96 Points "Cristal 2009 is supple and lovely, the vintage adding richness to the clarity and precision of its fruit, heightening the sense of purity from a wine exclusively made from chalk terroirs. It’s a straight line of flavor widened by fruit notes of just-ripe white peach and deeper tones of red currant. What ornate charm this offers may be clarified by the details (60 percent pinot noir, 40 percent chardonnay, from seven grand cru villages, plus Mareuil-sur-A, where Roederer owns exceptional parcels of pinot noir, a portion ofthe lots fermented in barrel, none of it allowed to undergo matolactic fermentation). But this is not the kind of symphonic blend that other houses strive to produce. Young Cristal offers resonance rather than complexity, a long, gentle reverberation that lasts. Its future lies in its perfect shape, something time will address with a patina on the surface and in layers below."
97 Points "The latest incarnation of this famous Champagne now comes from Roderer’s own vineyards, a good portion of which are run on biodynamic lines. This still-young wine has great depth and richness, a beautiful balance between ripe fruit and crisp texture that make it alive, crisp and bright, As it matures, it will deepen and become even more intense. Drink now if you must, but preferably wait until 2019. Cellar Selection."
95 Points "White peach and acacia blossom aromas accent the poached apple, gingersnap biscuit, pastry cream and spin honey flavors in this harmonious Champagne. The satinlike mousse caresses the palate, while firm, focusing acidity drives the lasting finish."
#78 of Top 100 Wines "A very rich and full-bodied Cristal that harks back to 2006 or 1989 in style. It's round and rich, which underlies the ripeness of the vintage. Lots of dried apple and pineapple character with bread dough and flan flavors. The bubbles are so fine you almost don't notice them. Very vinous style. Drink now."
97 Points “A very rich and full-bodied Cristal that harks back to 2006 or 1989 in style. It's round and rich, which underlies the ripeness of the vintage. Lots of dried-apple and pineapple character with bread dough and flan flavors. The bubbles are so fine you almost don't notice them. Very vinous style. Drink now.”
95 Points "White peach and acacia blossom aromas accent the flavors of poached apple, gingersnap biscuit, pastry cream and spun honey in this harmonious Champagne. The satiny mousse caresses the palate, while firm, focused acidity drives the lasting finish."
96+ Points "Rich, radiant and totally seductive, the 2009 Cristal possesses remarkable depth and striking purity. I have often felt that Cristal is released too young, but that is not at all the case with the 2009, a Champagne that is absolutely glorious today. The ripeness of the vintage comes through in spades in the wine's luxurious, enveloping personality. I remember tasting the vins clairs and the Cristal blend back in the spring of 2010. The finished wine is every bit as alluring as those early tasting suggested it would be. The 2009 is a superb Cristal in the making."
94--96 Points "The 2009 Cristal literally shimmers on the palate, showing great depth and purity in its sumptuous layers of fruit. It is a magnificent wine endowed with superb length and exceptional overall balance. The 2009 Cristal is 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay. The percentage of wine aged in oak is 15%, which is down slightly from previous vintages.”
96 Points “Chalk soils drive pinot noir to make a style that has additional minerality here and compression. On the nose, there are white cherries, gentle spices and hints of almost peppery notes. There's spring honey too and some yeasty, darker mushroomy edges. The palate is silky, very composed, refined, elegant and powerful. It's the chardonnay that defines the palate here in a different way to the other Roederer Champagnes. That this is a unique Champagne is absolutely correct: The depth and grapefruit focus is so impressive, as is the layered, elegant and long finish. Just effortless as a late toasty wave of grilled hazelnuts finishes things off. This is very approachable but will be best around 2022+.”
95 Points "Among the most iconic Champagnes, this wine always reflects its vintage. In this 2007, coming from a good, not great year, the wine is developing more quickly than is sometimes the case. It is now showing as a beautiful, balanced wine ripe with apples while also hinting at almonds and a yeasty character. The wine has such style, elegant with its fragrant acidity and complex structure."
95 Points Year's BestChampagne "Cristal is Roederer’s prestige cuvée, based on chalk soils. In 2007, the wine is all about chalk in its tension and length. Its white fruit races with electricity, a spark of energy driving the pale scent of nectarine and fresh apple. The energy is wrapped in a smooth, gracious and gentle wine that will continue to gain flavor depth over the coming years."
96 Points "Aromas of ginger, sliced dried pineapple, mango and tea. Full-bodied, dense and intense. Really fresh and delicious. Tangy acidity. Very long and flavorful finish. A vibrant and delicious Cristal. Hard to decide if this is better than or the same as 2005. Drink or hold."
94 Points "Shows lovely texture and harmony, featuring a powerful backbone of acidity married to finely knit flavors of green pear and raspberry fruit, with hints of preserved lemon, biscuit and honey. Light spice and mineral details echo on the creamy finish. Drink now through 2030."
97+ Points “Long-time Chef de Caves Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon has produced yet another in a string of superb Champagnes with the 2007 Cristal. Rich, powerful and enveloping, the 2007 takes hold of all the senses and never lets up. The aromatics alone are captivating, but then the wine opens on the palate, revealing layer after layer of flavor to match a multi-dimensional, kaleidoscopic personality that will leave Champagne lovers weak at the knees. The 2007 is 58% Chardonnay and 42% Pinot Noir, which is to say a bit more Chardonnay-leaning than is the norm. The 2007 is striking today, but it should also age effortlessly for several decades. It is also without question one of the very finest new releases of the year.”
97 Points "Fantastic from the start. A colossal power of beautiful rumbling Pinot maturity. It's like chewing on the ripest grapes from Aÿ and Verzenay. At the same time ultra stylish: unmistakable Cristal essence of peach and mango sweetness, pineapple, coconut, vanilla, sprightly acidity and citrus blossom. Many similarities with 2002 but a clearer Pinot touch."
97 Points "Deep pinot-driven presence is the first and lasting impression. Power with control. Superfine bead, bread and spiced biscuits, candied ripe red fruits and a sense of tight-knit complexity. Some grapefruit, lemon pith & gently flinty notes too - impressive nose. In the mouth it is rich, powerful, mouth-filling and flavoursome with a core of the same biscuity red fruit flavour, savoury nutty notes and a wrap of assertive, persistent acidity that holds rich powerful flavour deep and focused whilst maintaining a polished, gently creamy texture. Long chalky bread and biscuit finish. A superb pinot-driven vintage. "
97 Points "Broad, ample and resonant on the palate, the 2006 Cristal dazzles with its pure richness and volume. Readers need to give the 2006 another 4-5 years in bottle, perhaps longer, as the wine appears to be shutting down a bit. Tasted next to the 2002, today the 2006 is a bit less opulent but just as intense, layered and deep. This is a fabulous showing."
95 Points "Although it is still young, this vintage of Cristal promises great things. There’s an impressive balance between ripe fruit and crisp acidity, rich and food friendly, but also a fine apéritif. Apricot and grape- fruit flavors are round and rich, but with considerable minerality as well."
95 Points "Light, bright gold. Heady mineral and smoke-accented citrus and orchard fruit aromas, with notes of fig, toasted nuts and sweet butter adding complexity and depth. Powerful, palate-staining poached pear and orange flavors are given spine by a smoky mineral quality, picking up floral and spicecake notes with air. Rich but lively and precise, finishing with superb clarity, power and spicy persistence. Drinking this Champagne now would be a shame given this cuvée's track record for aging."
95 Points Collectibles "This elegant version shows beautiful texture and a sense of finesse despite the underlying power of vibrant acidity and smoky minerality. The palate offers a finely layered mesh of blackberry, poached pear, almond pastry, lemon zest and pickled ginger flavors."
96+ Points "The 2006 Cristal is one of the most towering, structured young Cristals I can remember tasting. Roederer is among the first, if not the first, major house to release its tete de cuvees. Young Cristal can often deceive with its open, seductive personality, but that is not at all the case here. The 2006 is majestic, powerful Cristal that is going to need bottle age. Today it is massive, tightly coiled and imposing, with tons of structure, phenomenal balance and plenty of potential for the future."
97 Points Cellar Selection "The iconic Roederer Champagne, Cristal’s latest release, brings a perfect balance of richness and age worthiness. It is full of apple flavor, and the mousse is very fine and almost imperceptible. As so often with a beautifully blended wine like this, a few minutes breathing brings out extra complex flavors. It certainly should age over five years and more."
95 Points "...this is pretty great, an open, airy, whip-smart delivery of Cristal’s spark, a wine of formidable delicacy. The undertow is there, drawing down a wave of spicy oak notes and heady crème caramel to reveal glints of limestone, the bright shimmer of acidity sustained by the cool rootedness in the soil. In 45 words of my notes on this wine, there’s not a single mention of fruit. Instead, they focus on brightness, subtlety, lusty juiciness, balance and mouthwatering complexity."
94 Points "Vibrant and mouthwatering, this offers a range of patisserie pear and apple fruit, candied lemon zest, pastry dough and marzipan notes set on a finely detailed texture, which imparts a great deal of finesse. The lasting finish echoes a smoky mineral note."
94 Points "Bright yellow-gold. Heady floral-accented citrus and orchard fruits on the nose, with smoky mineral and floral overtones adding complexity. Velvety and chewy in texture, offering deep, juicy orange and poached pear flavors and suave honey and chamomile nuances. Blends precision with power, finishing with a distinct mineral quality and excellent persistence."
93 Points "The 2005 Cristal stands out for its exceptional inner perfume and elegance. Soft, delicate and pretty, the 2005 is a relatively immediate Cristal with all of the signatures very much in the right place. The 2005 doesn’t have the opulence of the 2002 nor the focus of the 2004, but it is a very pretty, if somewhat small-scaled version of this iconic Champagne. I would drink the 2005 while the 2002 and 2004 age. Although Cristal has an impeccable track record when it comes to aging, personally I would not push it with the 2005."
94 Points "Good attack with ripe, vivid fruit character, good intensity of flavour."
97 Points "The energy in this wine recalls the 2002 Cristal (I wrote 'energy' three times in my notes.) In 2004, it's explosive. The wine is saturated with flavor, from floral notes of rose to pale limestone and equally pale fruit. The flavors keep going, as if striding through doorway after doorway in a limestone cellar, the Champenois equivalent of Get Smart. Built to age as gracefully as Agent 99, this won't disappoint if you open it now with scallop crudo."
Best of Show "In a class by itself. Even in an average vintage Cristal delivers. Toasty, frothy, elegant, creamy, with pear and nutty notes, and a gorgeous finish."
97 Points "It is a powerful, structured Cristal layered with considerable fruit. ...Readers who are willing to spend some time with the wine today will find a super-impressive, complete Cristal. ...the 2004 Cristal has come together beautifully and is shaping up to be a truly great, monumental Champagne."
"Cristal is what Champagne producers refer to as a ‘tête de cuvee,’ the top-of-the-line offering. It’s only made in the best vintages, and takes that classic Champagne elegance and moves it up to entirely new level of refinement (that’s one reason why it’s best served in white wine glasses—you really want to be able to smell it). Also, like most great wines and if kept in ideal cellar conditions, Cristal can age beautifully for decades."
93 Points "Floral, citrus and spice aromas and flavors are at the forefront of this filigree, delicate Champagne. This is harmonious and well-defined, with a long aftertaste of roasted nut and toast."
97 Points "A pale beauty with delicate power, energy and dimension, the 2004 Cristal is an impressive follow-up to the 2002. Scents of apple blossom hint at the depth and clarity of the fruit, layered with ginger and spice in a flavor delivered over the course of several minutes. The freshness of the wine comes through in a subtle hum rather than anything as overt as a buzz, bright, airy and unstoppable."
