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Louis Roederer Cristal 2000 Champagne 75cl
|Louis Roederer Cristal 2000 - 75cl||Louis Roederer Cristal 2000 - 75cl||£307.95
Top quality grapes are the cornerstone of Roederer's style and account for their characteristic purity and elegance. Their portfolio begins with Brut Premier, one of Champagne's most seductive non-vintage cuvées and ends with Cristal, perhaps the world's most recognised prestige cuvée champagne. Created in 1876 for Tsar Alexander II of Russia, the iconic Cristal is the essence of Roederer, matched only in decadence and luxury by its pink equivalent, Cristal Rosé. By 2020, the House estimates that all Cristal plots will be cultivated biodynamically and the long-term plan is to convert all 240 hectares.
Cellar Master: Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon
Winery Location: Reims | Champagne, France
Champagne Region: Montagne de Reims
Annual Production (bottles): 3,000,000
Now world-famous, Cristal is produced only from the truly great vintages in which the ripeness of the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes can provide the subtle and precise balance that is now the distinction of this cuvée. Between 20-30% of the wines are vinified in oak barrels and the final blend is matured for six years in the cellars and rests for twelve months after disgorgement. Recently, the Cristal vineyards have been converting to biodynamic farming methods and the House estimates that by 2020 all Cristal plots will be cultivated biodynamically.
Weather: The 2000 vintage was seen by many as a miraculous year. The vines were hit by heavy rain, storms and hail in the winter, leaving a successful harvest on the brink. However, the vintage was saved by the hottest August and September in fifty years, providing the grapes with much needed sunshine and warmth.
Vineyards: 100% Grand Cru
Grape Varieties: 55% Pinot Noir, 45% Chardonnay
Ageing: 5 years on the lees
Dosage: 10 g/l
Drink: Now to 2020
Tasting Note: A golden yellow with ultra-fine energetic bubbles. On the nose there is intense and subtle hints of fresh almonds and a slight floral note, revealing peaches and more intense chocolate and caramel aromas. On the palate a fleshy initial taste of fruits leads to a minerality on the mid-palate combined with a crispness that hails the exceptional Chardonnay grapes in the blend. A champagne that has improved with age and is sure to develop further.
Quite an opulent nose. Lovely stage of evolution. Beautifully dense and tightly laced. Very complex and layered. Admirably persistent. This would be a great Cristal to drink now. Smoky.
Vintage Overviews Grand & Premier Crus Explained
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Louis Roederer History
Established in 1776, Louis Roederer is one of the last great independent family-run Champagne houses. Today it is managed by CEO Frédéric Rouzaud, who is the seventh generation of the Roederer family. His right hand-man, Chef de Cave Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon 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”, adding: “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, Roederer have the capacity to supply 70% of the grapes required to produce their non-vintage champagnes and 100% for their vintage champagnes, an extreme rarity in the region today. Experimentation has led them to create and manage biodynamic vineyards for nearly ten years and they are now the largest biodynamic vineyard owners in Champagne. 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. His 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 individual lot is then tasted several times before 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 a unique 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 best vintages and therefore it is not created every year and when it is, production is tiny. The blend is usually 55% Pinot Noir and 45% Chardonnay from only the best rated sites of 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, Louis Roederer Brut Premier is produced with the same care and attention to detail. The style is created by combining eight different harvests with wine from more than 40 different plots. The final blend is matured for three years in the cellar and rested for six months post-disgorgement to perfect maturity.