Champagne Louis Roederer Cristal
Vintage: 2008 (Current) | 2009 (Current)
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.”
January 7, 2018, James Suckling
“Disgorged October 2016 and will be the first Cristal to be released ten years from harvest when it is offered in 2018. 35 parcels used from a possible 45 in this vintage. The assemblage is 60% pinot noir and 40% chardonnay. This is so fresh and tense and mineral with extremely exuberant chardonnay notes on the nose of white peach, lemon and yellow grapefruit, and hints of almost brambly sous bois aromas. The yeast characters are also super fresh, and there are subtle woody notes, with a hint of vanilla bean and light spices. The palate is super long, and very pure, powerful and focused. It drives deep and taut. Pinot noir is a strong core and the chardonnay sits at the edge offering lemon and white nectarine sorbet flavors. Staggeringly concentrated, yet the balance makes it seem airy and light. Acidity is perfectly positioned, and the power is intense and long. This is an ultra precise Cristal, finishing with a mere suggestion of savoriness and warmth to come. Impressive on release, this will be at its best drinking from 2025.”
100 Points, Cellar Selection
December 1, 2017, Roger Voss
“This latest incarnation of the famous brand is a superb wine. It is on par with, maybe even better than, the already legendary 2002. Its balance is impeccable: Apple and citrus flavors working with the tight minerality to give a textured yet fruity wine. Produced from Roederer's own vineyards which are mainly biodynamic, the wine has its own intense purity and crispness. It has amazing potential and is likely to age for many years. Drink from 2020.”
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 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.
This wine’s energy has been tamed by an unusually long period of bottle aging: Cristal 2008 was in fact aged for 10 years before its release on the market. A first!
Cristal 2008 was bottle-aged for eight years before being left to rest for at least eight months after disgorging in order to attain perfect maturity. The dosage is 8 g/L.
Amber hue with green and orange tints. Fine, even and lively sparkle.
The wine is powerful, full yet tight, on entry to the palate. The 2008 is undeniably well-structured in a particular way: the wine’s almost saline concentration has not been created by the sun, but is derived from the dryness of the chalk soil in a particularly cool summer. The result is a smooth, almost liquorous, mouthfeel that coats the palate with a powerful yet soft texture. This gives way to an incredible finish, underpinned by freshness and an impression of absolute purity with a taut and very saline character. Complex and intense bouquet disclosing candied citrus, yellow fruit, Williams pear, pollen and toasted almond. The delicately seductive bouquet shows intensity and well-honed precision.
The Cristal 2008 is deep, intense and masterful. It offers the quintessential reflection of its chalk soils which lend it is velvety texture and delicate tension.
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: 60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay