "We were blending in pursuit of maturity, of ripeness. The concept behind the Brut Collection is the opposite: we're looking for freshness—and we are embracing singularity, something we're emphasizing by enumerating each year's blend." This project has been in the making since 2012, when Lecaillon set aside 21,000 liters of wine to constitute a perpetual reserve aged in large tanks without malolactic fermentation. Sourcing has evolved too: less must is coming from cooperatives, and only vineyards cultivated without the use of herbicides inform the blend. A dedicated team oversees all this, visiting every grower three times per year. And vinification is parcel by parcel to deliver a maximum of blending components. Iteration 242 is based on the 2017 vintage (56%), supplemented by 34% reserve wines from the perpetual reserve established in 2012 and 10% foudre-aged reserve wines. So much for the composition and concept of the new NV Brut Collection 242, but how does it taste? This debut release is very impressive indeed, wafting from the glass with notes of pear, peach, ripe citrus fruit, toasted almonds, fresh pastry and white flowers. Medium to full-bodied, pillowy and textural, it's concentrated and layered, with lively acids, an enlivening pinpoint mousse and a long, sapid finish. Brut Premier was already a very persuasive wine, but the new Brut Collection nevertheless represents a step up.
93+ points, William Kelley, Wine Advocate (Sep 2021)
This first release of Roederer’s new Collection is based on the 2017 harvest, the 242nd for the house. This wine replaces Brut Premier. Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon bases the Collection blend on a “perpetual reserve,” held in stainless steel since 2012, with wine added in each vintage: half pinot noir, half chardonnay, none of it having undergone malolactic conversion. For the 242 blend, he included some oak-aged reserve wines before selecting individual parcel wines from partner growers, focusing on chardonnay, along with some meunier and pinot noir from the Marne Valley. The final blend is 34 percent perpetual reserve, 10 percent oak-aged reserves, and 56 percent from the 2017 harvest. While Brut Premier was a more spherical wine in the mouth, Collection 242 is finer, with greater length of flavor and more energy. The scent is floral and seashell-mineral, the texture caressing, then tense. My notes and the comments from the panel are all about the wine’s harmony and structure, without a word about fruit. It’s an exciting wine to taste and to drink.
93 points, Wine & Spirits (Dec 2021)
The NV Collection 242 is a new wine from Roederer that replaces the Brut Premier in the range. The Collection (which now will be numbered by harvest) is a blend of three components: a perpetual reserve done in the classic non-malo Roederer style, reserve wines in oak with a touch of malo, and a base vintage, in this case 2017. That blend results in a NV Champagne that offers lovely richness and resonance, with plenty of yellow orchard fruit and floral character. Whereas Brut Premier was typically a focused, nervy wine that, while consistently excellent, also was not always in line with the Roederer house style, the 242 tastes more like a Roederer Champagne in terms of its complexity. Incidentally, there is no Vintage, Cristal or Cristal Rosé in 2017, so all the best lots went into this bottling. Dosage is 8 grams per liter, so lower than the 9 or so that was typical for recent Brut Premier and much lower than the 12-13 that was once customary. The 242 was also bottled with a bit less sugar than the norm, which results in lower atmospheres of pressure in the bottle and silkier texture.
92 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous (Nov 2021)
A bright, harmonious Champagne, layering well-cut acidity and a chalky underpinning with flavors of white cherry, crunchy pineapple, green almond and beeswax. The finely detailed mousse carries hints of saffron and spring blossom on the lingering finish. Drink now through 2024. 19,537 cases imported.
92 points, Alison Napjus, Wine Spectator (Oct 2021)
#76 - Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2021