Louis Roederer Cristal
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Louis Roederer Cristal
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Louis Roederer Cristal 2002
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Louis Roederer Cristal 2002 Champagne

More vintages: 1996, 2000, 2006, 2007, 2009Louis Roederer, the largest independent, family-managed champagne maker is the fortunate proprietor to 235 hectares of sublimely located vineyards. In 1876, Russia's Tsar Alexander II - a lover of Louis Roederer wines - asked the producer to create a special cuvée for his personal use which was unique, in both its style and bottle design. So Louis Roederer offered him an exceptional crystal bottle, containing the fruit of vines selected from the seven great crus on his estate. This cuvée would be offered in only the truly 'great' years in which the ripeness of the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes could provide the subtle, precise balance that have now become the distinction of the leading prestige cuvée of Champagne.

This was a characteristically dry, warm year with outbreaks of heavy rain. The vintage was marked by the outstanding quality of the grapes, registering a degree of alcohol content rarely achieved in Champagne. This early-maturing year brought about by dry soil conditions that accelerated ripening and pruning to restrict yields meant harvesting started on 12 September in the Côte des Blancs, September 13 in the Marne Valley and 16 September in the Montagne de Reims. Harvesting in each vineyard area lasted 13 days. From the beginning of the harvest, grapes registered 11-12.2º alcohol with a consistent acidity level of 7 g/l. The quality of the grapes was remarkable throughout the vineyard.

All the exceptional characteristics of the 2002 vintage have literally been captured in this Cristal 2002, which is generous and lush, revealing perfect balance between concentration and finesse, freshness and vinosity, intensity and refinement. In three words: proud, rich and luxurious. Brilliant yellow with light amber highlights and has a beautiful fine mousse. The nose is intense and delicate, revealing a clean and well-blended mixture of flavours of honey, cocoa, lightly toasted hazelnuts, candied citrus fruit. A savoury explosion of ripe fruit and the wine reveals red fruit, white chocolate, caramel and Danish pastry, typical of Cristal. Its silky, concentrated texture relies on its intense, powerful and vinous structure, but maintains refinement. The palate builds up to attain a delicious sensation of well-blended harmony of flavours.

Louis Roederer Cristal 2002 is probably the best Cristal vintage ever released.

Grape Varieties: 55% Pinot Noir, 45% Chardonnay
Dosage: 10 g/L
Disgorged: 2009

Read full tasting write up from October 2016 with Jancis Robinson MW

Louis Roederer Cristal 2002 Champagne: same day delivery in London, next day UK mainland & free delivery on 6+ bottles.
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Louis Roederer Cristal
Louis Roederer Cristal
Oct 2016
“Disgorged 2009. RS 10 g/l. 55% Pinot Noir, 45% Chardonnay. From UK stock of Bordeaux Index.
Tasted blind. Pale, loose, sweet. Candified, and just a bit ordinary. Cuvée Louise? This was a real disappointment – and it’s not the first time this vintage of Cristal has disappointed, as you can see from our tasting notes database.”
Sep 2016
“55% Pinot Noir, 45% Chardonnay. Dosage 10 g/l. Disgorged 2009.
Tasted blind. Impressive bead. Sweet and lemony nose. Floral. A bit chewy. Not that persistent. Almost works but overall it’s a bit simple – still simple on re-tasting. Bit of a fast fade, but middle of the road overall.”
Apr 2016
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“Medium-deep developing colour. Soft, open and inviting nose with plenty of character, baking spices, peach with charred and salty mineral notes. Intensity, power and expression, it has got it all. Long and charged with energy. This has plenty of time to go but has opened up nicely. A super Gold at the 2014 CSWWC. And one of the all-time best Cristals.”
Mar 2016
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“The impressive energy and strike evident in all of Roederer’s young wines is beginning to soften and ease in this 15-year-old Cristal: now a limpid morning gold, with lifted, allusive scents in which the pretty (wild flowers) and the profound (leaf and mushroom) are mingled. It’s complete and intense yet still lively and springy on the palate — a satin pillow stuffed with flavoury feathers. There’s plenty of oak at Roederer, but most of it is used for reserves, so this is principally a steel wine — which in truth needs time for full articulacy. Early days for this great vintage. ”
Dec 2015
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“My expectations were not entirely fulfilled on first tasting. Aristocratic and sublime, of course, but not as full-bodied as regular vintage wine. Retasting it recently, it was wonderfully honeyed and elegant, but be patient for further evolution.”
Oct 2014
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“Lively and fresh, but more open immediately showing greater richness, generosity and fruit intensity. Dense and concentrated with lovely balance and a long finish. Will age well.”
Jul 2014
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“An exceptional vintage with the same piercing drive and precision as the scintillating 1996. Intensity and fine concentration are the hallmarks of this fine Champagne; chalky aromas, fine citrus and tight, minerally restraint, some quite concentrated stone fruits here, peach and nectarine, really assertive, some flint and mineral too. The palate is needle-like in its precision, piercing acidity and fine floral notes, clean and long. Not one to be missed. A concentrated vintage with wind dehydrating the grapes ahead of harvest. An exotically flavoured, yet tightly structured Cristal.”
May 2014
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“The 2002 Cristal is just now beginning to enter a plateau of early maturity. The ripeness and exuberance is on full display, but the 2002 needs quite a bit of air to fully open up and show its personality. Today, the 2002 is racy and intense to the core, with fabulous balance and plenty of the vintage's trademark opulence. What a gorgeous Champagne this is.”
Nov 2012
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“55% Pinot Noir, 45% Chardonnay. Straw. Very mineral and focused on the nose. Sharp as a spear. Yet with great delicacy. So tightly laced! Really tastes as though it is only just becoming drinkable. Really tight and fresh and tense. Admirably different. Very long. Beautifully constructed. 19/20 points.”
Wine & Spirits,
Dec 2009
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“If a wine could ever make you want to pull the top down on your '68 Ferrari convertible, rip off the rearview mirror and take off, this is it. It has a different kind of energy than the '02 Cristal Rosé, which is more ethereal, like strawberries at the right hand of some ancient Gallic god. This is more insolent, brash, earth bound. All the scents and flavors seem to emanate from limestone, as does the acidity, which hits at the front of the mouth and powers through the wine with the kind of solar energy that lifts mist off the white chalk on a cool morning in Cramant. The wine goes on for miles. It's already irresistable, and will only improve with ten, 20, 30 and 40 years of age.”
Bought directly from Louis Roederer's UK agent MMD, this is currently held in bond at Vinotheque in Burton-On-Trent, where it is cellared in ideal conditions and for same day deliveries small quantities are held in our London offices in a top of the range Eurocave

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