Louis Roederer Cristal Champagne 2008

Louis Roederer
3114081143055
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Champagne Louis Roederer Cristal is produced using only the finest vintages from crus guaranteed to originate from the Louis Roederer vineyards

Cristal Champagne vintage 2008

Owners of vast vineyards (totally some 500 acres) that supply the majority of their fruit, Roederer also presides by design as well as due to that vastness over a mind-bending number of micro-vinifications, divided entirely between tanks and foudres, supplemented by a concomitantly deep and diverse range of reserve wines. But for all of the variety that these phenomena entail, scarcely any lots undergo malo-lactic transformation.

Wine Advocate  97+ rating

Let's start describing the 2008 Cristal technically first. It is a 60/40 blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from 36 plots in seven grands crus: Verzy, Verzenay, Beaumont and Aÿ for the Pinot Noir and Mesnil, Avize and Cramant for the Chardonnay. Twenty-five percent of the wine was fermented in oak, and 16% underwent malolactic fermentation to moderate the fresh acidity of the 2008 vintage. The assemblage was bottled in May 2009. After 8.5 years on the second lees (longer than any Cristal before), the first release was disgorged in September 2017 with a relatively low dosage of 7.5 grams per liter.

So, here is how it tastes as a "young" cuvée: The 2008 Cristal opens bright, super clear, fresh and pure on the exciting, absolutely fascinating nose with its fine, complex and elegant bouquet of gorgeously ripe and matured fruits, brioche and chalk expressions. This is the finest you can get from Champagne. The palate is pure, lean, fresh and filigreed but concentrated, highly complex, full of tension and enormously vibrant. This is a great vin de terroir, a dense and elegant Super-Cristal that goes straight and precise as a laser beam over the palate but also has texture in the form of sensually fleshy fruit. The dosage, however, is the lowest ever: just 7.5 grams. The endless and highly tensioned finish is complex, citrusy fresh, full of chalk and crystalline finesse. The 2008 Cristal is a vitalizing drug, "the Chevalier Montrachet of Champagne," as Jean-Baptise Lécaillon puts it. It is the most exciting 2008 Champagne I have tasted thus far (May 2018).


 

Vintage 2008 Style A continental, sunny year with a real winter that was very cold and dry followed by a glorious sun- f i l led summer and almost no rain in August and September. All this meant traditional vine growth, excellent health and remarkable grape ripeness for the production of dense, fruity and delicious wines. 2009 is an obvious addition to the select group of brilliant and accomplished Champagne vintages with a light, sunny character. Elaboration 70% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay, 18% of the wine vinified in oak casks, no malolactic fermentation. The wine is aged for 4 years in the cellars and left for a minimum of 6 months after disgorging to attain the perfect maturity. The dosage is 9 g/l. Tasting Champagne gold colour with slightly copper tints. Energetic and dazzling effervescence. A ravishing bouquet: complex, generous and deep, dominated by red fruits (raspberry) and orchard fruits (nectarines, golden plums), a certain smokiness (hazelnuts and toasted almonds) and a hint of sun-warmed pebbles. The immediate impression is velvety, creamy and elegant on the palate with a mineral freshness and vertical structure very typical of Pinots noirs from Verzenay. A deep, robust and complex juice where the fruit’s sun-drenched richness is counterbalanced by the salty freshness of the terroir. The ageing potential for this fabulous year 2008 is very high.

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.

Louis Roederer Cristal Champagne bottle of 75cl size

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