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Louis Roederer Cristal 2002 Champagne 75cl
|Mix 12||Mix 6||Single||Bottles|
|Louis Roederer Cristal 2002 - 75cl||Louis Roederer Cristal 2002 - 75cl||£337.95
|Size||bt per case||In Bond|
|Louis Roederer Cristal 2002
Price per Case
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 2002 vintage shaped up magnificently over the spring, with no significant frost and near-perfect flowering. Then followed a summer marked by long, sunny periods interspersed with regular cloudy and rainy spells. The vines were in good health and the dehydration of the grape berries helped them reach new heights of ripeness. Generally considered one of the best harvests in the last twenty years.
News Article: Louis Roederer Cristal 2002 performed well in our comprehensive Prestige Cuvées from 2002 blind tasting in October 2016 with Jancis Robinson MW. Read the full write-up here.
Vineyards: 100% Grand Cru
Grape Varieties: 55% Pinot Noir, 45% Chardonnay
Ageing: 5 years on the lees
Dosage: 10 g/l
Drink: Now to 2040
Tasting Note: All the exceptional characteristics of the 2002 vintage have been captured perfectly in this magnificent Cristal. Generous and lush, revealing the perfect balance between concentration and finesse, freshness and vinosity, intensity and refinement. In three words: this is proud, rich and luxurious. A brilliant yellow colour with light amber highlights and 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 and candied citrus fruit. A savoury explosion of ripe fruit reveals white chocolate, caramel and Danish pastry notes, 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.
Still tense and chalky on the nose. Real finesse and ballerina-like. Lifted. Still very tense. Very neat. According to Lécaillon, all 2002s have some vanilla flavour. Still extremely youthful.
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.”
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.”
Roederer is one of the most impressive estates in Champagne. Few houses have managed to reconcile this level production in a negociant operation while achieving such a consistently outstanding level of quality across the entire range. Roederer owns 214 hectares of vineyards, which is enough to meet 65-70% of the house’s needs. The vintage wines are made from 100% estate-grown fruit, while the NV wines are made with the addition of roughly 45% purchased fruit. Generally speaking, malolactic fermentation and oak aging are used to a higher degree for the NV range than for the vintage wines. Dosage varies as well, and ranges from 11-12 grams for the entry-level wines to 9-10 for the tete de cuvee Cristal. Unfortunately because if its rabid following the vast majority of Cristal is drunk upon release, which is ironic, if not downright tragic, considering Cristal is a wine that starts peaking around age 15-20, and that can last much longer under ideal storage conditions. With Cristal, Chef de Caves Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon aims to make an ageworthy Champagne that is fresh and floral when young, but that is also capable of considerable development with bottle age, qualities the finest Cristals have in spades. In the best vintages one tank of Cristal Rose is also made that features the exquisite Pinot Noir of Ay. Unfortunately Roederer does not provide disgorgement dates for its wines, but the bottles have codes that can be traced back to dates at the winery. It would be great to see this venerable property add a simple disgorgement date, at least for their top wines, considering the significant financial investment required to purchase them.”
The Busy Wine Lover's Guide to Louis Roederer wine-searcher.com, 18th December 2014
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.