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|Louis Roederer Cristal 2007
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|Louis Roederer Cristal 2007
Price per Case
Louis Roederer Cristal 2007 ChampagneMore vintages: 1996, 2000, 2002, 2006, 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.
Cristal is a blend of Grand Cru biodynamically-farmed vineyards from the Reims mountains. An unusually warm spring in 2007 led to early flowering and favourable conditions in September allowed the production of a fair crop size. Twenty percent of the wines blended are vinified in oak barrels and the final product is matured for 5 years in cellars and rests for 12 months after disgorging.
With 58% Chardonnay, it is slightly more Chardonnay-dominant than the norm. Initially surprisingly powerful on the nose, it opens up even further on the palate, displaying a richly complex character previously unseen from a 2007 vintage Champagne. Judging by its early reviews from two of the most renowned wine critics, Cristal 2007 has already surpassed its prequel and may just well go on to be one of the all-time great Cristal's. This is truly incredible work from Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon with what was previously considered to be an average vintage.
Grape Varieties: 58% Pinot Noir, 42% Chardonnay
Dosage: 9 g/L
Louis Roederer Cristal 2007 Champagne: same day delivery in London, next day UK mainland & free delivery on 6+ bottles. Louis Roederer Overview Vintage Overviews Grand & Premier Crus Explained
“With a first course of scallops and chestnut velouté at Pichon Lalande. Smoky nose. Extremely tight and lemony. Very definitely for the long term. Hold!”
“Early approachability is a main feature of this Cristal, which is laudably open and friendly upon release. Truly Cristal in style, bright and discreetly intense, feeling even light in its focused, taut acidity. Still, there is caressing roundness on the palate of exemplary silky smoothness. Not the most obviously impressive of vintages but an intriguing one, one that has hidden depths. Dosed at 9,5g/l.”
“Long-time Chef de Caves Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon has produced yet another in a string of superb Champagnes with the 2007 Cristal. Rich, powerful and enveloping, the 2007 takes hold of all the senses and never lets up. The aromatics alone are captivating, but then the wine opens on the palate, revealing layer after layer of flavor to match a multi-dimensional, kaleidoscopic personality that will leave Champagne lovers weak at the knees. The 2007 is 58% Chardonnay and 42% Pinot Noir, which is to say a bit more Chardonnay-leaning than is the norm. The 2007 is striking today, but it should also age effortlessly for several decades. It is also without question one of the very finest new releases of the year.”
The Busy Wine Lover's Guide to Louis Roederer wine-searcher.com, 18th December 2014
Louis Roederer Overview
Established in 1776, Louis Roederer is one of the last great independent family-run Champagne Houses. Today it is run by Frédéric Rousaud, CEO who is the seventh generation of the Roederer family. His right hand-man, Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon the Chef de Cave has been creating stunning wines at Roederer since 1999. As a winemaker, Jean-Baptiste is very proud of his craft and declares that at Roederer "we don't blend we combine" and says "I love art, and like a great painter we add colour rather than blending it".
Being in the enviable position of owning the majority of their own vineyards, they are able to experiment as well as supply 70 percent of the grapes to produce non-vintage wines and 100 percent of the vintage wines, which is very rare in Champagne today. The experimentation has led them to create and manage some biodynamic vineyards for nearly ten years. Although they are not looking to get certification, the resulting wines have produced some amazing flavours and created some wonderful additions to the resultant blends.
From the beginning Louis Roederer wanted to create the best Champagne he could and felt that the way to do that was to own his vineyards, and not, like most other Houses, buy in grapes from growers. This strategy led him to acquire some of the finest land in the region and today it amounts to some 240 hectares of Grand and Premier Cru Vineyards in the Marne. This belief that great wine depends on the quality of the soil is still part of their philosophy today.
Each small parcel is hand-picked and pressed on the harvest site then vinified separately so as to keep the true character intact. Each of the lots is then tasted several times until blending, when they are chosen for their unique characters to create the perfect Roederer style.
In the 1870s, Louis Roederer began exporting his wines to the USA and Tsar Alexander II of Russia. The Tsar was a suspicious man and believed his enemies might try to tamper with his beloved Champagne to get rid of him. He thought that the traditional Champagne bottle with the punt at the bottom could perhaps conceal a bomb and the glass being so dark could camouflage the addition of poison. So in 1876, the very first Prestige Cuvée Champagne was created exclusively for the Tsar and the iconic Cristal was born. Placed in an iconic bottle with a flat base made from clear crystal, the Tsar was happy that bombs and poison would not come between him and the enjoyment of his favourite tipple.
Cristal is now not just for the Tsar of Russia but little has changed in terms of how it is produced. Jean-Baptiste only creates Cristal from the finest vintages and therefore it is not created every year and when it is, production is tiny. The blend is usually 55 per cent Pinot Noir and 45 per cent Chardonnay from only the best rated sites of Champagne Louis Roederer's vineyards. Cristal is released after six years ageing in the Reims cellars and is the benchmark for luxury champagnes.
For everyday drinking the Louis Roederer Brut Premier is produced with the same care and attention to detail. The style is created from eight different harvests, utilizing all three Champagne grape varieties from more than 40 different plots. The final blend is matured for three years in the cellar and rested for six months after disgorgement to perfect maturity.