Champagne Louis Roederer Cristal
October 8, 2016, James Suckling
“Chalk soils drive pinot noir to make a style that has additional minerality here and compression. On the nose, there are white cherries, gentle spices and hints of almost peppery notes. There's spring honey too and some yeasty, darker mushroomy edges. The palate is silky, very composed, refined, elegant and powerful. It's the chardonnay that defines the palate here in a different way to the other Roederer Champagnes. That this is a unique Champagne is absolutely correct: The depth and grapefruit focus is so impressive, as is the layered, elegant and long finish. Just effortless as a late toasty wave of grilled hazelnuts finishes things off. This is very approachable but will be best around 2022+.”
The Wine Advocate
June 29, 2016, Stephan Reinhardt
“Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon calls Cristal "the first terroir cuvée of the Champagne." He furthers, "It’s not just Chardonnay or Pinot Noir, but the chalk that brings the ultimate finesse, length and precision of Cristal." Forty-five blocks with averaging age of 43-years-old, low-yielding vines form the base of Cristal, which is usually made of approximately 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay. Due to an early bud break (end of March) and the wet summer, the 2007 was picked at the end of August, so almost 100 days after the flowering instead of the normal 93-95 days. There is a bit less Pinot Noir than usual (57%) and accordingly, more Chardonnay (43%) in the 2007 Cristal. This Champagne comes along in a golden color and with a deep and matured, yet well-defined bouquet of ripe yellow fruits and honey notes. Full-bodied, round and very complex, the generous 2007 is a perfect mix of ripe fruit and precise minerality. It is a silky textured, pure and precise, as well as powerful and expressive Champagne. It has great tension and grip in the very long and persistent finish. Great expression of chalk. The 2007 was disgorged in 2015.”
November 30, 2015, Alison Napjus
“Shows lovely texture and harmony, featuring a powerful backbone of acidity married to finely knit flavors of green pear and raspberry fruit, with hints of preserved lemon, biscuit and honey. Light spice and mineral details echo on the creamy finish. Drink now through 2030. 9,450 cases imported.”
July 2015, Antonio Galloni
“Long-time Chef de Caves Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon has produced yet another in a string of superb Champagnes with the 2007 Cristal. Rich, powerful and enveloping, the 2007 takes hold of all the senses and never lets up. The aromatics alone are captivating, but then the wine opens on the palate, revealing layer after layer of flavor to match a multi-dimensional, kaleidoscopic personality that will leave Champagne lovers weak at the knees. The 2007 is 58% Pinot Noir and 42% Chardonnay, which is to say a bit more Chardonnay-leaning than is the norm. The 2007 is striking today, but it should also age effortlessly for several decades. It is also without question one of the very finest new releases of the year.”
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 2007 is a magnificent example of Cristal’s ‘discreet power’: it is not so much an expression of the strength of the vintage, but rather the incredible finesse of the estate’s limestone substratum and the concentration of the old vines that are selected for the creation of Cristal.
Matured for an average of 5 years in the cellars, Cristal is left to rest for 8 months after disgorging to complete its maturation.
Cristal 2007 has a golden hue with slightly orange colors and warm highlights. It has impeccable, fine, regular, and dynamic bubbles. Its classic bouquet is both elegant and discreet. The attack of juicy ripe fruits (Williams pear) and slightly acid red fruits (redcurrants) combined with nuances of hot pastries and Tarte Tatin that have just been taken out of the oven. The wine is ready to reveal its many qualities and, after a few minutes in the glass, reveals notes of white chocolate and hazelnuts produced by the fermentation in wood of some of the wines from the 2007 harvest. This juxtaposition of aromas of ripe, acid, and sweet fruits with the more roasted notes resulting from ageing becomes more pronounced over time and produces a real impression of depth. The attack in the mouth is concentrated and continues with mature fruits. The wine is prolonged by smoky flavors, once again creating the impression of natural depth. The textures are silky, velvety, and almost luscious; they provide perfect overtones to the wine’s freshness in a luscious and sensual ensemble. Powdery and salty nuances stimulate the edges of the tongue, adding a precise and energetic quality. The final phase of the tasting is predominantly an impression of refinement and lightness.
2007 was a mostly warm year, characterised by unexpected and major weather events. A warm spring was followed by a cool summer. Drought had returned by the end of August. The end of the ripening process was excellent, and the harvests took place in ideal conditions.
Varietals: 58% Pinot Noir, 42% Chardonnay