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Professional Ratings: 98 Wine & Spirits
Region: Champagne, France
Varietal: Rosé Sparkling Wine
Other Info: Collectible Wines, Great Wine Gift
Alcohol By Volume: 12%
Item no. 110465
Cristal Rosé 2004 is precise, racy and balanced. 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 Rose, 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 cuvee. On airing, a few traces of Danish pastry and lightly roasted dried fruits hint at its enormous capacity for change.
You might be able to make a wine like this if you had the foresight to buy vineyard land at the center of the slope in Ay, when the prices were still depressed by World Wars, and if you believed in sustaining old pinot noir vines and macerating their juice to create the color and flavor detail of a classic saignee Champagne. But even if you were a trained enologist and, like Jean-Claude Rouzaud, had inherited the Roederer estate, you still might need someone with the technical skills of Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon to attain the delicacy and fierce precision of this wine. Such efforts would be a fool’s errand, perhaps, when the formula for Cristal Rose already exists, a mood-altering alchemy of power and finesse, fragrant red fruit, limestone gruffness and polish. This is a glorious 2004 with the drive of a great Cristal.