Champagne Louis Roederer Cristal
July 10, 2015, James Suckling
“Deep pinot-driven presence is the first and lasting impression. Power with control. Superfine bead, bread and spiced biscuits, candied ripe red fruits and a sense of tight-knit complexity. Some grapefruit, lemon pith & gently flinty notes too - impressive nose. In the mouth it is rich, powerful, mouth-filling and flavorsome with a core of the same biscuity red fruit flavor, savory nutty notes and a wrap of assertive, persistent acidity that holds rich powerful flavor deep and focused whilst maintaining a polished, gently creamy texture. Long chalky bread and biscuit finish. A superb pinot-driven vintage.”
May 2014, Antonio Galloni
“Broad, ample and resonant on the palate, the 2006 Cristal dazzles with its pure richness and volume. Readers need to give the 2006 another 4-5 years in bottle, perhaps longer, as the wine appears to be shutting down a bit. Tasted next to the 2002, today the 2006 is a bit less opulent but just as intense, layered and deep. This is a fabulous showing.”
95 Points, Cellar Selection
December 2013, Roger Voss
“Although it is still young, this vintage of Cristal promises great things. There's an impressive balance between ripe fruit and crisp acidity, rich and food friendly, but also a fine apéritif. Apricot and grapefruit flavors are round and rich, but with considerable minerality as well. This is a beautiful wine that can improve with age, at least through 2030.”
The Wine Advocate
November 29, 2013, David Schildknecht
“Roederer’s 2006 Brut Cristal is striking in its sense of lift and delicacy, serving as one of many instances where those bringing preconceptions of this vintage’s warmth and ripeness of fruit to their experience may be pleasantly surprised. A nose of fresh apple, fennel and cucumber sets up associations with a slaw or salad that are crisply, lusciously and refreshingly redeemed on the palate. A garland of honeysuckle and heliotrope complements subtle suggestions of raw almond and vanilla, while alkaline and iodine notes as well as cooling but pungent green herbal notes add to the soothing yet stimulating finish. This exceptionally poised, refined, and buoyant performance is apt to gain depth with a few years’ bottle age. Owners of vast vineyards (totally some 500 acres) that supply the majority of their fruit, Roederer also presides – by design as well as due to that vastness – over a mind-bending number of micro-vinifications, divided entirely between tanks and foudres, supplemented by a concomitantly deep and diverse range of reserve wines. But for all of the variety that these phenomena entail, scarcely any lots undergo malo-lactic transformation.”
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 concentrated, dense, ripe, fresh and long Cristal 2006 is unhesitatingly made using full-bodied, smooth pinots and fresh, elegant mineral chardonnays. The ripeness of 2006 harvests makes it possible to achieve a distinctive culmination of matter and purity, richness and softness.
Matured for an average of 5 years in the cellars, Cristal is left to rest for 8 months after disgorging to complete its maturation.
Glistening color with light amber highlights, indicating a year of very fine ripeness. Soft, almost timid bubbles, in a fine, slow and steady flow. There is a rich bouquet with confit fruit (lemon, orange), white flowers (lilies) and lightly roasted nuts (hazelnuts and almonds). On airing, the dominant fruitiness becomes intense, almost explosive: a sabayon of vine peaches, apricots, melon and mango. The mouth features a rounded, complex ballet of fruit. The texture is incredibly concentrated, giving the impression of biting into a ripe, fleshy fruit. The palate is enveloped by this depth of juicy, creamy, silky fruit, which soon makes way for a pure, sharp, graceful freshness. A transition follows from ripe fruit to a clear, light, delicate environment. Ripeness, softness and concentrationarise from freshness and mineral quality, transforming the ripe fruit into a slightly sharp citrus flavor; the warmer notes make way for flowers, citrus zests and nuts. After this rapid succession of flavors, there is a lasting impression of harmony: the aromas, flavors, slight bitterness and freshness come in just the right proportions, intermingling to form a perfectly integrated yet complex whole. A few hints of Tarte Tatin and Danish pastries add a final touch to the already complex range of aromas.
2006 was a very warm year, characterized by contrasting rainfall patterns. Following on from an unusually cold and rainy August, a warm, dry September hastened up the ripening process producing distinctive, rich, complex grapes.
Varietals: 60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay