Our pre-release offer of £730.00 per 6*75cl case under bond sold out very quickly.
Email if you would like to be wait-listed for the main release of Louis Roederer Cristal 2008 later in the year, likely September.
The long-awaited Louis Roederer Cristal 2008 was officially launched in London on Monday evening. Cristal 2008 marks the eighth vintage of Cristal produced this century, following the release of 2000, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009 – the last of which was released last year, before 2008, due to the warm 2009 vintage producing a richer and riper expression of Cristal.
Describing Cristal 2008 as “the most Cristal of Cristals”, Chef de Cave Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon likened it to two past vintages of outstanding quality: 1988 and 1996. All three vintages had similar climates: cool, dry summers, which bought lots of freshness. “It is less austere than 1988 and more balanced than 1996,” Lécaillon added.
|Louis Roederer Cristal 2008 | 19.5/20
60% PN, 40% CH | Lees Ageing: 9 Years | Disgorged: October 2017 | Dosage: 7.75 g/L | Post-Disgorgement Ageing: 8 Months
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.
Lécaillon has previously told us that 2008 is the product of lessons learned in 1996. The 1996 vintage was hailed as one of the best of the previous century for its high acidity, however phenolic ripeness – which was not there in 1996 – has since been proven to be key in helping champagne age. “We picked a week too early in 1996,” Lécaillon said.
When 2008 started to show the same climatic pattern as 1996, Lécaillon was determined not to make the same mistake again and made sure he picked later and riper. He also used 20% oak fermentation in 2008 to give sweetness and allowed 16% of the wines to go through malolactic fermentation, whereas no malo was done in 1996. Put simply… “2008 is the 1996 of our dreams,” Lécaillon said.
Cristal 2008 also spent two more years ageing in the bottle than previous releases – 10 years in total, with 9 years on the lees – as it needed time to calm down its acidity. Further, even though 2008 wasn’t a particularly warm year, Lécaillon reduced the dosage to 7.75 g/L – the first time the house have gone below 8 g/L. This was partly due to biodynamic practices – 40% of the Cristal parcels were farmed biodynamically in 2008 – and partly due to the base wines having more texture.
So, is this this best Cristal ever? Well, Lécaillon isn’t the only one who thinks so – the critics have unanimously agreed. Most have given it their highest ever score for a Cristal vintage on release and many have already awarded it full points: 100/100. Stunning now and with almost endless ageing potential, this is a champagne that comes around once in a lifetime.
|Jancis Robinson MW | 19.5/20
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.
|Essi Avellan MW | 96/100, Future Potential: 100/100
Tight, hugely promising nose still with restraint. There is immaculate 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.
|Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast | 100/100
This latest incarnation of the famous brand is a superb wine. It is on par with, maybe even better than, the already legendary 2002. Its balance is impeccable: Apple and citrus flavors working with the tight minerality to give a textured yet fruity wine. Produced from Roederer’s own vineyards which are mainly biodynamic, the wine has its own intense purity and crispness. It has amazing potential and is likely to age for many years.
“I looked at it with a deep emotion yesterday evening in London… in my 30 vintages at Louis Roederer it is…. probably… the most Cristal of all Cristals!” – Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon, Chef de Cave
|James Suckling | 100/100
With staggering density and impressive balance, this is one of the greatest Roederer Cristal ever made. It’s a wine for the long term, and it’s best to leave it for six or seven years in the cellar before drinking. However, the vibrant youth of this great champagne is hard to be patient with. Simply put, it’s great to drink anytime.
|Alberto Lupetti | 100/100
Never has a champagne achieved such perfection on its début – absolutely top marks. Cristal 2008 has succeeded in doing just that. What more is there to say?It has everything and more. This is when you realise that, if you are to judge it, you shouldn’t try looking for it, but turn your thinking on its head and ask yourself: What does it lack? What’s wrong with it? Nothing. Balance and perfection.
|Antonio Galloni | 98+/100
The 2008 Cristal is a real head-turner. Powerful, ample and explosive in all of its dimensions, the 2008 takes hold of the senses 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.
Looking to the future, the next vintages of Cristal will be 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 (the house skipped 2010, 2011 and 2017). The next release, Louis Roederer Cristal 2012, is the first vintage to be made from 100% biodynamically-farmed grapes (and should be quite a stunner!)