Louis Roederer Cristal 2008

Mix 12
£196.00
Mix 6
£198.00
Per Bottle
£199.00

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Mix 12
£184.00
Mix 6
£186.00
Per Bottle
£188.00
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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 2008 vintage began with difficulty for Louis Roederer. After a stormy and rainy spring, flowering was late with widespread disease producing small and dense clusters of grapes. The dry summer, though cool with relatively little sunshine, resulted in a maturation process that was both dry and fresh. Exceptionally favourable weather conditions in September then fostered perfect maturation of the grapes, producing wines with an exceptional and natural balance between freshness and a concentration of flavours. As more releases hit the market, 2008 is being considered the next-best vintage since 2002.

This is the first Cristal that has had 10 years lees ageing, previous vintages have experienced 5-7 years.

Technical Information:
Vineyards: 100% Grand Cru
Grape Varieties: 60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay
Ageing: 9 years on the lees
Disgorged: 2018
Dosage: 8 g/l
Drink: Now to 2035+

Tasting Note: So light on the palate but has such richness. This has so much power and has loads of elements: tropical fruits, subtlety, elegance and lightness of touch. I would have difficulty picking this over 2002 or indeed 1988! Stunning. This has really benefited from the extra lees ageing of 10 years.
Champagne Louis Roederer Overview
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Expert Reviews
19/20
Jancis Robinson MW
“Much cooler year than 2012. From 45 different parcels.
Deep golden straw. Surprisingly reticent nose but massive spread on the palate. Masses of acidity. Not as obviously appealing as the 2012 but it grows towards the peacock’s tail end. Then it really opened out in the glass, promising a long life and even greater complexity.”
19.5+/20
Jancis Robinson MW
“16% malo, only on Pinot Noir from the Montagne de Reims. ‘There were lots of similarities with 1996, which gave us the possibility to replay the 1996 vintage! Maybe we picked 1996 a bit early so in 2008 we waited longer, by at least a week, than in 1996. Lots of tasting – far more than in 1996 when Roederer based picking only on analysis – and there was no malo in 1996.’ For the first time ever, they decided to release it later than the younger vintage, 2009 – so 2008 had nine years on lees. The last batch of 2008 will be disgorged in March 2019. (Scan the back label via the Roederer app to get the disgorgement year.) Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon is coy about the assemblage. ‘I’m looking for chalkiness.’ In 2008 60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay, which reflects perfectly the balance of their plantings. 40% of the estate was biodynamic then.
Really dense nose with lots of evolution but still extreme freshness. Some apple-skin character. Bone dry but wonderful lift and freshness. Long and super-lively. Real undertow, but very racy on the nose. Lots to chew on. Really elegant!
Drink 2018-2038”
98+/100
Antonio Galloni MW
“The 2008 Cristal is a real head-turner. Powerful, ample and explosive in all of its dimensions, the 2008 takes hold of the sense and never lets up. There is a crystalline purity to the flavors that is simply remarkable. Although still a baby, the 2008 looks like it will soon take its place alongside the greatest Cristals. Today, it is breathtaking. ”
19+/20
Jancis Robinson MW
“All grands crus. 60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay. Some large (600-litre) oak. Aged for nine years on the lees. Disgorged 2018. Dosage 8 g/l. Longer in bottle than any other Cristal. More malo and a little more oak on this wine that Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon claims is all the better for the lessons learnt with the similarly high-acid 1996 vintage.
Tasted blind. Restrained, tight-knit nose. Savoury and tight. Very youthful – almost painful. Masses of acidity. Not yet ready. A certain greenness and very dry. Marmalade. 2008?
Drink 2019-2034”
19.5/20
Jancis Robinson MW
“It is a tribute to the special qualities of the 2008 vintage that this Cristal has benefitted from longer in bottle than any other Cristal: 10 years. More malo and a little more oak on this wine that Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon claims is all the better for the lessons learnt with the similarly high-acid 1996 vintage. Just one sniff and you're assailed by the most extraordinary combination of density and lift. There's a hint of lime and it's extremely tight (I'd guess it has only just been deemed ready to release) and firm on the finish. But there is just so much pleasure to be had already. Super-fresh but so concentrated that there is no question of austerity. So much to dig into here. It will surely slowly unfurl but is already gorgeous. Hedonistic rather than intellectual. Very special.”
19.5/20
Jancis Robinson MW
“I tasted a trial sample of a wine that is not yet disgorged. This will be the first time a Cristal has been launched at 10 years old. Dosage was just 8 g/l, the lowest ever. Lécaillon thinks 2008 is even better than 2002 potentially. Very persistent. This is a marvellous wine that is incredibly complete but obviously still youthful. Cristal followers are in for a major treat.
96 → 100/100
Essi Avellan MW
“Tight, hugely promising nose still with restraint. There is immaculat purity and radiance to the chalk and toast nuanced nose full of cool, crisp fruit and baking spices complexity. A lovely feather light feeling yet fruit packed palate of fabulous electric vivacity. The finish is so long and mineral with a chalky bite promising great longevity. A wine that puts a big smile on my face. ”
See All Reviews
Awards
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CSWWC Gold 2018
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. Louis Roederer Cristal 2008 vs Cristal 2009

    Louis Roederer Cristal 2008 vs Cristal 2009

    December 10, 2018

    With media attention surrounding the new release now somewhat subdued, we evaluate the price premium of Cristal 2008 - "the most Cristal of all Cristals" - versus Cristal 2009, which has just entered an ideal drinking window.
  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. New Release: Louis Roederer Cristal 2008

    New Release: Louis Roederer Cristal 2008

    June 22, 2018

    The long-awaited Louis Roederer Cristal 2008 was officially launched in London on Monday evening. Jean-Baptiste Lécailon described it as "the most Cristal of all Cristals". Having already been awarded 100/100 from many critics, is this the best ever vintage?
  9. Coming Soon: Louis Roederer Cristal 2008

    Coming Soon: Louis Roederer Cristal 2008

    May 30, 2018

    Rarely is a champagne launch met with as much excitement as that surrounding Louis Roederer Cristal 2008 - tipped to be the best ever vintage. Set to hit the market within the next month, here we provide an overview of our previous tastings and outline what to expect from this remarkable release.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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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