Disgorged October 2016 and will be the first Cristal to be released ten years from harvest when it is offered in 2018. 35 parcels used from a possible 45 in this vintage. The assemblage is 60% pinot noir and 40% chardonnay. This is so fresh and tense and mineral with extremely exuberant chardonnay notes on the nose of white peach lemon and yellow grapefruit and hints of almost brambly sous bois aromas. The yeast characters are also super fresh and there are subtle woody notes with a hint of vanilla bean and light spices. The palate is super long and very pure powerful and focused. It drives deep and taut. Pinot noir is a strong core and the chardonnay sits at the edge offering lemon and white nectarine sorbet flavors. Staggeringly concentrated yet the balance makes it seem airy and light. Acidity is perfectly positioned and the power is intense and long. This is an ultra precise Cristal finishing with a mere suggestion of savoriness and warmth to come. Impressive on release this will be at its best drinking from 2025.
The 2008 Cristal is a perfect wine and Champagne simple does not get any better. This incredible wine offers a beautiful perfume of clean crisp fruits layers of complexity in its toasted spice and white flowers and an utterly seamless yet powerful style on the palate. This is a rich decadent expression of Cristal yet it?s still crystalline and elegant with no sensation of weight and it just glides over the palate. Haut Couture at its finest and this majestic profound legendary Cristal can be drunk anytime over the coming 2-3 decades.js
Cellar Selection This latest incarnation of the famous brand is a superb wine. It is on par with maybe even better than the already legendary 2002. Its balance is impeccable: Apple and citrus flavors working with the tight minerality to give a textured yet fruity wine. Produced from Roederer's own vineyards which are mainly biodynamic the wine has its own intense purity and crispness. It has amazing potential and is likely to age for many years. Drink from 2020.
Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon and the team at Louis Roederer decided to release the very fine 2009 Cristal ahead of the more racy 2008 version and this seems to have been a very good idea as this decision has allowed the 2008 version to rest comfortably in the cellars for an additional year or two. In fact the 2008 Cristal will be the first vintage of this wine to be released ten years out from the vintage. This is not the only exceptional aspect of the 2008 Cristal as this is one of the very very few vintages of this iconic wine that has included a small percentage of vins clairs that have gone through malolactic fermentation as Monsieur Lécaillon observed that sixteen percent of the blend in 2008 is composed of wines that went through malo. The results are magical as this small part of the blend that has undergone malolactic fermentation seems to have rounded off the snappy acids of 2008 a bit and given the wine an unprecedented textural accessibility out of the blocks that was not fo
"The 2008 Cristal is one of the most complete most dazzling Champagnes I have ever tasted. A stunning wine from any and all perspectives the 2008 simply has it all. Spherical in construction with superb persistence. The 2008 takes hold of all the senses and never gives up. One of the many things that makes the 2008 special is a combination of ripe fruit and bright piercing acidity. Marzipan lemon confit dried flowers and orchard fruit all build into the explosive resonant finish. ?We learned from the mistakes of 1996 when we picked more on acid than ripeness as was the norm in Champagne back then? Chef de Caves Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon told me recently. ?In 1996 the best fruit turned out to be the last picks where the fruit was physiologically ripe. Today we aim to pick all our fruit with that criteria.?" -- Antonio Galloni
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).
This expresses a sense of focus and vibrancy to the overall structure, while the palate is all grace and charm. A fine, lacy texture carries a tapestry of ripe white cherry, toast point, blood orange zest, honey and ground ginger notes, with a minerally, mouthwatering finish. A stunning Champagne with a long future ahead of it. Drink now through 2033.