94 Points "Taut, linear lemon and orange rind flavors give way to deeper pear in the mid-palate and pick up notes of honeysuckle and toasted grain with air. Still very young but shows excellent promise. Finishes with good mineral cut and sappy persistence."
96 Points "Lively and fresh, but more open immediately showing greater richness, generosity and fruit intensity. Dense and concentrated with lovely balance and a long finish. Will age well."
99 Points "An exceptional vintage with the same piercing drive and precision as the scintillating 1996. Intensity and fine concentration are the hallmarks of this fine Champagne; chalky aromas, fine citrus and tight, minerally restraint, some quite concentrated stone fruits here, peach and nectarine, really assertive, some flint and mineral too. The palate is needle-like in its precision, piercing acidity and fine floral notes, clean and long. Not one to be missed. A concentrated vintage with wind dehydrating the grapes ahead of harvest. An exotically flavoured, yet tightly structured Cristal."
96 Points "The 2002 Cristal is just now beginning to enter a plateau of early maturity. The ripeness and exuberance is on full display, but the 2002 needs quite a bit of air to fully open up and show its personality. Today, the 2002 is racy and intense to the core, with fabulous balance and plenty of the vintage's trademark opulence. What a gorgeous Champagne this is."
100 Points One of the best Cham "If a wine could ever make you want to pull the top down on your '68 Ferrari convertible, rip off the rearview mirror and take off, this is it. ...All the scents and flavors seem to emanate from limestone, as does the acidity, which hints at the front of the mouth and powers through the wine with the kind of solar energy that lifts mist off the white chalk on a cool morning in Cramant....It's already irresistible, and will only improve with ten, 20, 30 and 40 years of age."
100 Points "A typical Cristal requires several decades to show its best, yet a great one such as the 2002 shows a refinement, complexity and harmony that make it seductive in its youth as well."
97 Points "From a great vintage in Champagne, the 2002 Louis Roederer Cristal is spectacular. It is a young champagne with lots of brioche, honeysuckle, and nectarine notes presented in a full-bodied, rich style."
Recommended "...Roederer's top Champagne remains a paradigm of the form, showcasing the blending talents of cellarmaster Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon. There's an electricity to the nose: white tea, orange, salt, moss and apple skin. It's perfectly harmonious, with fresh berry and fleshy fig flavors highlighted by ripe grapefuit and an intense mineral core. And its full depth isn't quite on display yet. An extraordinary Champagne, with a long life ahead..."
96+ Points "The 2002 Cristal is a gorgeous, sculpted wine of extraordinary elegance. Graceful, well-delineated aromatics lead to ripe pears, spices, flowers, minerals and mint in this precise Champagne. ...The wine remains fresh and in need of several years of cellaring before it hits its stride."
98 points "This is an exceptional wine, as is the vintage. The fruits--grapefruit, crisp red apple—-are balanced with a fine yeasty character. There is a great depth of flavor, the fruits going in a pure line of freshness. ...Age this wine for at least four years."
"The Louis Roederer Champagne house seems to be on a roll. Every one of their offerings is fantastic this year: the luxe Cristal 2002..."
96+ Points "This beautifully-sculpted Champagne possesses notable clarity but with the additional depth of fruit that is characteristic of this vintage. It is a gorgeous, seductive Cristal of the highest level."
94 Points "Luscious and complex with pure, ripe fruit and creamy texture; long layers of flavor and a finish that lasts for minutes."
"Floral and delicate, this ultra-luxury bottling from Roederer is what tete-de-cuvee Champagne is all about.'
Recommended "$100 and up:...We know that some people will turn to...Louis Roederer Cristal because [it has] such special status; that's fine because [it's] not just fashionable, but...really do[es] taste special, too."
92 points "This is a lightweight Cristal, floating and fresh, without the punch this great wine can have from Pinot Noir. To taste, there is good balance, but the persistent grapefruit flavor shows the wine's youth."
