In honor of the end of this (for many horrific) year, let’s take a look at five of the great champagnes of the 2012 vintage that our specialist wine and spirits writer Ken Gargett highlighted in 2021 – and toast the start of a (hopefully better) fresh year.
For many watch enthusiasts, it is probably not a stretch to say that fine timepieces are often enjoyed with a fine glass of bubbly. So without further ado, here are five much-heralded prestige champagne releases from the stellar 2012 vintage that stand out for their extraordinary “taste.” Just in time for you to toast the start of 2022!
Rosé champagne. Some see it as fun, frivolous fizz, a summer drink fit only for matching desserts or picnics but not a serious wine. For others, a good sparkling rosé is a thing of beauty. Both Ken and I are firmly in the latter camp.
When Ken Gargett tasted Louis Roederer’s standard Rosé from 2012, he was blown away. At the time, he said he thought it was the best Rosé he’d ever tasted from Louis Roederer. So with that in mind, just how much better could the Cristal Rosé be?
This is the fourth Cristal Rosé made 100 percent biodynamically – Louis Roederer started that with the Rosé before the standard Cristal, though that is now also fully biodynamic as of the 2012 vintage.
This 2012 incarnation is a wine from heaven. For Ken there is focus, incredible length, pristine balance, and what they call the wow factor, intangibles that just lift a wine above those around it, thrilling and leaving the fortunate consumer entranced. This is such a wine. Florals, citrus zest, rose petals, a hint of raspberries. Elegance dancing with generosity. 100 points. How could one give it anything else in good faith? A very special champagne.
For the full article, see Louis Roederer Cristal 2013 And Cristal Rosé 2012: As Good As Champagne Gets.
The release of the thrilling 2012 Cristal heralds the culmination of Louis Roederer’s efforts in biodynamics. The vineyard has released champagnes in the recent past that have been either biodynamic or at least partially biodynamic. But this is the first time the flagship – the legendary Cristal – is 100 percent biodynamic, a viticulture that aims to produce much healthier soils and is conducive to growing better vines, even if it is a time-consuming and very expensive one.
The 2012 Cristal heralds the culmination of Louis Roederer’s efforts in this pursuit. And what a vintage to do it with: according to Ken the 2012 is one of the most exciting Cristal vintages of the century.
For the full article, see Champagne Louis Roederer Cristal 2012: Biodynamic Viticulture At Its Very Best.
As Sir Winston Churchill said in 1931 in New York, “First things first. Get the champagne.”
As Ken Gargett explained in this post, 2012 is a year in which Pinot Noir was the superior grape (though he does note that these are very basic generalizations and vineyard conditions vary throughout the region). Locals have called 2012 the greatest vintage for Pinot Noir since 1952. And asked to name a champagne perfectly suited to the 2012 vintage conditions, it wouldn’t be hard for Ken to point to the Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill.
This champagne is dominated by Pinot Noir from exceptional Grand Cru vineyards and comes in both bottles and the unbeatable magnums. As Churchill himself said, “A magnum is the perfect size for two gentlemen to have over lunch, especially if one isn’t drinking.” But even a sip thrilled him. As the statesman wrote in 1898, “A single glass of champagne imparts a feeling of exhilaration. The nerves are braced, the imagination is agreeably stirred, the wits become more nimble.”
Does it match the hype? Ken Gargett answers, “Absolutely.”
For the full article, see Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 2012 Champagne: It Matches The Hype. And Then Some.
It was the wonderful 1975 Pol Roger that first ignited Ken Gargett’s love of great champagne. In this story he looks at (and tastes) the 2012 releases, and they do not disappoint: the great vintages of this century have been 2002, 2008, and perhaps now 2012 with its exuberant, rich, ripe, forward, and open characteristics.
Pol Roger is a house that produces richly flavored champagnes that are always finely balanced, offering excellent length and can age amazingly well. A well-stored bottle of an older Pol Roger vintage is one of the world’s great wine experiences. These wines are sheer class, and Ken shares tasting experiences with three of the 2012s here.
For the full article, see Pol Roger 2012 Champagnes: Grand Releases For Perhaps The Grandest Vintage.
The Bollinger 2012 is fast gaining a reputation as one of the very best vintages of this century. While 2008 was a wonderfully classic, elegant, refined year, 2012 is considered a little richer, more forward, more exuberant. In the years to come, your favorite year between these two stars is very likely to come down to your personal preference. But there is nothing wrong with loving both.
A couple of cases of this and Ken is sure we would feel a lot better about an extended period of isolation should it still be necessary (and it’s not looking good)! I know I would.
For the full article, see Bollinger 2012 Champagne: One Of The Very Best Wines And Vintages Of The Century.