Champagne Louis Roederer Cristal Rosé
Vintage:2002 Late Release (Current)
September 5, 2018, James Suckling
“The sense of completeness here is stunning. This has very complex aromas of sous-bois, blood oranges and spicy, lightly toasty elements, as well as a wealth of dried roses, brown, woody spices, gunflint and pot-pourri. Expansive, playful palate with exotic pink grapefruit and a silky, soft and fleshy, supple edge. Almost airy, soft, delicate fruit. Full of happiness! Vibrant, succulent cherries to close. Holds super long. This really is in a great place. Original disgorgement in 2012.”
July 2018, Antonio Galloni
“As hard as it may seem to believe, the 2002 Cristal Rosé (Re-Release) is even better than the Blanc. Utterly explosive in the glass, with soaring aromatics and tremendous palate presence, the 2002 dazzles from the very first taste. With time in the glass the 2002 grows effortlessly, showing myriad shades of nuance with each successive taste. I am reminded of the vertical I did of Cristal Rosé here a few years ago. Yes, the Rosé is expensive and rare. But it also delivers the goods. And then some.”
The Wine Advocate
100 Points, The Wine Advocate's First Ever 100 Point Champagne
June 29, 2018, Stephan Reinhardt
“The 2002 Cristal Rosé has always been suspected to become a legend one day. Now, nine years later, the onion-colored wine has arrived in the Olympus of the finest Champagnes. Clear, matured and vinous on the intense and complex yet very delicate nose, this is a lush, succulent, perfectly round and intense 2002 that equilibrates its generosity and texture with great elegance and spellbinding balance. Stunningly, this seamless, charmingly seductive and voluptuous character is combined with great purity and harmony, especially in the finish that is not just round and caressing but also fresh, piquant and stimulatingly salty. Is there anything more we could expect from a Rosé Champagne? Even if you served me the wine in a black glass, it would still be a gorgeous, beautiful wine. Yes, it's wine rather than anything else, and its bubbly vinosity makes me desperate for more. If I just could, I would marry the 2002 Cristal Rosé straightaway. The cuvée reflects a great continental vintage as well as the stupendous terroirs of Aÿ (Pinot Noir: 60%), Avize and Mesnil (Chardonnay: 40%). The bottle I tasted at Roederer in Reims in May 2018 was disgorged in 2011, so, like the 2008, after eight years on the second lees.”
In 1974, almost 200 years after the establishment of the Champagne house of Louis Roederer and 100 years after the creation of Cristal, Jean-Claude Rouzaud decided to create the Cristal Rosé cuvée. To achieve this, he selected old-vine pinot noir grapes (using massale selection, which involves propagation from the vineyard’s most successful plants) from the finest grand cru vineyards at Aÿ.
The limestone bedrock and unique calcareous clay soil enable the vines (in the best years) to attain exceptional fruit maturity, complemented by a pure and crystalline acidity that is a perfect evocation of the Cristal style. Today, the vineyards are cultivated according to biodynamic principles.
Over the years, Louis Roederer has developed a unique method for the production of its rosé champagnes. This process, referred to by Roederer as the ‘infusion’ technique, allows the winemaking team to extract the juicy, ripe character of the pinot noirs whilst preserving their exceptional freshness. A small amount of chardonnay juice is added to the pinot noir maceration which then ferment together and integrate harmoniously.
Cristal Rosé 2002 was aged on its lees for 7 years before being matured for a further 8 years in bottle after its disgorgement in 2010. The dosage is 9 g/l.
The bouquet is intense, powerful and incredibly youthful. 8 years after its disgorgement, the Cristal Rosé 2002 is still bursting with fresh, fruity aromas. Its soft, smooth notes of fresh fruits and candied citrus intertwine with more floral notes such as rose as well as smokey notes, cocoa, spice and cinnamon. The wine is juicy, fleshy and succulent on entry. Dense, concentrated and powdery texture with a smooth, juicy mouthfeel, chalky freshness and a saline finish that gives it a distinctive, ethereal, long and very pure style.
An extraordinary year with all the qualities of an exceptional vintage in Champagne: consistently warm temperatures yet without excessive sunshine or heat, a particularly mild winter, slightly less rainfall than average during the growing cycle (20% less), cool nights and a cool, dry northeast wind in August and September. These exceptional conditions resulted in optimum ripeness levels in the grapes and good concentration of flavour. The harvesting began on September 12 for the chardonnays which were displaying an average sugar concentration of over 11% in natural alcohol.
Varietals: 56% Pinot Noir, 44% Chardonnay
Residual Sugar: 9 g/L