When Louis Roederer released Cristal 2008 in June 2018, the high expectations surrounding this outstanding vintage were substantiated by the incredibly high scores it received from the world’s leading wine critics. As with all fine wines, this impressive critical praise piqued consumer interest and the prices being asked in the market duly responded and rose.
Now that Cristal 2008 has been available for 6 months and the market has settled, we can more accurately evaluate the price premium it commands over the previous vintage release, Cristal 2009.
At our recent 2008 vs 2009 tasting, both Cristal vintages were the two highest rated champagnes on the evening, with almost identical group average scores (18.8/20 Cristal 2008 vs 18.7/20 Cristal 2009). This goes to show that, although the 2008 is a superior vintage, it is still so incredibly young and extremely tight, needing time to slowly unravel and fully reveal the complexity and concentration for which the vintage is so revered.
Cristal 2009 on the other hand, with a score almost matching 2008, is surely now just entering a perfect drinking window, displaying a racy elegance that it just hinted at six months ago. With its lightness in texture, bundles of acidity and tension, and youthful yet refined character, there has never been a better time to drink Cristal 2009.
And with the price differential currently so significant (£229.95 Cristal 2008 vs £179.95 Cristal 2009), the younger vintage might well be the better value-for-money option for Christmas drinking.
|Louis Roederer Cristal 2008 | 19.5/20
60% PN, 40% CH | Lees Ageing: 9 Years | Disgorged: 2018 | Dosage: 7.75 g/l | Post-Disgorgement Ageing: >1 Year
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.
|Louis Roederer Cristal 2009 | 18.5/20
60% PN, 40% CH | Lees Ageing: 6 Years | Disgorged: 2016 | Dosage: 8 g/l | Post-Disgorgement Ageing: 2 Years
Very fruit forward and fresh. Wow, this seems like its perfectly ready right now – just entering an ideal drinking window. The lush fruit means this must be a forward 2009.