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.
The Cristal Rosé 2006 is made from the finest Grand Cru vineyards at Aÿ. The limestone bedrock and unique calcareous clay soil enable the vines to attain exceptional fruit maturity complemented by a pure and crystalline acidity that is a perfect evocation of the Cristal style. Today the vineyards are cultivated according to biodynamic principles. This wine is only produced in the very best years.
20% of the juice is vinified in oak tuns, which undergoes weekly bâtonnage. No malolactic fermentation takes place. Champagne Louis Roederer’s Rosé champagnes are produced using the saignée (bleeding) method. A cold maceration lasts five to eight days. The Cristal Rosé cuvée is aged, on average, for six years in the cellars and left for eight months after disgorging to attain the perfect balance.
2006 was a very warm year, characterised by contrasting rainfall patterns. Following an unusually cold and rainy August, a warm, dry September hastened up the ripening process producing distinctive, rich, complex grapes.
Salmon pink hue with bright golden tints, there is a persistent stream of fine bubbles and a summery bouquet of fresh fruit, balancing sweetness and acidity (red currants and peach). The Pinot Noir’s concentration and maturity adds distinctive notes of ‘fruit liqueur’ (raspberry) and aromas of roasted almonds and gingerbread. The attack is voluptuous—it is both intense and amazingly light; a concentrated blend of fruit based on chalky freshness and firm, but well-integrated tannins that strengthen the wine’s precision and appeal. The ensemble is very harmonious, beautifully integrated, and gives an impression of natural fullness, which is both refined and profound. Cristal Rosé 2006 is a perfect evocation of the ripe fruit of the 2006 vintage gathered from the chalky terroirs of the Cristal Rosé vineyards.
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
The Wine Advocate : 96 Points
Wine Enthusiast: 95 Points
60% Pinot Noir