Louis Roederer Cristal Champagne 2008
• Domaine: Louis Roederer
• Appellation: Champagne
• Origin: Champagne, France
• Importer: Laguna Cellar
Created in 1876 for Tsar Alexander II, Cristal was the world’s first Cuvée de Prestige. Crafted from Grands Crus from the Montagne de Reims, the Vallée de la Marne and the Côte des Blancs, and the result of a unique savoir-faire and devotion, this rare champagne is the jewel in the Louis Roederer crown.
Symbolic of the perpetual quest for excellence that define Roederer today led by Frédéric Rouzaud, Cristal is also radically different to any other champagne on the market.
At Louis Roederer, the appearance of new vintages gently marks the life of the Champagne House but does not transform it. However, the unveiling of Cristal 2008 last night at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris opens a new chapter in the fascinating life of this flagship cuvée.
As the Cristal 2008 showed impressive personality, Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon, Cellar Master, decided to extend its ageing to ten years. This has endowed this vintage with remarkable maturity and contributed to its surprising and exacting temperament.
---- Louis Roederer, May 24, 2018
"Let'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)." - Stephan Reinhardt, The Advocate, Ratings: 97+, Drink: 2023-2050
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