Louis Roederer 1928 champagne

I have recently come across a bottle of Louis Roederer 1928 champagne, being a complete novice when it come to the world of wine I was banking on someone providing me with some information on this bottle,

I have spoken to a few wine merchants but they been very unhelpful and extremely rude.

They bottle has been stored in a wine cellar and kept in excellent condition and on inspection shows no sign of being spoilt or damaged in anyway. I would like to know whether I should be drinking this at the next function I have or providing a collector the chance to add this to their wine rack.

Someone please help me
From Cellar Tracker:
8/1/2008 - SAMANTHA WROTE:100 Points

Such an incredible experience. Initially I noticed quite a bit of toffee on the nose. Lots of power and finesse, so many characteristics of a great Burgundy, incredibly rich and sweet with some flavors of a liqueur, maybe a port. Definitely a pleasurable characteristic.
10/11/2006 - BRADE WROTE:
A certain amount of funk, but I liked this from the first sip. Creamy, hazelnut, a touch cola like. Initial opinions around the table were somewhat mixed, but I was hooked. After a couple of hours, when the remaining two small glasses were poured from the bottle, it showed even better.

And I see that in 2009 Krug 1928 set a new record for a bottle of Champagne sold at auction(of any size!) of $21,000.

You may have a stunner on your hands.

I'll start the bidding at £20...
Hello Brad and welcome to the WP forum!

The value of well stored decent champagne has rocketed on the secondary market, so depending on how much you paid for it, you may also have a nice little earner on your hands, should you wish to part company with it.

However, as Charles points out, these old bottles can sometimes provide a wonderful experience. Though I think it also fair to point out that it's very much a matter of taste, and that not everyone will appreciate it. Have you had any old, still white wines? That might give you an idea.

Another thing to consider is how the storage may have affected the condition of the wine. For a wine of this age, there is a very real risk of it being oxidised (basically, shot), so you do need to factor that into your plans. You can shortcut that risk to a degree by looking at whether there is any significant loss of level (ullage) or any obvious browning or opaqueness in the wine. You'll need to invert the bottle near a bright light to inspect it, comparing with a recent champagne for reference. If either of those things turns out to be true, I'd suggest you may be better off selling it - people buy bottles like this for anniversaries etc., not necessarily expecting to drink them, which may sound a bit odd but seems to be the case.

One final point - there are fakes about. Your bottle looks OK to me, but you would need to examine it carefully and in any event I'm no expert on fakes. I have had old Roederer though - 1959 was my oldest vintage - though nothing this old.
Might very well be genuine, and I might be wrong in think that this bottle is not all that it seems, but some interesting details to consider:

1. "By appointment to Late King George V". This sort of posthumous statement is allowed up to 5 years post death, so this bottle would have been ex-cellars around 1936-1941.
2. AFAIK, this style of labelling didn't appear until around the 1945 vintage release, on the market around early 1950s (vintage on the neck, not on the main label in red letters).
3. Point 2 doesn't correlate with point 1.
4. Labelling looks exceptionally fresh for a bottle around 80 years old.

Perhaps contacting Louis Roederer themselves might help you.
Hi Ian,

many thanks for the information i was unaware that the world of wines was so interesting. i have checked the bottle and it is still full and has not discolored.

and Steven thank you for your points they are very valid and i will take your advice and contact Louis Roederer to see if they can shed some light on this for me.
hi everyone little bit of an update... i have been informed that it could fetch 700-900 at auction as 1928 was a good year. but i have been in contact with Louis Roederer and with the writing on on the bottle it may have a major importance
As you are in London you could drop round to one of the major auction houses - Christie's, Sotheby's or Bonhams - and see what they make of it - they'll need to see it first hand so ring first to make an appointment with someone. They will certainly give you an honest assessment.

Ahem! Or indeed the other major auction house...

