Champagne Louis Roederer Cristal Rosé
The Wine Advocate
June 18, 2018, Stephan Reinhardt
“Roederer's 2008 Cristal Rosé is a pure but textured, perfectly ripe, round, luscious and mouth-filling Champagne with power and concentration as well as a crystalline, elegant precision and stunning, citrusy freshness. Sourced in four biodynamically farmed plots in Aÿ (two vineyards with old-vines Pinot Noir on calcareous clay soils that can give exceptional ripeness but also crystalline freshness), Avize and Mesnil (one-third), the 2008 is a blend of 55% to 57% Pinot Noir and 43% to 45% Chardonnay and was fermented partly (15%) in large oak casks, with 16% having undergone malolactic fermentation. The unique light peach to pink-salmon color as well as the combination of juicy ripeness and great freshness is the result of "infusion," a vinification method practiced at Roederer since 1974 to combine finesse and mineralization with depth and ripeness. Cristal Rosé is produced with the saignée process after a cold maceration of seven to ten days and, after being blended with Chardonnay, is fermented like a dry wine. The delicate and subtle bouquet of the 2008 Cristal Rosé is intense and fruity, intertwining red berry and sweet cherry aromas with floral flavors and a touch of caramel and nuts. On the palate, the 2008 is very elegant, fine, pure, precise and fresh but nevertheless dense, intense and fleshy, with lots of powdery chalk and a pure, very fresh, chalky-salty finish with zesty citrus flavors. The 2008 should have enormous aging potential. The Rosé was disgorged in March 2017, and the dosage is eight grams per liter. Tasted at the domaine in May 2018.”
96 Points, Cellar Selection
December 1, 2017, Roger Voss
“Interestingly released after the softer 2009 version of this wine, this 2008 vintage is beautifully balanced between crisp fruit and ripe maturity. With its red fruits still in place, it also has a toasty yeasty edge that is sophisticated and enticing. It is a superb wine, delicious to drink now although because of the quality of the vintage it will age for many more years, certainly into the 2020s.”
July 2017, Antonio Galloni
“The 2008 Cristal Rosé is all tension, nuance and class. Fresh and utterly brilliant, the 2008 bristles on the palate with pure pedigree. In the glass, the 2008 is at once translucent, weightless and powerful. Readers should be in no hurry to drink the 2008, a wine that will age effortlessly for many, many decades to come.”
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 2008 was bottle-aged for eight years before being left to rest for eight months after disgorging in order to attain perfect maturity. The dosage is 8 g/L.
Bright pink hue with delicate salmon-pink tints. Soft, even sparkle that fills the glass and gives the wine an almost creamy appearance. The delicate, subtle bouquet opens up with elegant aromas of flower petals and dried fruit and nuts, which then give way to zesty notes of red berries such as redcurrant and wild strawberry, characteristic of Louis Roederer's old pinot noir vines from Aÿ. The juicy and fleshy attack is underpinned by a direct, intense freshness. It displays simultaneously solid and fluid powdery notes harking back to the tannins in the pips which were perfectly ripe and lignified. There is an explosion of intense, rich, fresh flavors, complemented by notes of hazelnut and a powdery, almost oily, mouthfeel, characteristic of the finest pinot noirs. There is an impression of chalkiness on the finish with zesty notes reminiscent of candied citrus and yuzu.
The 2008 vintage was characterised by an unusually dry and cool summer and undoubtedly falls into the ‘continental’ vintage category: dense and powerful owing to its exceptional concentration. Nevertheless, the unusually cool temperatures over the summer made their mark on the vintage, giving it a remarkable intense and saline freshness.
Varietals: 56% Pinot Noir, 44% Chardonnay
Aging: 6 years in cellar, 8 months after disgorgement
Suggested Retail Price: $469.00