Louis Roederer Cristal Brut (Giftbox) 1500ml
Louis Roederer Cristal Brut (Giftbox) 1500ml
Louis Roederer’s most famous wine was created in 1876 to satisfy the demanding tastes of Tsar Alexander II. The emperor asked Louis Roederer to reserve the House’s best cuvée for him every year. He was particularly fond of the House’s wine. To distinguish this cuvée, this exceptional champagne came in a flat-bottomed, transparent lead-crystal bottle. The new brand was named after this precious material, which is particularly transparent and luminous.
Produced uniquely during the best years, when the Chardonnay (around 40%) and Pinot noir (around 60%) grapes have attained perfect maturity, Cristal is aged for 6 years in Louis Roederer’s cellars and left for a further 8 months after dégorgement.
Cristal is a remarkably balanced and refined champagne whose length is inimitable. It has a silky texture and fruity aromas, complemented by a powerful mineral quality with white fruit and citrus notes. Cristal is a wine that keeps well: it can be conserved for over twenty years without losing its freshness and character.
Wine Advocate 98: Disgorged October 2016 and will be the first Cristal to be released ten years from harvest when it is offered in 2018. 35 parcels used from a possible 45 in this vintage. The assemblage is 60% pinot noir and 40% chardonnay. This is so fresh and tense and mineral with extremely exuberant chardonnay notes on the nose of white peach, lemon and yellow grapefruit, and hints of almost brambly sous bois aromas. The yeast characters are also super fresh, and there are subtle woody notes, with a hint of vanilla bean and light spices. The palate is super long, and very pure, powerful and focused. It drives deep and taut. Pinot noir is a strong core and the chardonnay sits at the edge offering lemon and white nectarine sorbet flavors. Staggeringly concentrated, yet the balance makes it seem airy and light. Acidity is perfectly positioned, and the power is intense and long. This is an ultra precise Cristal, finishing with a mere suggestion of savoriness and warmth to come. Impressive on release, this will be at its best drinking from 2025.
James Suckling 100: OMG. A masterpiece. A benchmark. Tight and structured, with fantastic precision and structure. Sharp line of acidity throughout, with fine and tight bubbles. Pineapple, lemon, white apricot, seashell, biscuit, blanched almond and a hint of chamomile. Vertical and mineral. Dosage 7g/L. Special release in magnum and aged two or three years longer on the lees than the normal bottling. I can’t go higher than this. Even better in a few years.
AG 99+: The 2008 Cristal is one of the most complete, most dazzling Champagnes I have ever tasted. A stunning wine from any and all perspectives, the 2008 simply has it all. Spherical in construction, with superb persistence. The 2008 takes hold of all the senses and never gives up. One of the many things that make the 2008 special is a combination of ripe fruit and bright, piercing acidity. Marzipan, lemon confit, dried flowers and orchard fruit all build into the explosive, resonant finish. "We learnt from the mistakes of 1996, when we picked more on acid than ripeness, as was the norm in Champagne back then" Chef de Caves Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon told me recently. "In 1996, the best fruit turned out to be the last picks, where the fruit was physiologically ripe. Today, we aim to pick all our fruit with that criteria."
Wine Advocate 97+: Aromas of clear honey, crisp green orchard fruit, white peach, pastry cream and dried white flowers introduce the 2012 Cristal, a full-bodied, concentrated and powerful wine that's built for the cellar. Broader, more textural and more muscular than the 2008 Cristal, with seemingly even greater reserves of structuring dry extract, the 2012 is incisive and searingly chalky. This is the first Cristal produced exclusively from organically farmed fruit, and it marks the opening of a new chapter for Louis Roderer. The blend is 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay, vinified without malolactic fermentation and disgorged with 7.5 grams per liter dosage. Chef de Caves Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon has once again excelled himself.
James Suckling 95: The second bottle of this that was opened was more expressive than the first one. Fragrant nose of lime zest, dried flowers, fresh almonds and flint. Bright and juicy on the quite firm, medium- to full-bodied palate. This is now in the no-man’s-land between youthful vitality and mature patina, and this really expanded after some aeration in the glass. Layered structure at the long, linear finish. From the first vintage in which the vineyards were cultivated biodynamically. Tasted at the Cristal vertical tasting at the champagne house on July 6th, 2023. Drink or hold.