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Louis Roederer Cristal

Cristal is the brand name of a Champagne produced by Louis Roederer. Cristal has a flat-bottomed clear, "crystal" bottle, anti-UV cellophane wrapper, and gold label. Widespread awareness of its high price has given the wine an image of exclusivity that, in turn, has elevated demand: it is considered a Veblen good. The most recently released vintages are the 2006, 2005, 2004, 2002, and 2000.

Cristal was first created in 1876 for Alexander II of Russia, and is viewed by many as the first prestige cuvée. As the political situation in Russia at the time of his rule was unstable, the Tsar feared assassination. He ordered that champagne bottles for hisThree Emperors Dinner be made clear, so that he could see the bubbles and also to prevent hiding a bomb within them, as could happen with a typical dark green bottle. Louis Roederer commissioned a Flemish glassmaker to create a clear lead glassChampagne bottle with a flat bottom. The Champagne has since become known as "Cristal".

The 1974 vintage was the first release of a rosé Cristal. The grape composition is an approximately equal blend of Chardonnay and Pinot noir, while the rosé contains more Pinot noir, and is colored with red wine rather than Pinot noir grape skins, the soignée method. The 2000 vintage is 55% Pinot Noir and 45% Chardonnay, with a dosage of 10 g/l. The annual production of Cristal is 300,000 to 400,000 bottles.

 

White

2002

Louis Roederer Cristal

Champagne

96+ AG

Mint 

6L

3

IB

Sparkling wine

96+ Antonio Galloni

The 2002 Cristal is a gorgeous, sculpted wine of extraordinary elegance. Graceful, well-delineated aromatics lead to ripe pears, spices, flowers, minerals and mint in this precise Champagne. Today the 2002 appears to have slightly more fruit than the 1996, and perhaps slightly better overall balance, although that is splitting hairs at this level. The wine remains fresh and in need of several years of cellaring before it hits its stride. In 2002 Cristal is 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay. 20% of the wine was aged in oak, and dosage was 10 grams. This bottle was disgorged in December 2007. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2032.

 

94 Lisa Perroti-Brown

Seriously precocious nose with notes of apple blossom, fresh strawberries, clotted cream, cashews and lightly toasted hazelnuts plus a barely detectable hint of oak. Great concentration of apple crumble flavours with very fine bubbles and a crisp backbone of acid. Long creamy finish. Drink 2010 to 2029. Tasted March 2009.


Price: £5,753.00

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