Louis Roederer Cristal 2007 Investment

History

Louis Roederer, the largest independent, family-managed champagne maker is the fortunate owner to 235 hectares of sublimely located vineyards. Uniquely, after 10 years of experimentation, they are beginning to witness the benefits of a biodynamically managed vineyard. Chef de Cave, Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon is particular about Louis Roederer’s craft; “We don’t blend, we combine,” he says. “I love art, and like a great painter we add colour rather than blending.”

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.

The 2007 Vintage

Speaking to decanter.com, Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon recalls his anxiety surrounding the 2007 harvest: “…a pretty miserable summer, with a cool wet August that felt like November. Luckily, come 1st September, returning sun and a dry north wind saved the day, at least for those who delayed picking until the 10th to allow the clear skies to do their work.” However, whilst initially not promising to be one of the greats, the 2007 vintage is now being described as highly underrated, and Jean-Baptiste shared his thoughts as to why.

Firstly, 2007 was one of the weakest harvests of the last decade in Bordeaux, and Jean-Baptiste believes Bordeaux’s poor performance has largely contributed to the 2007 vintage’s image of lesser standing across all appellations. “Bordeaux, for some reason, does set the image of the vintage,” he commented. Secondly, he feels there is also an issue of stock – with a lot of Champagne houses holding stock from 2004, 2005 and 2006, few Champagne houses are consequently promoting 2007, simply because they are already holding a lot of vintage Champagne from previous harvests.

Whatever the reason for the lack of excitement surrounding 2007, there is no denying Roederer have once again produced something spectacular with Cristal 2007. Launched just a couple of months ago (in June 2015), it has already received some outstanding praise. Antonio Galloni of VinousMedia.com scored it an immediate 97+/100, a point higher than he scored Cristal 2006 on its release. He pointedly refers to its great potential for aging, an essential quality of any wine worthy of long-term investment: “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.”

Jancis Robinson MW was also full of praise, scoring it 18/20 (higher than she ever scored Cristal 2006), and keen to stress the aging potential of 2007: “Very definitely for the long term. Hold!”

Judging by these 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.

Market Value

A quick assessment of the 5-year performance of the similarly rated Cristal 2002 gives a good indication of what we can expect from Cristal 2007. As we can see below, for the first year or two, the market value remained stable alongside the stock available in the market. However, three years after release, the stock available in the market begins to deplete and, as we’d expect, the market value gradually increases.

Cellar Watch graph

In the last two and a half years, the value of Cristal 2002 has experienced an impressive 70.7% increase, rising from £1,160 to £1,980 per 12 x 75cl case.

Cellar Watch graph

Further investment advantage of Louis Roederer Cristal is its excellent vintage premium. As with Champagne from other prestige houses, the value of Cristal increases copiously and incrementally with age. As the highest rated (by Antonio Galloni) of the recent Cristal vintages, and currently the cheapest on the market to purchase, Cristal 2007 displays the lowest price-over-points ratio (a loose measure of value, calculated by dividing the price of a wine by its 20-point score) at 59.4.

Louis Roederer Cristal POP scores by vintage
Vintage Av. case price AG Score POP
1996 £2,960 96 185
1997 £1,784 94 127.4
2002 £1,980 96 123.8
2004 £1,360 97 80
2005 £1,250 92 104.2
2006 £1,071 97 63
2007 £1,040 97+ 59.4

TFB In Bond Price: £880.00 per 6x75cl case

Couple this with its endorsement from Jancis Robinson MW and the seemingly undeniable fact that it’s only going to get better and better with age, and Cristal 2007 is a Champagne could offer a great value long-term investment.

Data as at 24th August 2015

Antonio Galloni, VinousMedia.com - 97/100 - “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.”

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com – 18/20 - “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!”

Wine Valuation & Selling

Customers who purchase from The Finest Bubble and cellar with us will have access to independent valuation data from Liv-ex for Champagne held in their reserves through an online personal account. When you come to sell your Champagne, The Finest Bubble may make an offer to buy depending on market conditions, however you are not tied to selling through us. If you need us to assist in selling the champagne we can do this for a 4% charge. There are no costs for providing this valuation information.

Financial Risk

We have presented information that shows the historical case for Louis Roederer Cristal as an investment and any forward looking statements are forecasts and not guarantees. Since the value of any investment can go down as well as up we recommend you consult with an accredited financial expert before making investment decisions.

Our Help

We are able to help you with our opinion on what champagnes and which vintages we believe offer the right qualities to consider cellaring for 5-10 years and help with up to the minute market data showing valuations, trends and transaction quantity for every champagne. We are not able to offer financial advice or advice on investments.

Contact Us

To discuss this further please contact Nick or Chris 020 7359 1608 or email us via the contact page.

Last Updated: 24th August 2015