Cristal, the jewel and tête de cuvée 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.
Cristal is produced using only the finest vintages from crus guaranteed to originate from the Louis Roederer vineyard. All the exceptional characteristics of the 2002 vintage have literally been captured in this Cristal 2002, which is generous and lush, revealing perfect balance between concentration and finesse, freshness and vinosity, intensity and refinement. In three words: proud, rich and luxurious.
Cristal 2002 is brilliant yellow with light amber highlights and has a beautiful mousse with fine cordon of persistent and regular bubbles. The nose is intense and delicate, revealing a clean and well-blended mixture of flavors of honey, cocoa, lightly toasted hazelnuts, candied citrus fruit. A savory explosion of ripe fruit on the attack, the wine reveals red fruit, white chocolate, caramel and Danish pastry, typical of Cristal. Its silky, concentrated texture relies on its intense, powerful and vinous structure, but maintains refinement. The palate builds up to attain a delicious sensation of well-blended harmony of flavors. A fresh finish with a hint of bitterness makes it almost crunchy.
Serve at a temperature of 46°F to 50°F. The strength and finesse of Cristal are perfectly suited to delicate foods. It is a flattering accompaniment to caviar, fish and shellfish such as scallops, John Dory, lobster and crayfish.
This was a characteristically dry, warm year with outbreaks of heavy rain. The vintage was marked by the outstanding quality of the grapes, registering a degree of alcohol content rarely achieved in Champagne. Highlights included an early-maturing year brought about by dry soil conditions that accelerated ripening; work in the vineyards to improve the quality of the yield; targeted manuring at the start of the season; pruning to restrict yields; crown suckering of fruit-bearing shoots to remove excess clusters; green harvesting over a total 20 ha area; sunny conditions throughout the month of September.
These conditions allowed us to start harvesting on 12 September in the Côte des Blancs, September 13 in the Marne Valley, and 16 September in the Montagne de Reims. Harvesting in each vineyard sector lasted 13 days. From the beginning of the harvest, grapes registered 11-12.2º alcohol with a consistent acidity level of 7 g/l. Average yield of 12.280 kg/ha, overall productivity targets. The quality of the grapes was remarkable throughout the vineyard.
DOSAGE: 10 g/l, from a selected blend of 8 to 10 of the very best crus from the Louis Roederer vineyard aged in oak.