Champagne Louis Roederer Cristal
The Wine Advocate
December 22, 2010, Antonio Galloni
“The 2004 Brut Cristal has put on quite a bit of weight since I first tasted it earlier this year. It is a powerful, structured Cristal layered with considerable fruit. Chardonnay seems to play the leading role in 2004, at least today. Cristal is often accessible young, but that is far from the case here. This is a serious, painfully young Cristal that will require considerable patience. Readers who are willing to spend some time with the wine today will find a super-impressive, complete Cristal. The 2004 Cristal is 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay.”
Wine & Spirits
December 1, 2010
“A pale beauty with delicate power, energy and dimension, the 2004 Cristal is an impressive follow-up to the 2002. Scents of apple blossom hint at the depth and clarity of the fruit, layered with ginger and spice in a flavor delivered over the course of several minutes. The freshness of the wine comes through in a subtle hum rather than anything as overt as a buzz, bright, airy and unstoppable.”
97 Points, Cellar Selection
December 1, 2010, Roger Voss
“Exceptionally rich and dense, an exceptional wine that reveals itself in layers, from the first fruit attack to the mineral texture and the way it gradually fills the mouth. Selected from old vines, there is a great flavor in this wine, with the promise of many years' aging.”
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 2004 - incisive, seductive and delicious - has a slender, almost living freshness. Highly contemporary in its harmony and immediate seductiveness, it nevertheless remains first and foremost a great classic of northern Champagne, combining freshness, energy and an almost chalky mineral quality. The Cristal hallmarks are evident: purity, precision and the unique harmony of flavours associated with the subtle power of our historic vines, located on the finest Champagne Grand Cru terroirs.
Matured for an average of 5 years in the cellars, Cristal is left to rest for 8 months after disgorging to complete its maturation.
Brilliant yellow color displaying light amber nuances, combined with an ultra-fine, persistent, soft effervescence. Intense, highly expressive bouquet on the first nose. The aromatic elegance and precision of chardonnay is apparent: white fruit, sweet pollen, fine citrus fruit and very pure minerality. After a few minutes, the aromas move on to more confit, lightly grilled hints. The bouquet is rich and sweet, almost generous, remaining precise and impeccably refined. The bite in the mouth is full and creamy, revealing an incredible concentration of juicy fruits: yellow peach, apricot, mango and others. This silky, meaty concentration, which is both dense and soft – and typical of great pinot noir – is immediately combined with a sophisticated touch of acidity, bringing the wine alive with minerality. The overriding impression is one of a true harmony of flavors, senses and silky textures... absolute sensuality.
A classic, generous year, yielding both quantity and quality. 2004 followed the same climatic trends as 2002: cool, moderate temperatures throughout the season; and a considerably reduced rainfall (by about 30%) during the growing cycle, which, despite a particularly cold and rainy month of August, was fortunately followed by a dry and sunny September, ripening the grapes off impressively. The Louis Roederer vineyard team worked intensively in this period, and by September 20, the grapes had attained a “vintage” balance, combining maturity and freshness.
Varietals: 60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay