Louis Roederer Cristal Champagne 2005 Magnum (two bottle size)
Louis Roederer Cristal Champagne gifts 2005 Magnum. Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon, Cellar Master, has said this is a wine of pure pleasure and a sophisticated gastronomic wine, Cristal is both powerful and delicate, combining subtlety and precision.
Tasting notes, The Wine Advocate, 94 points
The 2005 Cristal stands out for its exceptional inner perfume and elegance. Soft, delicate and pretty, the 2005 is a relatively immediate Cristal with all of the signatures very much in the right place. The 2005 doesn’t have the opulence of the 2002 nor the focus of the 2004, but it is a very pretty, if somewhat small-scaled version of this iconic Champagne. I would drink the 2005 while the 2002 and 2004 age. Although Cristal has an impeccable track record when it comes to aging, personally I would not push it with the 2005. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2020.
Roederer fans will find plenty of delicious wines in this lineup. Best of all, many of the best wines this year won’t break the bank. Unfortunately I did not taste Roederer’s NV wines, as the house does not list disgorgement dates or base vintages on their labels. Still, there are few estates in Champagne that are so consistently outstanding across their entire range.
Champagne Louis Roederer Cristal is produced using only the finest vintages from crus guaranteed to originate from the Louis Roederer vineyards. Cristal is left to mature on its sediment for five to six years and spends a minimum period of six months in the cellar after disgorgement. The "liqueur de dosage" is prepared with the greatest of care from a selected blend of 8 to 10 of the very best crus from the Louis Roederer vineyard and then left to age in oak 4 to 10 years. On the contact with the air, Champagne Cristal releases a very fine, intense bouquet, scents of white flowers borne by hawthorn and vine and the aroma of fresh almonds. A supple, generous attack, silky on the palate but delicately substantial and perfectly blended. There is a subtle vinosity to the taste which moderates its strength well, persisting to a lingering yet lively finish.
The 2005 vintage was a year of marked contrasts between seasons and regions. Following a fairly harsh winter, 2005 had a mild spring with relatively warm temperatures all year long. There was above average sunshine and a slight water deficit, as had been the case throughout the dry cycle of 2005/2004 and 2003. The heat and humidity in July produced larger grapes and bunches, rather unusually for the Champagne region, while the cooler weather in August, followed by a very sunny month of September, led to favourable ripening in spite of heavy parasite pressure. The harvest dates were typical of those of the decade: September 12th for Chardonnays and the following day for Pinots Noirs.
55% Pinot noir 45% Chardonnay 20% wines matured in wood (oak barrels) with weekly batonnage no malolactic fermentation.
Cristal is made from grands crus from the Montagne de Reims, the Marne Valley and the Côte des Blancs. Matured for an average of 5 years in the cellars, it is left to rest for 8 months after disgorging to complete its maturation.
DOSAGE : adapted to each vintage, at between 8 and 10 g/l.
Precise, seductive and delicious, Cristal 2005 has a ‘slender’ and almost ‘living’ freshness. Thoroughly contemporary in terms of its harmony and immediate seductiveness, it nonetheless remains first and foremost a great classic of northern Champagne, combining freshness, energy and an almost chalky mineral quality. The Cristal hallmarks are evident: purity, precision and the unique harmony of flavours associated with the subtle power of our older vines, located on the finest Champagne Grand Cru terroirs.
Lively, uninterrupted bubbles, with a steady creamy flow.
An intensely elegant, rich, ripe bouquet. A succession of white fruits (apple), ripe and juicier yellow fruits (peaches) and slightly sour citrus fruits (mandarin oranges). The quite typical Chardonnay notes appear after a few minutes: white flowers (acacia), dried fruit, buttery caramel hints, suggestive of almost vanilla-like pastries. The bouquet is striking: its has great aromatic freshness but is already very open and mature.
The bite is full-bodied, soft and winey. It gives a well-rounded, almost smooth impression with ripe sun-drenched white and yellow fruits. The flavours are typical of Chardonnay: accessible, rich, fleshy fruit combined with warm, almost buttery hints. The measured bubbles and fresh limestone quality ‘stretch’ in the mouth, giving a pure, graceful impression. The finish is slightly tighter with a delicious, lingering, sensuous and almost sweet taste.
This Cristal 2005 stands out from all other Cristal vintages due to its aromatic openness and typical Chardonnay character. The ripe 2005 grapes produced wines of a unique nature, combining wininess with long-lasting quality, elegance and consistency. It is even reminiscent of a few Burgundy-like delights.