Cristal, the jewel of Champagne Louis Roederer, was created in 1876 for the Tsar Alexander II of Russia. It remains faithful to its origin, inspired by elegance and purity. Cristal is produced with regimented standards of winemaking that require a rigorous selection of crus, vintages, grapes, and wine.
The color of the 1997 vintage is a yellow green with hints of gold tint. On the nose, the wine is rich with ripe fruit such as red berries followed by a subtle toastiness and warm notes due to the fermentation in French oak barrels. It has round attack on the palate, yet is delicate and fresh with a perfect bouquet of youthfulness and maturity. This wine has an endless stream of fine, deliciously creamy bubbles that fills the mouth with softness, and is the perfect overture to a finish of exquisite length and crispness.
Overall, this wine is elegant and stylish with a crisp delicacy but already a hint of maturity – much like the year of its birth, 1997, which was cold at the outset but warm and sunny by harvest time.
The weather in Champagne during 1997 did not have a good start. Following a remarkable harsh winter, spring frosts destroyed 16 hectares of the Louis Roederer vineyard from Verzenay to Verzy. The wet and cold weather after the flowering triggered repeated attacks of mildew. However, in August there was a turn for the better with warm and sunny conditions during the next two months providing an exceptional yield despite the compromising winter weather. The sugar content was very high and total acidity was good.