Yes the writing is an issue for collectors Brad, as pristine labels are always best, but what is of most significance is the reverse ullage (that's where you invert the bottle to see how far away from the base the liquid is), the clarity of the liquid and the colour. I can see that you have a cardboard bottle sleeve in the pic, which would account for the near-pristine nature of the label. Steve's right about the reference to the 'late' George V being a potential issue, but the problem is that lots of cellar records were lost during the war - it is perfectly possible for this to have been labelled and bottled in the years leading up to the war, but finding the proof of that could be a challenge. Of course the only way to work out if this is genuine, is to look at it in the flesh and know the provenance - who for example is PMC? When was the bottle given, where and how stored, how did you obtain it? Etc etc.

Interested to know who gave you the valuation and what it was based on. Certainly the market in old vintage champagne is strong, but to get top money then everything has to be 100% verified.
Very old champagne is definitely a specific bag too and definitely not to everyones taste.

I'm usually impressed without been wowed unlike a mate who goes bananas for knackered old NV's and the like.

Which is actually a bit odd as I'm into and kind to pretty much knackered everything else!
Are these bottles(as opposed to magnums) ever really much good after say 40 years?

Depends upon so much. Totally unscientific gut feeling. I'd say the bottle "success" hit rate is 1 in 5 at this age (40), the magnum closer to 1 in 2. The odds get worse as you go older.

A magnum of 1955 Veuve Clicquot was unbelievably fresh when sample in the early 2000's (I'd have pinned it off as a Champagne from the 1980's), and as Tom Stevenson says, the best old Champagne is often the "freshest" (i.e. aromatic development and complexity with out too much oxidation). Depends on your poison (and if you are into Necrophilia, but for me oxidised is oxidised and the wines uniqueness and origins are lost).

Older vintages will probably last the distance better than most modern Champagne (huge dollops of Sulphur in the old days, not to mention complex, aromatic smoothness due to a heft of dosage), and although we have the tools to manage oxygen more cleverly these days (and hence lowering sulphur), many producers are using the oxidative style to short-cut natural evolution to produce something profound.
If a bottle has been stored in the Champagne house on its lees, this acts as an impermeable seal, so there are remarkable late disgorgements like the bottles of Moet 1921 shown by Tom Stevenson at a Christies Education tasting in Dec 2014 disgorged specially just a year earlier. This was great wine with a gentle spritz still, with all bottles consistent.

I was lucky on Tuesday to try one of the best old Champagnes I have ever had: 1952 Clos des Goisses. But that was (I) from magnum and (ii) disgorged 8 years ago (optimal post-disgorgement aging for Goisses according to Charles Philipponnat). A great, great wine that was more than easy to drink. The magnum went all too quickly ... always a good sign.

With regular bottles there are still some regular bottlings from the 1960's which drink as great bottles with no apologies for age. Earlier than that you need to start having sympathy with old Champagne and it is a far more acquired taste thing. Personally, although I enjoy old Champagne, I am in the Pritchard / Stevenson camp wrt freshness. I prefer my sherry from Jerez! The risk reward / ratio means for me not to look at regular bottles older than 1988. There used to be more of a discount in old Champagne prices to allow for risk, but that has long since evaporated.
Personally, although I enjoy old Champagne, I am in the Pritchard / Stevenson camp wrt freshness. I prefer my sherry from Jerez!
Me too! But in the spirit of full disclosure, they don't always go that way. I'm not sure whether I have tasted old champagnes enough to make any claims authoritatively, but it seems to me that there three possible directions they can head off in. Firstly, towards sherry oxidativeness. Secondly, towards a sort of dominant chocolate taste, presumably due to the pinot component. And thirdly, towards what I once described as a sort of concentrated baklava flavour but without any sweetness.

The second route can be quite nice in moderation, but easily gets overwhelming. Useful, then, to point out that if you get a wine like this, you can blend it with a recent NV to give something that transcends both. It sounds like some sort of heresy, but it really does work well. So much so that I would even counsel keeping a bottle of NV chilled ready to go, just in case.
I just came across a recent review of the 1929 Roederer Brut by Antonio Galloni in Vinous. He liked it but doesn't discuss the provenance which would have been interesting. I think 28 was a better year than 29 although by this age it is bottle by bottle.