Double 100 Points
The Cristal 2008 is deep, intense and masterful. It offers the quintessential reflection of its chalk soils which lend it is velvety texture and delicate tension.
The 2008 vintage was characterised by an unusually dry and cool summer and undoubtedly falls into the ‘continental’ vintage category: dense and powerful owing to its exceptional concentration. Nevertheless, the unusually cool temperatures over the summer made their mark on the vintage, giving it a remarkable intense and saline freshness. The wine is powerful, full yet tight, on entry to the palate. The 2008 is undeniably well structured but in a particular way: the wine’s almost saline concentration has not been created by the sun, but is derived from the dryness of the chalk soil in a particularly cool summer. The result is a smooth, almost liquorous, mouthfeel that coats the palate with a powerful yet soft texture. This gives way to an incredible finish, underpinned by freshness and an impression of absolute purity with a taut and very saline character.
Created in 1876 for Tsar Alexander II, Cristal was the world’s first Cuvée de Prestige. Crafted from Grands Crus from the Montagne de Reims, the Vallée de la Marne and the Côte des Blancs, and the result of a unique savoir-faire and devotion, this rare champagne is the jewel in the Louis Roederer crown. Symbolic of the perpetual quest for excellence that define Roederer today led by Frédéric Rouzaud, Cristal is also radically different to any other champagne on the market. At Louis Roederer, the appearance of new vintages gently marks the life of the Champagne House but does not transform it. However, the unveiling of Cristal 2008 last night at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris opens a new chapter in the fascinating life of this flagship cuvée.
As the Cristal 2008 showed impressive personality, Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon, Cellar Master, decided to extend its ageing to ten years. This has endowed this vintage with remarkable maturity and contributed to its surprising and exacting temperament.