In 1974, 100 years after the creation of Cristal, Jean-Claude Rouzaud decided to create the Cristal Rosé cuvée. To achieve this, he selected old-vine Pinot noir grapes from the finest Grand Cru vineyards at Aÿ, which are now cultivated according to biodynamic principles. The unique calcareous clay soil, which gives the grapes an exquisite minerality, enables the vines (in the best years) to attain exceptional fruit maturity, complemented by a crystalline acidity.
A blend of around 55% Pinot noir and 45% Chardonnay, comprising 20% of wine matured in oak tuns, Cristal Rosé is produced using the saignée (bleeding) process after cold maceration. The Cristal Rosé cuvée is aged, on average, for 6 years in Louis Roederer’s cellars.
The attack reveals an aromatic intensity with a remarkable fullness and the smooth, sweet flavours of white flowers, red fruits, caramel, and Tarte Tatin. The full, round, and refined texture in the initial attack, which is characteristic of the Louis Roederer Champagne House, is complemented by a winey though not full-bodied structure and a remarkable freshness, giving an impression of great finesse and strengthening the wine’s precision.
TASTING 2004 Rose A pastel pink colour with bright, slightly orange glints. Fine, light bubbles in a long-lasting flow. The bouquet is delicate and subtle, with elegant fruitiness (red fruits: strawberry, fig), zesty hints (citrus fruit: lemon and orange) and juicier nuances such as vine peach. There is a deep, slightly sweet burst of aromas. In the mouth, the bite is young, springlike and energetic: full-bodied and silky, but based on very mineral freshness. This mineral quality is typical for Cristal Rosé, expressing the chalkiness and saltiness of the Aÿ terroir. The second mouth has airy notes and great aromatic purity, displaying the discrete power of this great cuvée. On airing, a few traces of Danish pastry and lightly roasted dried fruits hint at its enormous capacity for change. Cristal Rosé 2004 is a fine example of the quest for perfect elegance underlying the creation of this cuvée. It offers an encounter which is a moment of pure delight! Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon