Named for the lead-crystal bottles which harnessed the original Champagne vintages reserved for Russian Tsar Alexander II. Cristal is only produced when the grape quality is highest to ensure that every bottle is a glorious demonstration of the skill of the winemakers and the excellence of the terroir.
Louis Roederer was born in 1809 and would later establish himself as a successful entrepreneur and patron of the arts. His relationship with the eponymous Champagne house began in 1833, after he was chosen to inherit the business, formerly known as Maison Dubois, by his uncle.
Roederer made it his goal to have every aspect of Champagne production under expert supervision, even deviating from the normal practice of buying grapes from growers to buy land in the region's best areas. The Roederer style and high quality saw business flourish worldwide; Louis Roederer's son, Louis Roederer II, matched his father in both passion and talent, and upon assuming management of the house, success continued.
In 1870, their most famous customer, Tsar Alexander II of Russia asked Louis Roederer II to reserve for him the best wines, exclusively for his personal consumption. This exquisite Champagne was held in flat-bottomed, lead-crystal bottles, crafted from specifications set by the Tsar himself in order to better view the colour, effervescence and any hazards which concern a non-democratic ruler of a nation. The wine, known as Cristal, lost its royal commission in 1917, but would not be available for public consumption until 1945.
Broad, ample and resonant on the palate, the 2006 Cristal dazzles with its pure richness and volume. Readers need to give the 2006 another 4-5 years in bottle, perhaps longer, as the wine appears to be shutting down a bit. Tasted next to the 2002, today the 2006 is a bit less opulent but just as intense, layered and deep. This is a fabulous showing.
Complex but very youthful nose. So tight and coiled. Still so tight it’s almost metallic on the finish. What a shame it is that people are drinking this already. There is massive density here but not – yet – that much flavour and development. Lots going on in the finish. Very long. Wait!!!!
The 2006 Cristal is one of the most towering, structured young Cristals I can remember tasting. Roederer is among the first, if not the first, major house to release its tete de cuvees. Young Cristal can often deceive with its open, seductive personality, but that is not at all the case here. The 2006 is majestic, powerful Cristal that is going to need bottle age. Today it is massive, tightly coiled and imposing, with tons of structure, phenomenal balance and plenty of potential for the future. In 2006, the blend favors Pinot Noir over Chardonnay slightly, at 60% and 40% respectively. The Pinots are from Verzenay, Verzy, Beaumont-sur-Vesle, Ay and Mareuil sur Ay, while the Chardonnays emerge from sites in Avize, Mesnil and Cramant. As always, Cristal is made exclusively from estate-owned vineyards.
Roederer’s 2006 Brut Cristal is striking in its sense of lift and delicacy, serving as one of many instances where those bringing preconceptions of this vintage’s warmth and ripeness of fruit to their experience may be pleasantly surprised. A nose of fresh apple, fennel and cucumber sets up associations with a slaw or salad that are crisply, lusciously and refreshingly redeemed on the palate. A garland of honeysuckle and heliotrope complements subtle suggestions of raw almond and vanilla, while alkaline and iodine notes as well as cooling but pungent green herbal notes add to the soothing yet stimulating finish. This exceptionally poised, refined, and buoyant performance is apt to gain depth with a few years’ bottle age.
Lovely broad nose with buttered toast and popcorn and creamy baked apple fruit. Long, dense finish – lifted yet concentrated with some lovely bitter umami character too. More open than previous vintages but undoubtedly ageworthy too.
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As a rough guide most standard (75CL) single bottles weigh 2KG and a case (12 x 75CL bottles) weighs 24KG.
In Bond storage is facilitated at Octavian in Wiltshire, the U.K's premier wine storage facility. The conditions at this old munitions base, 100 metres below ground are unrivalled, offering temperature control, In Bond facility and full replacement value insurance. The wines are stored under each client's individual "Protection Plus" account number, fully labelled and can only be released or moved with his or her written instructions. No right of lien can be exercised over wines held on each client's behalf. Client's stock can be inspected, by arrangement, at any time excluding November & December.
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Items can be ordered In Bond for transfer to clients own bonded storage accounts. We are able to action this process for a single consignment charge of £10 ex VAT, this covers any quantity.