Champagne Louis Roederer Cristal
Vintage:2002 Late Release (Current)
September 5, 2018, James Suckling
“A re-release of the original 2010 disgorgement. Super fine, super fresh and super savory aromas of chalky stones with hints of flowers, white almonds, lemon peel and grapefruit. The palate has intense, mouth-filling, lemon-curd flavor. Very powerful, very concentrated and very expressive. Smooth finish that’s full of life, leaving a bright, white cherry note. Drink in 2022.”
July 1, 2018, Antonio Galloni
“The 2002 Cristal (Re-Release) is just as arrestingly beautiful as it has always been. Exotic, powerful and sensual, the 2002 is just starting to show all of its cards. The 2002 was magnificent when it was first released. Since then, it has only grown in breeding. In this vintage, Cristal is silky, sensual and open-knit, with enveloping fruit and striking textural resonance. It’s great to see the 2002 showing so well. I had high expectations when it was first released, and those expectations now appear to have been more than justified.”
The Wine Advocate
June 29, 2018, Stephan Reinhardt
“Roederer's 2002 Cristal is a fabulous wine! Originally released in 2009, it was re-released in March this year—and was sold out in a very short time. The Cristal I tasted at Roederer in May 2018 was disgorged in 2010, after seven years sur lie. Its amazing richness and concentration makes it a forerunner of the 2015 and follows the 1999. Only two times—2002 and 2015—the fruit from all 42 plots reserved for Cristal was used for the Cristal. "I couldn't do any better blend than the one assembling all the 42 plots," says Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon, stressing that at that time only two hectares were farmed biodynamically. As a result of the conversion to biodynamic farming, Lécaillon promised himself the production of even more beautiful, vital and balanced wines, and you can feel his satisfaction whenever he speaks of the cuvées that are yet to come such as 2012 and 2015, the latter of which he calls "the new 2002." Back to history: the nose of the 2002 Cristal shows a deep, ripe and elegant fruit with aromas of white chocolate, wet chalk, wild vanilla and pepper (typical for 2002) as well as terroir-driven truffle notes. Intense and very elegant in the mouth, this is a ripe, rich and concentrated yet also pure and vital Cristal with great finesse, elegance and mineral complexity. It's a sublime Champagne right now, although it's more wine than Champagne. Tasted in Reims in May 2018.”
In 1876, Tsar Alexander II - already a great lover of Louis Roederer wines - asked Louis Roederer to ‘take the exercise still further‘ and create a cuvée for his personal use which was unique, in terms of both its style and the bottle. Louis Roederer offered him an exceptional crystal bottle, holding the fruit of vines selected from the seven great crus on his estate. The chardonnay and pinot noir grapes provide the subtle, precise balance that has now become synonymous with the leading prestige cuvée of Champagne.
Cristal is Louis Roederer’s flagship cuvée. It was created in 1876 and is composed of Grand Crus from the Montagne de Reims, the Marne Valley and the Côte des Blancs.
Cristal is produced using only the finest vintages from crus guaranteed to originate from Louis Roederer vineyards. Cristal 2002 was aged on its lees for 6 years before being matured for a further 9 years in bottle after its disgorgement in 2009. The dosage is 9 g/l.
It is always fascinating to re-discover vintages of Cristal that have been left to mature in the cellars after being disgorged. 9 years after its disgorgement date, this Cristal has taken on a whole new dimension and the finish reminds one of a fine white from neighboring Burgundy. Impressive and extremely seductive! The nose is flawless, aromatic, intense, deep and dense. It reveals an exceptionally rich and complex bouquet dominated by fruity, zesty and roasted aromas combined with enticing notes of vanilla and a hint of truffle. This wine coats the palate with its texture and volume on entry to the palate and offers a concentrated mouthfeel underpinned by a smooth effervescence. But there is definitely a little extra something on the finish: exceptional finesse, a chalky freshness and a menthol touch which give it such intensity on the finish, the signature of a fine white wine.
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 flavor. The harvesting began on September 12 for the chardonnays which were displaying an average sugar concentration of over 11% in natural alcohol.
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. The ideal serving temperature is between 46°F and 50°F.
Varietals: 60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay
Dosage: 9 g/L