Recommended "$100 and up:...We know that some people will turn to...Louis Roederer Cristal because [it has] such special status; that's fine because [it's] not just fashionable, but...really do[es] taste special, too."
95 points "A glorious, sunny Champagne, the 2000 Cristal weds all of its components into a dynamic sphere as if the bubbles were the wine itself. The bubbles carry concentrated flavors of red-skinned apple, hints of wild strawberry, high notes of apple blossoms and earthier notes of chanterelles. The interplay between the effervescence and the texture feels supple and rich, with a powerful drive that remains discreet. It’s an exceptional play on the vintage, transforming its broad ripeness into round elegance."
Five-Star Prestige C "Deep, long, penetrating, non-stop, toast, fig and steel flavors."
92 Points "Bright gold. Deep, subtly smoky nectarine and musky yellow plum aromas are energized by a suave mineral quality. Broad and fleshy, with deep, chewy pear, pit fruit and buttered toast flavors. A serious style, with velvety texture and excellent finishing punch. This has the concentration to repay cellaring but is open-knit enough to enjoy on the young side."
93 points "Doughy toasted grain aromas. Tart lemon-lime flavors have a frothy mouth-feel. This is a young, energized, well-structured Champagne with bracing acidity that sweetens-up in the finish."
91 points "This goes for personality and finesse. An assertive, honeyed style, with plenty of citrus flavors. Mature coffee and roasted nut accents are peeking through, with a robust structure and a dried citrus aftertaste. Drink now through 2018."
95 Points "Opens with youthful intensity, with citrus and red berry fruit followed by secondary toasty notes plus a hint of chocolate. Attractive, dense, fleshy palate. Powerful but silky, showing the ripeness of a warm mature vintage but with freshness on the finish."
Recommended "Since 1776, the distinguished Roederer family has created some of the most finely crafted Champagne in the world, most notably the famed Cristal, a creamy balanced orchestration of strength and delicacy."
95 Points "The precision of the flavors in this vintage of Cristal is riveting. They feel substantial, complete, youthful and extremely long even as their aromatic intensity remains subtle, layered in scents of fresh apple, brioche and yellow plum. But the integration is such that rather than emphasizing indiviual elements, the wine brings to mind words like brisk, elegant, refined. A beauty to drink now, though it will have more to offer with age."
91 Points "High-toned and floral, with hints of coconut and spice. Firm and lively. Needs a little time to integrate and resolve the fine mousse with the tactile finish. More backward and powerful than most 1999s, this has potential. Drink now through 2015." - B.S.
92 Points “Light gold. Vibrant, tangy aromas of apple, pear, white peach and minerals. Wound tight right now, only reluctantly offering up flavors of fresh orchard fruits, herbs and pepper. Finishes zesty and long. Seems less deep than the 1997 bottling; is this just in a sullen, youthful stage?”
96 Points "Bold, winey aromas of Sherried apple, beer, minerals and butter. Explosive flavors of stawberry, apple and pilsner beer are weighty, juicy and balanced. Sweet finish features telltale apple and exotic brown spice notes."
98 Points "One of the finest Champagnes I have ever brought to my lips, the 1999 Cristal bursts from the glass with fresh hazelnut and apple scents. Elegant, deep, and silky-textured, this medium to full-bodied beauty is immensely concentrated, pure, packed with apple flavors, and astoundingly long in the finish."
90 Points "Light gold, with a hint of copper. Expansive and powerful on the nose, displaying scents of honey, light toffee, fresh fig and baked apples. Dense and thick, with serious heft; emphatically not an aperitif style of Champagne. The flavors of ripe apple and pear, singed butter and baking spices are concentrated and deep. Boasts a velvety, weighty texture that carries through the finish."
94 Points "Deep straw hue with lines of small bubbles and a full mousse. Quite apple-y with additional aromas of mixed grains, pecan, malt, buttered toast and bread dough nuance. Foamy, juicy flavors of apple, peach, straw, yeast and honey. Crisp finish shows citrus and grains."
