Champagne Louis Roederer Cristal
June 9, 2023, Georgie Hindle
“By 2014, all of the grapes made for Cristal were being farmed biodynamically and certified organic since 2012. So alive on the nose, bursting with citrus and white fruit and floral aromas as well as some buttery toast nuances. Lemon meringue pie, summer strawberries and citrus tang on the palate - full with such a density to the texture, filling and persistent with tiny bubbles from start to finish. This has such a ‘cool’ element with minerality and a sense of tension that gives excitement and nicely offsets the more rich, round elements. Electric, clean and sharp, a thriller.”
November 7, 2022, Audrey Frick
“Sourced from 39 plots, the 2014 Champagne Cristal is 60% Pinot Noir and the remainder Chardonnay, with 32% aged in oak, and it has 7 grams per liter dosage. It is highly expressive of classic elegance and purity, revealing aromas of crushed rock, almond croissant, and perfume of citrus blossoms. The palate is hyper-refined in its mousse, with pinpoint bubbles, a subtly rounded mid-palate, an irresistible chalky texture, and energy throughout its long and floral finish. Everything about this feels perfectly tailored. Drink 2024-2044.”
97 Points, #1 Top 100 Cellar Selections of 2022
July 1, 2022, Roger Voss
“Still young, with toast aromas and shining white-fruit flavors, the latest release of Cristal is just setting out. A dry, tight core of intense flavors are shot through with minerality from the pure chalk soil of the 45 individual parcels in the blend. Drink this wine from 2025. Organic.”
98 Points, #10 Top 10 Wines of 2022
April 2022, Alison Napjus
“This vivid Champagne has upfront and linear definition, thanks to rapierlike acidity, with finely meshed flavors of ripe black cherry and mandarin orange fruit, raw almond, anise and cardamom spice as well as a touch of honeycomb, which all unfurl and expand on the fine, creamy palate. Sleek acidity continues through to the finish, with additional racy character provided by a streak of minerally saline and chalk, which gains momentum through the midpalate and rings out on the well-cut, lasting finish. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Drink now through 2040.”
February 9, 2022, James Suckling
“An enlightened expression from a season of extremes, this has intensity, ripeness and depth of fruit that is underpinned by chalk soil-derived structure and freshness. Complex nose with lemon and grapefruit aromas, as well as closed red apple, blood orange, light biscuit spices and toasted hazelnuts. Super fresh. The palate starts pithy and fleshy with pink grapefruit, blood orange, red apple, sliced strawberry and nectarine. Expansive and mouth-filling build that is driven by concentrated fruit, Then it tightens and turns to a more mineral edge, before smoothly honed phenolics finish it long. It is 60% pinot noir and 40% chardonnay, 32% oak fermentation in those same proportions, no chaptalization, no malolactic and a dosage of 7g per liter. From organically farmed grapes. Very complex, it strikes a natural balance and is very drinkable already, though will develop well for more than a decade in the cellar.”
February 4, 2022, Jeb Dunnuck
“The 2014 fits in nicely in recent vintages and has a style all its own, showing a fleshy, round, nicely concentrated style reminiscent of the 2012 yet not quite the precision of either the 2008 or 2013. Gorgeous and classic Cristal stone fruit, chalky minerality, white flowers, almond paste, and subtle toast emerge on the nose and it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, a supple, almost creamy texture, terrific balance, and a great finish. It’s surprisingly approachable yet I’ve no doubt it will evolve nicely given its mid-palate depth and overall balance. It’s beautiful today and a terrific Cristal to enjoy over the coming two decades or so. It’s unquestionably more approachable than either the 2013 or 2008, but not far off qualitatively.”
The Wine Advocate
February 2, 2022, William Kelley
“The 2014 Cristal is a terrific effort that transcends the vintage. Bursting from the glass with expressive aromas of ripe citrus fruit, nectarine, white flowers, freshly baked bread and subtle hints of honeycomb, it's medium to full-bodied, vinous and fleshy, with an exuberant core of fruit that's girdled by racy acids, resulting in a wine that's simultaneously chiseled and demonstrative, meaning that early appeal doesn't come at the expense of the requisite tension for long-term cellaring. Concluding with a long, aromatic and intensely chalky finish, it is a brilliant Champagne that will offer a broad drinking window. This bottle was disgorged in June 2021 with seven grams per liter dosage.”
