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Louis Roederer Cristal Brut

Champagne

Louis Roederer

Established in 1776, Louis Roederer is one of the few remaining family owned Champagne houses, passing in January 2006 to Frédéric Rouzaud, the 6th generation of the family to run the company...

Unlike many Grande Marque Champagnes, who buy fruit from growers, Roederer owns 200 hectares of vines, which account for over two-thirds of their production. By 1886, the house had achieved such a reputation for quality that the second Louis Roederer was asked by Tsar Alexander II to create Cristal for the exclusive use of the Russian Tsars, and in so doing created the first ever Cuvée de Prestige Champagne.

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Vineyards

Louis Roederer has always ensured that at least two thirds of the fruit is sourced from its own vineyards. Today, over 200 hectares are under vine, including 65 hectares in the Côte de Blancs (mostly Chardonnay), 60 hectares in the Montagne de Reims (Pinot Noir) and 75 hectares in the Vallée de Marne (again, Pinot Noir). The vineyards they own have an average quality rating of 98% which is unrivalled by any other Grande Marque Champagne house. The grapes for Cristal 2005 were taken exclusively from Grand Cru vineyards (100% on the quality scale) owned by the family, including the highest regarded parcels of Aÿ, Avize and Mesnil-sur-Oger.

Vintage information

2006 was a very hot year, marked by a succession of sharp contrasts in temperature and rainfall which are very rarely witnessed. A late spring, which was relatively damp and cool, was followed by particularly dry summer conditions in June and July. Whilst July set a new temperature record in the Champagne annals, the cold temperatures and rain in August were unprecedented too and set a new record in the other direction! Fortunately, the warm, dry September allowed the ripening process to be completed, producing the distinctive, rich, complex grapes. The harvest dates were wholly typical of those of the last decade: beginning on the 14th of September for Chardonnays and the next day for Pinots Noirs.

Vinification

20% of the wine was matured in oak barrels with weekly bâtonnage but no malolactic fermentation. Matured for an average of five years in the cellars, it was left to rest for eight months after disgorging to complete its maturation. Dosage is adapted to each vintage, at between 8 and 10 g/l.

Tasting Notes

Elegant apple perfumes stand out from the intensely rich bouquet. Well-rounded, the wine is smooth with a lively flow of uninterrupted creamy bubbles. The flavours are typical of Chardonnay: rich, fleshy peach and mandarin citrus fruits developing into white acacia flowers, dried fruit and buttery caramel hints.

Vintage information

Vintage 2006
Grape varieties 55% Pinot Noir
45% Chardonnay
Region Champagne
Winemaker Jean-Baptiste L├ęcaillon
Alcohol (ABV) 12%