94 Points "If you think Champagne is not just bubbles, but is also wine, then this vintage is for you. It is rounded, rich, powerful, with a fine sense of the red fruits of Pinot Noir. To add further flavors, there are almonds, creaminess and warmth. There is a touch of austere minerality from the low dosage and the lack of malolactic which means it will age well over 10 years of more."
94 Points "Very fresh, complex nose combines soft citrus fruits, toast and minerals, with hints of red berries. Penetrating, bright and very intense, with powerful citrus and mineral flavors that turn sweeter toward the back end. The chewy finish of pear and hazelnut really stains the palate. Ultimately quite pliant and harmonious, in the style of the year."
97 Points "Taut yet wonderfully explosive, with fabulous energy, the 1996 captures all the best qualities of the vintage. In most 1996 retrospectives, Cristal makes a case for itself as one of the wines of the year, so it is not so surprising to see the Late Disgorged version show so well. Readers who can find the 1996 are in for a real treat."
96 Points "Roederer’s 1996 Cristal is gorgeous. The expressive, floral bouquet melds seamlessly into an expansive palate of sweet fruit. This is an exceptionally polished and finessed Cristal, but like so many vintages, it needs time in bottle, regardless of how rewarding it is today. Even after all of these great 1996s, the Cristal delivers the goods."
96 Points "The estate’s 1996 Cristal, from a legendary vintage, does not disappoint. ...The 1996 is an insanely beautiful Cristal loaded with floral, perfumed fruit and vibrant minerality. The wine turns delicate in the glass, yet this is a sublime, fresh Cristal that is in need of further cellaring."
99 Points "Champagne doesn't get much better than Cristal; in the great vintages, it has no peer. Louis Roederer has been making Cristal as a dry prestige cuvée only since the end of World War II, but since then, this house has made some of the world's greatest Champagnes... The '96 Cristal stood out like a beacon at a recent Champagne luncheon of prestige cuvees. Its intense, honeyed flavors penetrate the palate and are backed with piercing acidity."
94 Points "A paradox. This has weight yet a sensation of weightlessness thanks to its seamless texture and harmony. Still firm and forceful yet elegant, offering citrus, pastry, biscuit and hazelnut notes enmeshed in the creamy texture. Great structure for aging. Drink now through 2015."
94+ Points "Multidimensional nose offers baked apple, orange oil, acacia honey, white chocolate, toffee and earthy low tones. Expansive, super concentrated and powerful but not aggressive, with wonderfully sweet flavors of orange, flowers and honey supported by strong underlying structure. An amazingly solid Champagne with the stuffing for extended development in bottle."
94 Points "Initially remarkably fresh, this is a powerful, vinous Champagne that opens up in the glass to show a luscious, almost unctuous richness. As Lécaillon observes, it’s a wine still with a long future ahead of it."
97 Points "The 1990 Cristal is a dramatic, sweeping wine endowed with masses of apricots, peaches, flowers and minerals. A large-scaled Cristal, the 1990 combines size with clarity and focus in a remarkably complete style that recalls the 1982. The wine remains generous on the palate, with stunning length and a finish that lasts forever."
96 Points "From magnum, the Louis Roederer 1990 Cristal is still a youngster. Gorgeous brioche, orange rind, and citrus notes are offered in a full-bodied, unbelievably pure style that could have been 5-6 years old rather than 18. It is always remarkable how well great Champagne can age."
5 Stars "Lavender honey nose with great nuttiness. A sublime balance of fruit, richness and acidity awe-inspiring. Occasionally methuselahs appear at auction."
94 Points "You won't soon forget this vivid and expressive Champagne. It packs in compound layers of citrus, vanilla, pear and nutmeg that harmonize and linger on the finish. Bright acidity makes it extra refreshing and layered. It has really opened up since last year. Best from 2000 through 2010. Tasted twice, with consistent notes."
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