Louis Roederer Cristal 2002

Mix 12
£342.00
Mix 6
£345.00
Per Bottle
£350.00
Receive as early as 25/10/2019
Description & Technical Information
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In 1876, Russia's Tsar Alexander II, a long-time 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. Dissatisfied with standard champagne bottles that concealed the beautiful colour and effervescence from the eye, he requested that his personal cuvée be served in transparent crystal glass bottles with a flat bottom to foil the insertion of explosives by would-be assassins. Thus, Louis Roederer selected the best vines from seven Grand Crus on his estate and Cristal, the first prestige cuvée, was born.

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.

Technical Information:
Vineyards: 100% Grand Cru
Grape Varieties: 55% Pinot Noir, 45% Chardonnay
Ageing: 4 years on the lees
Disgorged: 2007
Dosage: 10 g/l
Drink: Now to 2035

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.
Champagne Louis Roederer Overview
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Expert Reviews
19/20
Jancis Robinson MW
“Magnum. Late release of the original cuvée. Disgorged 009. These magnums were put aside because so many of his peers thought Cristal 2002 was released too young. Many said it wasn’t that great a vintage initially.
Richer nose – so much richer than the Cristal 2008! Lemon posset. Concentrated and quite denser. Heavier glasses than in the tasting room made the wine feel a bit heavy initially. Quite exceptionally persistent. Great undertow. In bottles Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon sees a strong vanilla note, because of light overripeness – very rare in Champagne. ‘Usually I pick a week after everyone else but in 2002 I picked a week earlier.’ He still picks later than most, even with biodynamics, ‘because still people pick on numbers.’”
18.5/20
Jancis Robinson MW
“Disgorged 2007. 60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay. No malo.
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.
Drink 2020-2040”
17.5/20
Jancis Robinson MW
“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.”
18.5/20
Jancis Robinson MW
“No malo. First time the house has re-released a Cristal. ‘When we launched this wine we were told it was very good but too young.’ So it’s a re-release in 2018 of some of the original-disgorgement wine (disgorged 2009) that was stored in the Vinothèque – 12 m down, very dark, very humid – for nine years after the original release. No selection of parcels in 2002, but all of the estate. Will probably happen again in 2018. 60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay again. Very strong acceleration of ripeness at the end of the season. Strong cool winds so lots of concentration after dehydration. So they picked a week before the official date (which you can do if you can prove you have at least 10% potential alcohol). This is more 2002 than Cristal. Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon sees vanilla, thanks to dehydration.
Deep straw-gold. Very rich nose. Very sumptuous. Broad and dry finish but with massive density. Some meatiness on the nose and then richness on the palate. Much more resolved than it used to be.
Drink 2016-2032”
16.5/20
Jancis Robinson MW
“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.”
97/100
Essi Avellan MW
“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.”
96/100
Andrew Jefford
“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. ”
96/100
Richard Juhlin
“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.”
96/100
Giles Fallowfield
“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.”
99/100
James Suckling
“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.”
96/100
Antonio Galloni
“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.”
19/20
Jancis Robinson MW
“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.”
100/100
Wine & Spirits
“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.”
96+/100
David Schildknecht
“Roederer’s 2002 Cristal is still in its infant, fresh stage. Subtle notes of pears, flowers, spices, mint, minerals and oak are woven into a cashmere-like frame of extraordinary grace and elegance. This beautifully-sculpted Champagne possesses notable clarity but with the additional depth of fruit that is characteristic of this vintage. It is a gorgeous, seductive Cristal of the highest level. In 2002, Cristal is 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay with 10 grams of dosage. 20% of the wine was fermented in oak. This is Lot : L030351A107809. This bottle was disgorged in June 28th, 2007. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2032.

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.”
See All Reviews
Awards
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CSWWC Gold 2018
CSWWC Gold 2016
News Articles
  1. Louis Roederer: Something Old, Something New

    Louis Roederer: Something Old, Something New

    August 12, 2019

    A memorable evening at Louis Roederer earlier this year saw us taste the new vintage releases from 2013, preview Cristal 2012 and Cristal Rosé 2012, and sample the upcoming magnum launches from the Cristal Vinothèque programme. This one's not to be missed!
  2. Jancis Robinson MW: Mystery wine: NV champagnes

    Jancis Robinson MW: Mystery wine: NV champagnes

    July 16, 2019

    A fascinating article detailing the often too difficult task of discerning information about a specific bottle of non-vintage champagne was recently published by Jancis Robinson MW on her website. She argues in favour of producers making information more available.
  3. 2018 Vins Clairs: A Vintage Summary

    2018 Vins Clairs: A Vintage Summary

    June 14, 2019

    Earlier this year, we tasted a range of 2018 vins clairs with winemakers at fifteen different houses in Champagne. Thanks to exceptional weather throughout the year, some have been calling it 'the vintage of the century' and expectations are already sky-high. But just how much potential does 2018 have?
  4. 'Fighting for Freshness' with Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon

    'Fighting for Freshness' with Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon

    June 11, 2019

    Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon recently presented a fascinating masterclass at 67 Pall Mall entitled 'Fighting for Freshness', in which he explained the challenges facing winemakers as they battle to cope with riper grapes and higher alcohol levels in a warming climate.
  5. Louis Roederer: 2018 Vins Clairs Tasting

    Louis Roederer: 2018 Vins Clairs Tasting

    March 29, 2019

    Not many are as excited as Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon about 2018s potential, a year he describes as having "the density of 2002 and the precision of 2008." During our visit, we also tasted the latest Cristal Vinothèque's and a mind-blowing pair of Cristal magnums.
  6. Review: Louis Roederer Cristal Vertical Tasting

    Review: Louis Roederer Cristal Vertical Tasting

    September 24, 2018

    Last week's Louis Roederer Cristal Vertical Tasting compared every vintage of Cristal produced this century, from 2000-2009. Guests also tasted the two latest vintages of Cristal Rosé, and Cristal 2006 from both bottle and magnum. Read the full write-up here.
  7. Louis Roederer: The Old, The New & Everything in Between

    Louis Roederer: The Old, The New & Everything in Between

    September 28, 2017

    Is there a better way to spend a Sunday evening than dinner with Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon at the Louis Roederer family mansion? We tasted new Cristal 2008 and the exclusive late-release Cristal Vinothèque 1995.
  8. Jancis Robinson: the NV revolution

    Jancis Robinson: the NV revolution

    September 16, 2017

    Read Jancis Robinson's article what has changed in the champagne non vintage category and the relationship between the house and the consumer.
  9. Louis Roederer: Reims Visit

    Louis Roederer: Reims Visit

    July 6, 2015

    An experience worthy of sharing, very recently I journeyed to France with Louis Roederer to explore the magnificent vineyards and all things Louis Roederer. Find out more
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