Louis Roederer Cristal Brut Millesime, Champagne, France 2008
"Created in 1876 for Tsar Alexander II, Cristal was the world’s first Cuvée de Prestige. Crafted from Grands Crus from the Montagne de Reims, the Vallée de la Marne and the Côte des Blancs, and the result of a unique savoir-faire and devotion, this rare champagne is the jewel in the Louis Roederer crown.*
The Wine Advocate
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 wine’s energy has been tamed by an unusually long period of bottle aging: Cristal 2008 was in fact aged for 10 years before its release on the market. A first!
Cristal 2008 was bottle-aged for eight years before being left to rest for at least eight months after disgorging in order to attain perfect maturity. The dosage is 8 g/L.
Amber hue with green and orange tints. Fine, even and lively sparkle.
The wine is powerful, full yet tight, on entry to the palate. The 2008 is undeniably well-structured in a particular way: the wine’s almost saline concentration has not been created by the sun, but is derived from the dryness of the chalk soil in a particularly cool summer. The result is a smooth, almost liquorous, mouthfeel that coats the palate with a powerful yet soft texture. This gives way to an incredible finish, underpinned by freshness and an impression of absolute purity with a taut and very saline character. Complex and intense bouquet disclosing candied citrus, yellow fruit, Williams pear, pollen and toasted almond. The delicately seductive bouquet shows intensity and well-honed precision.
The Cristal 2008 is deep, intense and masterful. It offers the quintessential reflection of its chalk soils which lend it is velvety texture and delicate tension.
The 2008 vintage was characterised by an unusually dry and cool summer and undoubtedly falls into the ‘continental’ vintage category: dense and powerful owing to its exceptional concentration. Nevertheless, the unusually cool temperatures over the summer made their mark on the vintage, giving it a remarkable intense and saline freshness.