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Average Review Score: 4.9
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Average Review Score: 4.9
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Louis Roederer Cristal 2004

Louis Roederer Cristal 2004

Louis Roederer Cristal 2004

Louis Roederer Cristal 2004 Overview

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As the largest independent family-managed Champagne producer, Louis Roederer rank amongst the region's absolute finest. Established in 1776, the House today is managed by seventh generation family member Frédéric Rouzaud alongside long-time Chef de Cave and Champagne legend Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon. They own an astounding 242 hectares of vineyards many in chalk rich Grand Cru villages covering two-thirds of their grape requirements. Roederer have become pioneers in biodynamic farming & by 2012 all 78 hectares the “Cristal Estates” are farmed using biodynamic methods. By 2021 Roederer have 115 hectares certified organic. All the grapes in Cristal & other vintage cuvee’s come from their own vineyards. The estate is made up of 410 plots which are fermented separately in one of the 450 stainless steel tanks in their Reims cellars. In 2020 Roederer replaced Brut Premier with “Collection” allowing each years non-vintage blend to be identified and “re-engineering” the non-vintage cuvee to maintain freshness in the light of global warming on the Champagne region. Today Cristal is, widely recognised as the world's most awarded prestige cuvée champagne.

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, easier to spot poison and 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. Today some 45 plots make up the "Cristal Estates" and each vintage can sometimes be made up of all plots or as is normal often a few plots don't make the final blend.

Weather: The 2004 vintage saw an initial winter of mild temperatures with intermittent storms and hail. The spring and summer months were hot and sunny and the sugar levels late in September produced good quality fruits, especially for the Pinot Noir grapes. A huge harvest in general for the region. Overall many experts believe that 2004 is one of the greatest vintages of the last two decades.

Technical Information:
Vineyards: 100% Grand Cru (Detailed map)
Grape Varieties: 55% Pinot Noir, 45% Chardonnay
Ageing: 6 years on the lees
Disgorged: 2010
Dosage: 9 g/l
Drink: Now to 2034

Champagne in clear bottles must be stored in complete darkness, it spoils quickly if exposed to any light source. Cristal is supplied in yellow wrapping (not shown in photo) do not remove it and ideally place in a box. Read More

Tasting Note: A golden colour with a fine stream of bubbles, a nose with citrus and almonds. On the palate delicate orchard fruits and light lime and citrus combine to form a complex mid palate full of depth. A great acidity throughout with a strong lasting finish.
Champagne Louis Roederer History
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Expert Reviews
95 → 97/100
Essi Avellan MW
“Very pale lemon. Gorgeous gunpowder enriched perfumy nose with lemon, green apple and peach. Zesty and vivacious, light-weight palate with fine intensity. Long, pure and hugely energetic. Elegant, light and lively. Not the grandest or densest, but an epitome of finesse. Crafted to perfection, sheer delight, this particular bottle is the best bottle of Cristal 2004 I have encountered but the rest have been excellent, too. ”
18/20
Julia Harding MW
“55% Pinot Noir, 45% Chardonnay (20% wines vinified in oak barrels with weekly bâtonnage). Average five years' ageing on lees before disgorgement and rests for eight months after disgorgement. Dosage 8-10 g/l. No malolactic fermentation.
One of the palest in the line-up. Reeks of refinement with delicate citrus and brioche and a light scent of blossom. After the Clos des Goisses, this tastes gentle and delicate, but it becomes tense and driven with citrus freshness as it builds in the mouth and has great length and elegance to a long finish. Mouthwatering life on the finish. (JH)”
97/100
Antonio Galloni
“The 2004 Cristal is superb today. Bright and focused, the 2004 shows all of the tension and energy that has always been one of its signatures. The first hints of aromatic maturity are starting to develop, but the 2004 remains quite young and full of energy. I have always admired the 2004 (along with the best wines of the vintage) for its focus. In this bottle, the interplay of freshness from the recent 2018 disgorgement and richness gained through added time on the lees (which also results in lower dosage of 7 grams per liter) opens another window into the personality of Cristal. In 2004, the Pinot Noir is 57%, or a bit lower than normal, while the Chardonnay at 43% is correspondingly a touch higher.”
94/100
Josh Reynolds
“(55% pinot noir and 45% chardonnay) Light, bright gold. Spicy citrus and orchard fruit aromas are complemented by chalk, white flowers and a touch of smokiness. Taut, linear lemon and orange rind flavors give way to deeper pear in the mid-palate and pick up notes of honeysuckle and toasted grain with air. Still very young but shows excellent promise. Finishes with good mineral cut and sappy persistence.”
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Wine Lover
“I’ve waited years to try Cristal. Recently had a bottle & it didn’t disappoint. The taste is superior to any other champagne I’ve had. We will be buying a case when we finally find our forever home. ”
Awards
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CSWWC 2020 Sparkling Wine Producer of the Year
News Articles
  1. Louis Roederer Cristal Masterclass

    Louis Roederer Cristal Masterclass

    November 24, 2021

    Last week, we held a once in a lifetime masterclass of fifteen Cristal Blancs from 1988 to 2013 hosted by Essi Avellan MW & Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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?
  5. '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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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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