Champagne Louis Roederer Cristal Vinotheque
The Wine Advocate
June 29, 2018, Stephan Reinhardt
“Disgorged in 2010 and re-launched in September 2017, Roederer's low dosed 1995 Cristal Vinotheque (dosage: six to seven grams per liter) is very intense on the nose and shows lovely maturity. Due to the vintage, which saw some rain in the summer, the Chardonnay part is a bit higher than usual (43% instead of 40%), with just 57% Pinot Noir (from Aÿ). Five percent of the wine was fermented in oak, and 15% underwent malolactic fermentation (only the Pinot Noir though). The palate is rich and vinous but also pure, straight and fresh, finishing with a tight structure, persistent minerality and a yeasty character. Tasted in Reims in May 2018.”
Cristal Vinothèque 1995 celebrates the astonishing story of a very small number of bottles, stored in the Louis Roederer cellars for 20 years in the quest for perfect harmony. The 1995 vintage is the reflection of this very classic year in Champagne. The weather conditions created an exceptionally elegant wine structured by a lovely acidity and remarkable aromatic complexity. Its perfectly balanced maturity and well-integrated flavours have been brought out even further by the Côte des Blancs Chardonnays and a small proportion of Pinots noirs grown in chalky soil.
This cuvée is bottle-aged for 10 years before being left to rest for a further 10 years after disgorging. The dosage is 8 g/l.
Golden hue with bright amber tints. Gentle, ultra fine and even bubbles. The complex bouquet is reminiscent of juicy, ripe, almost exotic fruit (mango), cocoa beans and white chocolate with a hint of smoke. Aeration takes the intensity up a notch as sweeter, deeper aromas of malt and black truffle start to emerge. These are testament to the extra years spent ageing on the lees created by the second fermentation. This depth of aroma is complete, more mature, rare and captivating. The palate is velvety and sensual, precise yet mellow. The bubbles are so fine as to be almost sheer, caressing and ethereal, like an array of delicate silk veils in a myriad of shades. The palate is exceptionally precise, with the various elements concentrated to the point of retaining only the wine’s essence: a powdery and chalky texture – harking back to the limestone soils of the Cristal vineyards – and an elegant, long, refined freshness. The wine’s length and graceful tension create a real sensation of tranquility.
Varietals: 57% Pinot Noir, 43% Chardonnay
Fermentation: 10% Malolactic fermentation