2012 Louis Roederer Cristal Brut Champagne

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2012 Cristal Champagne

James Suckling 98
Wine Advocate 97+
  • S$58897

Vintage : 2012

Region: Champagne

Country: USA

THE ADVENT OF A NEW VITICULTURE

Each new and keenly-awaited vintage of this “grand vin de Champagne” is the rediscovery of a universe of history, emotion and poetry that is constantly reinvented.

At the inception of any great wine is the land and, at Louis Roederer, the work carried out by man shows an abiding respect for the land. We work to create a complicity with Nature so that she bestows us with her greatest, finest and loveliest offering.

Unveiled today, Cristal 2012 is no exception. From this intimacy between Man and Nature are born deep wines, possessing an impressive texture, where the freshness of the limestone soils achieves its finest expression.

2012 is a remarkable vintage which has given rise to a white and a rosé in which finesse, power, purity and elegance fill the entire space.

In its turn, this new vintage expresses the high quality standards and perpetual quest for excellence that define the Champagne House, today led by Frédéric Rouzaud, while showing itself to be radically different to any other champagne.

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.”

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A new type of viticulture, carried out at full power, resonates deeply within this new vintage. This unusual and complex year gave birth to two cuvées, both intensely Cristal: a white and a rosé. Wines in which finesse, power, purity and elegance fill the entire space and once again relay the splendour of these chalk lands.

Born in a year of contrasts, Cristal 2012 weaves a subtle blend of strength and finesse, the happy alliance of superb depth combined with the freshness of its limestone terroir. This wine of substance and firepower, born in the light of the white soils, finds a rare intensity in this year of fabulous maturity.

2012 was one of the most challenging and complicated years ever experienced in Champagne. However, difficult conditions often lead to great things… The low yields, due to the unpredictable weather, combined with continental conditions towards the end of the season, gave us unusual levels of maturity, resulting in rich, full-bodied and structured wines worthy of the greatest vintages in Champagne.

Rich and complex aromas with notes of zesty and candied fruit (lemon) mingled with pollen (white flowers), roasted hazelnut and Madagascar vanilla. After aeration, the bouquet develops rich notes of fresh pastries and smoky notes from bottle ageing.

A delicious, concentrated and chalky palate. It shows incredible tension and perfectly honed aromatic precision. The attack is powerful, distinctive and concentrated and reveals a silky, mouth-coating texture, characteristic of the ripe Pinot noirs from the 2012 vintage.

 

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.”

Its gold wrapping isn’t just for show.
Cristal’s gold wrapping has historic roots — in the 19th century, a system of color-coding was used to signify a Champagne’s quality.
Unsurprisingly, gold was used to denote the highest prestige. But there’s a scientific reason for this wrapping, too. The shiny cellophane is actually anti-UV, which protects the clear-bottled wine from damaging sun rays that can quickly cook a wine.

It’s so good, it breaks the rules of economics.
In 2002, Cristal was christened with a perfect 100-point score from Wine & Spirits Magazine,
a virtually impossible feat for even the most prestigious of wines. And it doesn’t stop there. Cristal is considered a Veblen Good, an economic term describing a product with a demand proportional to its high price, thus contradicting the law of demand. These high prices deem such products status symbols and signs of luxury. In other words, the thirst is real.

The rap and hip-hop community boycotted Cristal.
Like many other celebrities, Jay-Z was once a huge supporter of Cristal. However, things changed in 2006, when Frédéric Rouzaud made a statement condemning the brand’s positive reception from the hip-hop community. He followed the statement in questioning “but what can we do? We can’t forbid people from buying it.” Many celebrities, including Jay-Z deemed the comments racist and vowed to never drink, serve, or promote the stuff in any of his clubs ever again. Jay-Z later went on to create his own luxury Champagne brand — Armand de Brignac (known as Ace of Spades) — in retaliation.

RP 97 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Aromas of clear honey, crisp green orchard fruit, white peach, pastry cream and dried white flowers introduce the 2012 Cristal, a full-bodied, concentrated and powerful wine that's built for the cellar. Broader, more textural and more muscular than the 2008 Cristal, with seemingly even greater reserves of structuring dry extract, the 2012 is incisive and searingly chalky. This is the first Cristal produced exclusively from organically farmed fruit, and it marks the opening of a new chapter for Louis Roderer. The blend is 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay, vinified without malolactic fermentation and disgorged with 7.5 grams per liter dosage. Chef de Caves Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon has once again excelled himself. Rating: 97+

"A deep and vinous wine, bright and noble, a true Cristal. It is balanced by a chalky freshness that cuts through and stretches the wine giving it with a slender fuselage and great finesse." - Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon, Cellar Master

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