In 1876, Tsar Alexander II of Russia requested that Louis Roederer present his personal Champagne in a clear (crystal) bottle. Louis Roederer responded with a cuvée made from the 7 finest vineyards from his estate, thus creating the first Prestige Cuvée of Champagne. Louis Roederer Cristal is only produced in ‘great’ years when the ripeness of the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir enables a subtle, precise balance. Highly contemporary in its harmony and immediate seductiveness, Cristal 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 in the 2004: purity, precision and a unique harmony of flavours.
- FRA - Champagne
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. disgorged January, 2010. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2034.
Rating 97 - Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate (DEC/2010)
Winery Tasting Notes
Pinot Noir 55%, Chardonnay 45%
Brilliant yellow in colour displaying light amber nuances, combined with an ultra-fine, persistent, soft effervescence.
There is an intense, highly expressive bouquet initially. The aromatic elegance and precision of the Chardonnay is apparent: white fruit, sweet pollen, fine citrus fruit and very pure minerality. After a few minutes, the aromas change to more confit, lightly grilled hints. The bouquet is rich and sweet, almost generous yet refined.
The palate is full and creamy, revealing an incredible concentration of juicy fruits: yellow peach, apricot and mango. This silky, meaty concentration, which is both dense and soft (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 flavours, senses and silky textures. Absolute sensuality!
Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon, Chef de Cave
Serve chilled (8-10 degrees Celsius). Richly aromatic, Louis Roederer Cristal is an exquisite aperitif or celebratory Champagne. The strength and finesse of Cristal makes it an excellent accompaniment to delicate dishes including shellfish such as scallops, lobster and crayfish, John Dory fish and caviar.
Cristal is made from the finest cuvees pressed, and in recent times, 20% of the cuvée is matured in oak casks with weekly battonage. The malo-lactic fermentation is avoided. The dosage (prepared from Louis Roederer Reserve wines) is approximately 8 gms per litre, varying slightly from vintage to vintage. Cristal ages for an average of 5 years in the cellars and rests 8 months following disgorgement to prefect its maturity.