Founded in 1776, and property of the same family since 1819, Champagne Louis Roederer is today one of the last major champagne houses to be an independent family affair. The annual production of its wines (Brut Premier, Carte Blanche, Brut Vintage, Rosé Vintage, Blanc de Blancs, Cristal, Cristal Rosé) represents just over three million bottles, distributed to 100 countries worldwide. In 1974, almost 200 years after the establishment of the Champagne house of Louis Roederer and 100 years after the creation of Cristal, Jean-Claude Rouzaud decided to create the Cristal Rosé cuvée. To achieve this, he selected old-vine Pinot Noir grapes using massal selection, which involves propagation from the vineyard’s most successful plants.
A blend of 56% Pinot Noir and 44% Chardonnay, comprising 15% of wine vinified in wood (oak tuns), which undergoes weekly bâtonnage (stirring by hand); it is not subjected to malolactic fermentation. Louis Roederer’s Rosé champagnes are always produced using the saignée (bleeding) process after cold maceration for five to eight days in the liquid phase. The Cristal Rosé cuvée is aged, on average, for six years in Roederer’s cellars and left for eight months after dégorgement (disgorging) to attain the perfect balance.
Over the years Louis Roederer has developed a unique technique for the production of its rosé champagnes. This process, referred to by Roederer as the ‘infusion’ technique, allows us to bring out the juicy, ripe character of the Pinot noirs whilst preserving their exceptional freshness. A small amount of Chardonnay juice is added to the Pinot noir maceration which then ferment together and integrate smoothly and harmoniously.
Cristal 2012 is the first vintage to be 100% biodynamic. No malolactic fermentation.
2012 was one of the most challenging and complicated years ever experienced in Champagne. However, difficult conditions often lead to great things… The low yields, due to the unpredictable weather, combined with continental conditions towards the end of the season, gave us unusual levels of maturity, resulting in rich, full-bodied and structured wines worthy of the greatest vintages in Champagne.
Salmon pink hue with golden tints. Consistent and incredibly delicate effervescence.
The bouquet is poised and remarkably elegant. Its subtle, fleeting aromas are so delicately scented, intertwined and complex that they are difficult to describe. They invite you to take your time and lose yourself in this wine, which reveals itself at its own pace, like the master of time it is! The nose exudes delicate, zesty, fresh and precise notes of citrus peel, yuzu, forest fruit, mandarin, raspberry and wild strawberry which evolve towards roasted notes and almonds before giving way to fresh, herbal aromas of verbena and bergamot.
It reveals a lively palate invigorated by an incredibly elegant effervescence and beautifully light bubbles that soften the fruity structure and texture. The overwhelming sensation is one of serenity, the elegance of fresh fruit and the power of the zesty, chalky freshness. The finish is wonderfully long and enticing.
This is fantastic with lobster and beluga caviar, or a gourmet salad: lobster and foie gras. It also works with seared salmon or poached sea trout.
Serve at 12°C
JamesSuckling.com: 99 POINTS
September 2, 2019, James Suckling
“This is a great vintage for Cristal Rosé. The pinot noir finds a band of power and expressiveness. The power here is impressive, very assertive and rich, really mouth-filling and super deep. This is exceptional and has intense, chalky and fresh, white-peach and nectarine aromas, underpinning red flowers and pink fruit. The palate has a scintillating blend of flesh and mineral cut, packed with such sweet, pristine, white-strawberry flavor and texture. This has such incredible potential. So exciting. Will take another two or threw years to resolve. Look out for this! Drink from 2025.”
Pinot Noir: 56%
No (horses in vineyard)