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.
Two thirds of the wine-harvest confirmed optimistic predictions at the beginning of September, but the last third was cause for concern due to the incessant rains which beat down on the vineyards.
In the Côte des Blancs, grape harvesting began on September 14 with perfect weather that last the fourteen days of picking. In the Marne Valley, Louis Roederer started two days before everyone else. Average degree levels were close to appellation levels, varying between 10 and 12.5°, and the grapes were very healthy.
In the Montagne de Reims, harvest began on September 20. The degrees fluctuated between 10 and 11. During this time, the more abundant plots continued to ripen. Yields from the vineyards of Verzenay and Verzy were close to record levels. As in the Côte des Blancs, weather conditions in August and early September partially made quality compatible with high yield, thus promising a great vintage.
The color of the 1999 vintage is burnished yellow with gold reflections. On the nose, the wine opens with the youthful intensity of white flowers, citrus and red berries, followed by warmer notes of toast, chocolate and wood. The palate shows a mixture of ripe lush fruits (vine peaches) and toasty aromas with a dense and fleshy structure. The silky texture on the mid-palate culminates in a glorious finish.