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Professional Ratings: 97 The Wine Advocate, 97 Wine Enthusiast, 97 Wine & Spirits, 94 International Wine Cellar, 93 Wine Spectator
Region: Champagne, France
Varietal: Vintage Sparkling Wine
Other Info: Great Wine Gift, Collectible Wines
Alcohol By Volume: 12%
Item no. 107401
Louis Roederer Cristal, the first Prestige Cuvée, was created in 1876 for Tsar Alexander II of Russia. One hundred and thirty-four years later, it remains faithful to its origin, inspired by elegance, purity, and precision. "It is a blue sky, without any clouds," says Cellar Master Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon.
Cristal 2004 – a highly seductive vintage reminiscent of the classic 1988 – has a slender, almost living freshness. Highly contemporary in its harmony and immediate seductiveness, it nevertheless 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 flavors associated with the subtle power of our historic vines, located on the finest Champagne Grand Cru terroirs.
"Brilliant yellow color displaying light amber nuances, combined with an ultra-fine, persistent, soft effervescence. There's an intense, highly expressive bouquet on the first nose! The aromatic elegance and precision of Chardonnay is apparent: white fruit, sweet pollen, fine citrus fruit and very pure minerality. After a few minutes, the aromas move on to more confit, lightly grilled hints. The bouquet is rich and sweet, almost generous, remaining precise and impeccably refined. The bite in the mouth is full and creamy, revealing an incredible concentration of juicy fruits: yellow peach, apricot, mango and others. This silky, meaty concentration, which is both dense and soft – and typical of great pinot noirs – is immediately combined with a sophisticated touch of acidity, bringing the wine alive with minerality. The overriding impression is one of a true harmony of flavors, senses and silky textures...Absolute sensuality." – Jean Baptiste Lécaillon, Cellar Master.
The 2004 Brut Cristal has put on quite a bit of weight since I first tasted it earlier this year. It is a powerful, structured Cristal layered with considerable fruit. Chardonnay seems to play the leading role in 2004, at least today. Cristal is often accessible young, but that is far from the case here. This is a serious, painfully young Cristal that will require considerable patience. Readers who are willing to spend some time with the wine today will find a super-impressive, complete Cristal. The 2004 Cristal is 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay. This is Lot L033331E100008, disgorged January, 2010. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2034.
Exceptionally rich and dense, an exceptional wine that reveals itself in layers, from the first fruit attack to the mineral texture and the way it gradually fills the mouth. Selected from old vines, there is a great flavor in this wine, with the promise of many years' aging. Cellar Selection.
A pale beauty with delicate power, energy and dimension, the 2004 Cristal is an impressive follow-up to the 2002. Scents of apple blossom hint at the depth and clarity fo the fruit, layered with ginger and spice in a flavor delivered over the course of several minutes. The freshness of the wine comes through in a subtle hum rather than anything as overt as a buzz, bright, airy and unstoppable.
Light, bright gold. Spicy citrus and orchard fruit aromas are complemented by chalk, white flowers and a touch of smokiness. Taut, linear lemon and orange rind flavors give way to deeper pear in the mid-palate and pick up notes of honeysuckle and toasted grain with air. Still very young but shows excellent promise. Finishes with good mineral cut and sappy persistence.
Floral, citrus and spice aromas and flavors are at the forefront of this filigree, delicate Champagne, which is harmonious and well-defined, with a long aftertaste of roasted nut and toast. Very dry. Drink now through 2028.