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 2008 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.
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.
The 2008 vintage was characterised by an unusually cool, dry 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.
Bright pink hue with delicate salmon-pink tints and a soft, even sparkle that fills the glass and gives the wine an almost creamy appearance.
The delicate, subtle bouquet opens up with elegant aromas of flower petals and dried fruit and nuts, which then give way to zesty notes of red berries such as redcurrant and wild strawberry, characteristic of our old Pinot noir vines from Ay.
The juicy and fleshy attack is underpinned by a direct, intense freshness.There is an explosion of intense, rich, fresh flavours, complemented by notes of hazelnut and a full mouthfeel, characteristic of the finest Pinot noirs. There is an impression of chalkiness on the finish with zesty notes reminiscent of candied citrus and yuzu.
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
Wine Spectator: 95 POINTS
October 10, 2018, Alison Napjus
“Like fine china, this graceful rosé Champagne is all about delicacy paired with form. Vibrant acidity provides well-honed structure, fleshed out by the detailed flavor range of white cherry, slivered almond, candied ginger, pink grapefruit pith and spring blossom as this rides the satiny mousse. Minerally smoke and chalk notes echo on the finish. Drink now through 2030. From France.”
Wine Enthusiast: 96 POINTS, CELLAR SELECTION
December 1, 2017, Roger Voss
“Interestingly released after the softer 2009 version of this wine, this 2008 vintage is beautifully balanced between crisp fruit and ripe maturity. With its red fruits still in place, it also has a toasty yeasty edge that is sophisticated and enticing. It is a superb wine, delicious to drink now although because of the quality of the vintage it will age for many more years, certainly into the 2020s.”
Wine & Spirits: 96 POINTS, YEAR’S BEST CHAMPAGNE
December 2018, Joshua Greene
“Frédéric Rouzaud and Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon decided to hold the 2008 Cristal Rosé longer than the 2009, giving it eight years to rest on the lees. The cool vintage and long aging created a wine with a huge personality and presence, its compressed power barely relieved by Lécaillon’s decision to include lots that underwent malolactic fermentation (16 percent), a rare move for Roederer’s vintage cuvées. Even though the wine is a giant, challenging to approach right now, there’s elegance under its deep well of flavor, from rich, floral raspberry to elusive wild fruit. This is destined to live for decades.”
JamesSuckling.com: 99 POINTS, TOP 100 FRENCH WINES OF 2018
September 5, 2018, James Suckling
“Super fresh with all the DNA of the regular ‘08 Cristal. It heads on a chalky, restrained tangent of delicately spiced cherries with fine white pepper and crushed stones. The palate has a thread of silky, smooth pinot flesh that counterbalances the acidity of the chardonnay. Superb textural build, fine layers adding weight through the finish. Super long, fine and fresh red cherries, wrapped in super tight yet silky acidity. Drink in 2025.”
56% Pinot Noir
No (horses in vineyard)