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 1876, Tsar Alexander II, already a great lover of Champagne Louis Roederer wines, asked Champagne 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. This cuvée would be offered only in the truly ‘great’ years: those in which the ripeness of the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes could provide the subtle, precise balance that has now become synonymous with the leading prestige cuvée of Champagne.
Cristal is a blend of seven Grand Crus from the Montagne de Reims, the Marne Valley and the Côte des Blancs.
20% of the wines are matured in oak barrels with weekly batonnage and no malolactic fermentation. The wine is matured for five years in the cellar resting for eight months after disgorging.
2006 was a very warm year, characterised by contrasting rainfall patterns. Following an unusually cold and rainy August, a warm and dry September hastened up the ripening process producing distinctive, rich and complex grapes.
Glistening colour with light amber highlights, with soft bubbles in a fine, slow and steady flow. There is a rich bouquet with confit lemon and orange, white flowers (lilies) and lightly roasted nuts (hazelnuts and almonds). On airing, the dominant fruitiness becomes intense: a sabayon of vine peaches, apricots, melon and mango. The texture is incredibly concentrated, like biting into a ripe, fleshy fruit. The palate is enveloped by juicy, creamy, silky fruit, which makes way for a pure, sharp, graceful freshness. Ripeness, softness and concentration arise from freshness and mineral quality, transforming the ripe fruit into a slightly sharp citrus flavour; the warmer notes make way for flowers, citrus zests and nuts. There is a lasting impression of harmony: the aromas, flavours, slight bitterness and freshness intermingling to form a perfectly integrated yet complex whole. A few hints of tatin tart and pastries add to the already complex range of aromas.
A fantastic pairing with seafood, such as crab and monkfish in delicate sauces.
Serve at 12°C
Decanter : 97 POINTS
Fantastic from the start. A colossal power of beautiful rumbling Pinot maturity. It’s like chewing on the ripest grapes from Aÿ and Verzenay. At the same time ultra stylish: unmistakable Cristal essence of peach and mango sweetness, pineapple, coconut, vanilla, sprightly acidity and citrus blossom. Many similarities with 2002 but with a clearer Pinot touch.
Drinking Window 2016 – 2030. John Stimpfig
55% Pinot Noir