Louis Roederer Cristal Brut 2008
A yellow-gold colour with mat and amber tints.
Persistent, brilliant, fine and lively bubbles.
A subtle bouquet, simultaneously discreet and concentrated. It releases notes of citrus compote and candied apricots and evokes the sweetness of honeysuckle.
When aerated, notes of vanilla-edged cocoa bean emerge, with toasted hazelnut, hints of liquorice and even a touch of cinnamon. The palate is structured, energetic and sculpted. An initial dense, ripe and silky sensation is amplified by the discovery of a chalky, cherry freshness, a powdered, almost mentholated brightness. The feeling is delicate and ethereal, a succession of delicious and colourful textures perfectly integrated within the lightness and finesse of the wine... an invitation on a journey of discovery. The bright personality of Cristal then appears, simultaneously pure and sharp, in a finish focused once again on chalk, energy and grain.
In this Cristal 2009 there is a genuine force of life, an invitation to pleasure, and at the same time great depth and crystalline purity.
|Region||France, Champagne, Reims|
Wine EnthusiastThis latest incarnation of the famous brand is a superb wine. It is on par with, maybe even better than, the already legendary 2002. Its balance is impeccable: Apple and citrus flavors working with the tight minerality to give a textured yet fruity wine. Produced from Roederer's own vineyards which are mainly biodynamic, the wine has its own intense purity and crispness. It has amazing potential and is likely to age for many years. Drink from 2020.
Wine AdvocateLet's start describing the 2008 Cristal technically first. It is a 60/40 blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from 36 plots in seven grands crus: Verzy, Verzenay, Beaumont and Aÿ for the Pinot Noir and Mesnil, Avize and Cramant for the Chardonnay. Twenty-five percent of the wine was fermented in oak, and 16% underwent malolactic fermentation to moderate the fresh acidity of the 2008 vintage. The assemblage was bottled in May 2009. After 8.5 years on the second lees (longer than any Cristal before), the first release was disgorged in September 2017 with a relatively low dosage of 7.5 grams per liter. So, here is how it tastes as a "young" cuvée: The 2008 Cristal opens bright, super clear, fresh and pure on the exciting, absolutely fascinating nose with its fine, complex and elegant bouquet of gorgeously ripe and matured fruits, brioche and chalk expressions. This is the finest you can get from Champagne. The palate is pure, lean, fresh and filigreed but concentrated, highly complex, full of tension and enormously vibrant. This is a great vin de terroir, a dense and elegant Super-Cristal that goes straight and precise as a laser beam over the palate but also has texture in the form of sensually fleshy fruit. The dosage, however, is the lowest ever: just 7.5 grams. The endless and highly tensioned finish is complex, citrusy fresh, full of chalk and crystalline finesse. The 2008 Cristal is a vitalizing drug, "the Chevalier Montrachet of Champagne," as Jean-Baptise Lécaillon puts it. It is the most exciting 2008 Champagne I have tasted thus far (May 2018).