Louis Roderer - Cristal Brut
This was a characteristically dry, warm year with outbreaks of heavy rain. August was a month of extremes, with rain followed by scorching temperatures then violent thundery intervals. An anticyclone at the start of September gave way to rain towards 8 September followed by fine weather that lasted throughout the harvest with the exception of light drizzle. The vintage was marked by the outstanding quality of the grapes, registering a degree of alcohol content rarely achieved in Champagne.
Highlights: an early-maturing year brought about by dry soil conditions that accelerated ripening; work in the vineyards to improve the quality of the yield: targeted manuring at the start of the season; pruning to restrict yields; crown suckering of fruit-bearing shoots to remove excess clusters; green harvesting over a total 20 ha area; sunny conditions throughout the month of September.
These conditions allowed us to start harvesting on 12 September in the Côte des Blancs, September 13 in the Marne Valley, and 16 September in the Montagne de Reims.
Harvesting in each vineyard sector lasted 13 days and pickers were in excellent spirits. From the beginning of the harvest, grapes registered 11-12.2º alcohol with a consistent acidity level of 7g/l. Average yield of 12.280 kg/ha, overall productivity targets. The quality of the grapes was remarkable throughout the vineyard.
55% Pinot Noir and 45% Chardonnay.
Cristal is produced using only the finest vintages from crus guaranteed to originate from the Louis Roederer vineyard. The wine is left to mature on yeast for an average of five years and spends a minimum period of eight months in the cellar after disgorgement.
DOSAGE: low at 10 g/l.
The "liqueurs de dosage" are prepared with the greatest of care from a selected blend of 8 to 10 of the very best crus from the Louis Roederer vineyard and then left to age in oak.
Appearance: Brilliant yellow with light amber highlights. A beautiful mousse with fine cordon of persistent and regular bubbles.
Nose: Intense and delicate. Revealing a clean and well-blended mixture of flavours of honey, cocoa, lightly toasted hazelnuts, candied citrus fruit… without exuberance, but luxurious simplicity!
Palate: A savoury explosion of ripe fruit on the attack, revealing red fruit, white chocolate, caramel and Danish pastry, typical of Cristal. Silky, concentrated texture, leaning on intense, powerful and vinous structure, but maintaining refinement. The palate builds up to attain a delicious sensation of well-blended harmony of flavours. A fresh finish with a hint of bitterness making it almost crunchy.
All the exceptional characteristics of the 2002 vintage have literally been captured in this 2002 Cristal, which is generous and lush, revealing perfect balance between concentration and finesse, freshness and vinosity, intensity and refinement. In three words: proud, rich and luxurious.
Serve at a temperature of 8°C (46°F) to 10°C (50°F). We recommend that you leave the bottle to cool in the refrigerator for 2 H. Alternatively, immerse the bottle up to its neck in a champagne bucket filled with ice before serving. Never cool the bottle in the freezer since this breaks the wine.
AS A COMPLEMENT TO FOOD
The strength and finesse of Cristal are perfectly suited to delicate foods. It is a flattering accompaniment to caviar, fish and shellfish such as scallops, John Dory, lobster and crayfish.