January 31, 2022, Jancis Robinson
“Broad nose with floral notes on the nose and some strong citrus notes – lime? – on the palate with an incredibly tight texture that seems to be focused on a single point on the finish. This is surely a wine to wait for? Enormous tension but I think I'd prefer it to develop a bit more breadth ideally. Though there already is some sort of serious register on the finish. Dense and still extremely tense. This clearly has a great future ahead of it and I hope very much to encounter it in future.”
January 2022, Antonio Galloni
“The 2014 Cristal is another in a long line of gorgeous wines from Roederer and long-time Chef de Caves Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon. A dazzling, vibrant Champagne, the 2014 impresses with a stunning combination of fruit density and linear energy that bring to mind a hypothetic blend of 2012 and 2008. At times, the bubbles feel totally wrapped up in waves of creamy, resonant fruit to the point the mousse is barely perceptible, especially with aeration. The flavors are bright and finely sculpted, leaning very much into the citrus, floral and mineral end of the spectrum. The blend is a classic: 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay taken from 39 of the 45 parcels that comprise the Cristal estate. In most vintages, the Pinot components are roughly equally split between Verzy/Verzenay and Ay, but in 2014, Lecaillon favored Verzy and Verzenay, two north facing villages in the Montagne de Reims (where rain was less problematic) known for conferring saline energy and vibrancy. Rain was much more of an issue in the Vallée de la Marne. Consequently, some of the Pinots in Ay were diluted and did not make it into the blend. Chardonnays were sourced from historic plots in Avize, Mesnil and Cramant.”
January 1, 2022, Anne Krebiehl MW
“An initially faint but distinct hint of freshly cut green but ripe apple, of lemon, with subtle florality, a mere touch of freesia, hints at more nuance to come. More time in the glass reveals a sense of still briny oyster shell. The palate is like a summer breeze, caressing the palate with finest, creamiest foam – and again that saltiness that is utterly seductive and appetising. There is immense vertical richness in that creamy but slender texture. Despite the generosity, the creaminess, there is nothing superfluous to obscure the wine’s essential and clear-cut luminosity. This is a model of sleekness, understatement and depth, an utterly compelling combination of briskness and emollience. Irresistible now but guaranteed to evolve. ”
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 seven Grand Crus from the Montagne de Reims, the Marne Valley and the Côte des Blancs.
Cristal 2014 is composed of grapes sourced from 45 "lieux-dits" in Verzenay, Verzy, Beaumont-sur-Vesle, Ay, Avize, Mesnil-sur-Oger, and Cramant. 32% of the wines are vinified in oak. No malolactic fermentation. The dosage is 7 g/L.
Intense, bright and luminous golden hue. Dynamic effervescence with a continuous stream of fine bubbles. Intense, fragrant bouquet of great purity. Concentrated and candied citrus fruit mingle delicately with notes of grain and lightly roasted almonds. The lovely sensation of big ripe fruit is balanced and lifted by energetic fresh tangy overtones. Fruity palate with a silky texture, complemented by soft bubbles that are perfectly integrated and deliciously elegant. The purity and perfection of the ripe yellow fruit melt into the intense chalky freshness, typical of Cristal, that is both powdery and saline. Dense, juicy, concentrated and long on the mid-palate, thanks to the spicy and sappy structure resulting from partial ageing in large oak vats (foudres). The finish builds to a crescendo, revealing a rich grainy and velvety texture that is wrapped in a long, saline and superbly elegant finish.
A "weather waltz", and one with clear, sharp contrasts! The spring was sunny and dry and ended with a heatwave in June; summer was autumnal, cool and rainy; September was hot, sunny and very dry… weather we would usually associate with the month of August. The ‘key’ to the vintage lay in the soils as well as in the work carried out by the winegrowers. The good drainage properties of the chalk on the lower-middle part of the hillside helped us greatly by allowing the excess water from the summer to drain away which limited any excess vigor in the vines. These factors were complemented by our increasingly eco-friendly viticultural practices which allow us to take our quest for grapes of perfect balance and maturity even further.
Varietals: 60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay