2013 Louis Roederer Cristal Rosé (Gift Box)
A candidate for wine-of-the-vintage honors in Champagne, Roederer's 2013 Cristal Rosé is showing brilliantly, unfurling in the glass with notes of crisp orchard fruit, white flowers, red berries, stone fruit, freshly baked bread and tangerine oil. Full-bodied, layered and multidimensional, the vintage's bright girdling acids are amply cloaked in exuberant, expressive and notably concentrated fruit; so while this Cristal is as tensile and age-worthy as one would expect, it's also impressively fleshy and generous given the year. Concluding with an intensely sapid finish, the 2013 isn't as overtly structured as the muscular, tightly wound 2012: rather, it's the 2013's alliance of cut and flesh, precision and charm that's so compelling this year. This is another banner vintage for what I consider the reigning champion of the region's tête de cuvée bottlings, and it will be worth an effort to acquire.