2013 Cristal Champagne
Vintage: 2013 – very excited – describing it as ‘2008 + +’, exciting indeed for those of us who felt that the 2008 was flirting perilously close to perfection
Cristal was first created by Louis Roederer for Alexander II in 1876.
It’s a family affair.
Cristal remains in the Roederer family to this day. The estate is currently overseen by Frédéric Rouzaud, the seventh generation of the family. This makes Louis Roeder the largest independent and family-owned Champagne house in the world.
Quality over quantity. It’s always vintage.
Cristal is cellar-aged for six years, and then held for another eight months after its dégorgement (the process of removing sediment from the Champagne). The vines used to grow Cristal’s grapes are also old — they must be a minimum of 25 years of age, but some are as old as 60. The older a vine is, the less fruitful it is, which contributes to the rarity of Cristal.
Cristal likes to keep it old school.
In an effort to return to tradition and make the Champagne-making operation as organic as possible, Louis Roederer began farming biodynamically in 2000. Not only did the company halt the usage of pesticides in their vineyards, but it began tilling the land with horses.
Cristal’s commonalities with crystals go beyond its sparkling appearance.
Cristal’s bottles used to be made with leaded crystal. “Crystal” in French is “cristal.”
"Cristal 2013 promises to be a great champagne, more restrained in its early years, yet also more intense, crowned by a burst of lovely plump fruit and crafted for long ageing."
THE TRIUMPH OF CHALKY PURITY
The last vintage harvested in October, the only one in two decades, Cristal 2013 continues the great tradition of balance and purity that has made it legendary. The mineral concentration is at its peak and achieves tremendous depth in this late year.
The longer vegetative cycle, the dry, bright summer and the slow ripening of the grapes up until the start of the autumn have given rise to two remarkably well-balanced and fresh champagnes that are the quintessence of chalky purity and the unique elegance typical of Cristal.
THE VIBRATION OF A GREAT CHALK TERROIR
The perfect embodiment of chalky purity, Cristal 2013 is a little restrained in its youth. Its perfumed finesse and great elegance draw their energy this year from the slow ripening of the grapes. This is a masterfully crafted wine, glowing and concentrated, which leans towards the soil, reflecting the salinity of its terroir as never before