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. So 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.
A yellow-gold color with mat and amber tints. Persistent, brilliant, fine and lively bubbles. A subtle bouquet, simultaneously discreet and concentrated. It releases notes of citrus compote and candied apricots and evokes the sweetness of honeysuckle. When aerated, notes of vanilla-edged cocoa bean emerge, with toasted hazelnut, hints of liquorice and even a touch of cinnamon. The palate is structured, energetic and sculpted. An initial dense, ripe and silky sensation is amplified by the discovery of a chalky, cherry freshness, a powdered, almost mentholated brightness. The feeling is delicate and ethereal, a succession of delicious and colorful textures perfectly integrated within the lightness and finesse of the wine… an invitation on a journey of discovery. The bright personality of Cristal then appears, simultaneously pure and sharp, in a finish focused once again on chalk, energy and grain.
The latest incarnation of this famous Champagne now comes from Roederer’s own vineyards, a good portion of which are run on biodynamic lines. This still-young wine has great depth and richness, a beautiful balance between ripe fruit and crisp texture that make it alive, crisp and bright. As it matures, it will deepen and become even more intense. Drink now if you must, but preferably wait until 2019.
A very rich and full-bodied Cristal that harks back to 2006 or 1989 in style. It’s round and rich, which underlies the ripeness of the vintage. Lots of dried-apple and pineapple character with bread dough and flan flavors. The bubbles are so fine you almost don’t notice them. Very vinous style.
Translusent, shimmering gold indicates a wine of poised ripeness; beautiful scents of orange blossom merge with sense of great chalky terroir. The purity and sublime texture of the mouthfeel owes a lot to non-malolactic winemaking which maintains freshness after the uninterrupted warmth of summer to harvest end. Also it also shows the essential true fruit now and for 20 years to come. Long lingering finish. A great supremely elegant Champagne.
The 2009 Cristal literally shimmers on the palate, showing great depth and purity in its sumptuous layers of fruit. It is a magnificent wine endowed with superb length and exceptional overall balance. The 2009 Cristal is 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay. The percentage of wine aged in oak is 15%, which is down slightly from previous vintages.
Cristal 2009 is supple and lovely, the vintage adding richness to the clarity and precision of its fruit, heightening the sense of purity from a wine exclusively made from chalk terroirs. It’s a straight line of flavor widened by fruit notes of just-ripe white peach and deeper tones of red currant. What ornate charm this offers may be clarified by the details (60 percent pinot noir, 40 percent chardonnay, from seven grand cru villages, plus Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, where Roederer owns exceptional parcels of pinot noir, a portion of the lots fermented in barrel, none of it allowed to undergo malolactic fermentation). But this is not the kind of symphonic blend that other houses strive to produce. Young Cristal offers resonance rather than complexity, a long, gentle reverberation that lasts. Its future lies in its perfect shape, something time will address with a patina on the surface and in layers below.
White peach and acacia blossom aromas accent the flavors of poached apple, gingersnap biscuit, pastry cream and spun honey in this harmonious Champagne. The satiny mousse caresses the palate, while firm, focused acidity drives the lasting finish. Drink now through 2030.